My remote field project with a FinTech startup: How I gained hands-on experience without going into the office!

By Meghna Manohar ’20, MA’21

Field projects are a great opportunity to work with fellow Brandeis International Business School students from various programs and tackle real-world business problems.

Field project teams are guided by a faculty advisor and then paired with a corporate partner in a variety of fields — anything from finance, health care, startups, environmental organizations, data analytics, marketing, nonprofits or real estate, to name a few.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my field project was much different than I expected.

pakira company logo

My field project: Pakira

Pakira is a startup FinTech company working in the physical trade commodities industry. I worked with three other International Business School students (two from the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program and one from the Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) program) and an intern from the University of Massachusetts Lowell to assist Pakira’s data monetization team. We did intense market and competitor research and created an awesome pricing model that Pakira plans to use to help price their platform.

Three new BFFs

Due to COVID-19, this whole project was done remotely. Consequently, I never got to meet anyone on my team in person. But that didn’t hamper our ability to succeed! I like to joke that we all got three  new best friends — Slack, Zoom and Google Meet.

What I learned

The Pakira team was very supportive throughout the summer. Since Pakira is a startup we had to be both flexible and agile. We held Zoom meetings twice a week to discuss our results and modified our plan accordingly. I think the skill set that I grew the most this summer was communication, whether that be with my team over Slack, with a potential Pakira client over Google Meet, or during our final presentation over Zoom.

I’ll end by giving a special shoutout to my field project team: Easmond, Jingqi, Wanyu and Yueyi. This experience was not what we expected, but I think that’s what made it so awesome!

This post originally appeared as part of Brandeis International Business School’s Student Insights series. Student Insights features blog posts and videos produced by current students and recent graduates of Brandeis International Business School. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here belong solely to the author.

By Career Strategies and Engagement (CSE)
Career Strategies and Engagement (CSE) Career Strategies and Engagement (CSE)