Every spring, Kipsu welcomes a new class of Analysts to our Entrepreneurial Leadership Rotation Program (ELRP). Analysts spend 12 months rotating between Kipsu's 3 core teams learning all aspects of our business. At the end of the program, Analysts are placed on a team permanently. The 2019 ELRP class just completed their first rotation, and we spoke with Nate Celeste about his experience on the Engineering Team.
What drew you to Kipsu in the first place?
The structure of the ELRP program is largely what drew me to Kipsu in the first place. I think it's almost impossible to be sure of your career path immediately after graduation. I'd spent summers working as a software engineer, but I wanted an experience that would give me a taste of some other career paths in Tech. The ELRP program at Kipsu was the perfect fit for me because it allows and encourages that exploration. No other rotation at tech companies I've found would encourage me to explore careers outside of engineering the way the ELRP program does. On top of the holistic rotational experience, I was drawn to Kipsu's culture. Every Kipsuvian is committed to the mission and core values in a way I haven't seen elsewhere.
Which team were you on in this rotation? What type of projects did you undertake?
What project or accomplishment are you most proud of from your first rotation?
I'm most proud that the Engineering team let me take the lead on a complete component of Kipsu. In my past experience, I'd always been relegated smaller, less mission-critical tasks, so I was surprised when I was made lead of Web Chat, a core feature we offer customer partners. It feels great to know that even as a Rotational Analyst, Kipsu had faith in my development abilities to make me a subject matter expert for a component of the application.
What did you find most challenging about this rotation?
Hand-in-hand with my proudest accomplishment, I think the most challenging part of this rotation was that I had the responsibility of working on critical tasks for Kipsu's core application. I think, at times, the Engineering team had more confidence in me than I had in myself, but the team was nothing but supportive in helping me push through and break those personal barriers.
What was your biggest takeaway from this rotation?
My biggest takeaway from this rotation is to always be confident in my abilities. As a recent graduate, it can be hard to feel that you know enough to meaningfully contribute, and that can keep you from living up to your potential. This engineering rotation showed me that I can be confident in my abilities, and that I can be confident even if I don't know how to do something yet. It's okay to now know every answer, especially because this team is so supportive.
Which team will you be with next and what are you most excited about?
My next rotation will be on the Customer Partnerships Team (CPT). As a Software Engineer by training, I'm excited to try something outside of my comfort zone. It's daunting to think about working in a field—sales and marketing—that I have no experience in, but I couldn't be more excited! After having a hand in building out features for Kipsu, I'm excited to learn how we market the product and what users of Kipsu are really looking for.
What advice do you have to those considering applying for the ELRP?
As I said earlier, be confident in not knowing everything. In my four months here at Kipsu, I've learned almost as much as I did in my four years of college. This is a fast-paced environment and new projects/ideas/tools are always moving through the pipeline. You'll need to be content switching and learning constantly, but that's made easy with how supportive the team at Kipsu is. This is a really exciting place to work!