Zach Novicoff: Titles don’t mean much

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guestpost / Wednesday

As a reminder, I invite a friend to write about their experience this summer on Wednesdays.


Hey all! My name is Zach Novicoff and I’m a rising junior at Northwestern, majoring in Economics, Philosophy, and minoring in Business. I’m from Overland Park, a suburb right outside of Kansas City (yes, on the Kansas side). This summer I’m staying in Evanston and working as an intern at the start-up “FanHome,” doing a bit of everything. FanHome is focused on creating an in-person community for E-Sports enthusiasts by hosting watch parties in commercial venues and spaces. My daily activities wildly vary, most days will start with a list of warm openings we have with investors and mentors, then will range from targeted marketing efforts to helping advance our Excel financial prediction models. Here are a couple of takeaways from my experience so far:

Just get things done

My official title is Business Analyst but given I’m an intern for a start-up, titles don’t mean much, and the expectation is to be able to undertake any task needed. Meaning that I’ll do marketing, sales, and finance before lunch, which is both great and stressful. Being able to change the task at hand quickly is a skill I’m learning how to do with more efficiency. I think its important to disregard titles entirely when helping build a business, if something needs to be done, it doesn’t matter if it’s an intern or the CEO, it gets done.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

I’ve been interested in business since I’ve been young and I’ve known I’ll end up in the business world since my first finance course at IU (I transferred after my freshman year), but it’s hard to understand just what it takes for a business to be built. We’ve spent hours walking from bar to bar, trying to convince managers to allow us to use their space. Given how long its taken us to lock down a few hours, trying to conceptualize the effort it took for Airbnb to build their current network is mind-boggling. It’s hard to understate how much grunt work goes into creating a brand from nothing and serial entrepreneurs have my utmost respect.

Thanks Zach for sharing your experience with me and the readers. Zach is one of the most easy to talk to guys I know, so I have no doubt that he’s having a lot of success in his sales efforts! I think he also brings up the idea of patience and being scrappy. Good reminders for me as I go into the meat of my internship. Thanks again!

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