Saluting Our Interns Rachel Ravelo and Andrew Farley

August 8, 2012

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  STARKMAN six years ago took on an intern from Holy Cross who was so darn impressive that we decided to salute him on our company blog.  So, when another Holy Cross intern performed equally well the following year, we naturally felt obliged to give her a deserving shout out.  Our third Holy Cross knocked it out of the park, so yet another post was published.  Our fourth Holy Cross intern! well, you get the picture.

STARKMAN participates in Holy Cross’ innovative internship program under which the school’s alumni cover the costs of a stipend in exchange for a meaningful work experience. We are extremely proud of the positive reviews our interns have given us over the years, as it allows us to attract some of the university’s most promising students.  Two of our Holy Cross interns returned as full-time employees after graduation.

Participating in STARKMAN’s internship program takes considerable confidence and courage as students are following in the footsteps of individuals who raised the performance bar way beyond what we thought was reasonable to expect from rising college seniors.  There also is a certain tradition to uphold: since we launched the program, no intern has ever arrived late for work.  Given New York City’s erratic transportation infrastructure, that’s no mean feat.

Rachel was our Holy Cross intern this year, and Andrew, a University of Michigan student, came to us through someone whose extremely high professional standards are very much aligned with our own.  To say that Rachel and Andrew are incredibly determined is to grossly underestimate their drive and dedication.  Had we allowed them, on some days they probably would have insisted on working round the clock.

In addition to their incredible work ethic and their cheerful willingness to rewrite their prose multiple times, Rachel and Andrew also demonstrated that, in a time of crisis, you couldn’t ask for more loyal trench mates.   Mid-way through their internship, we experienced a brief disruption to our Internet service, and it took some time for us to be fully operational.  The situation had everyone working remotely at times, but there were occasions where someone had to go into the office. Rachel and Andrew always enthusiastically volunteered, even on one of the hottest July Saturdays ever recorded. Their productivity never waivered throughout the ordeal.

Rachel hails from San Diego, which may explain her seemingly perennial sunny disposition and her penchant for Pink Grapefruit Perrier.  But any vestiges of being laid back were lost during her relocation to the East Coast (or perhaps when as a child she was nearly attacked by a monkey in Bali).  She is always incredibly focused and alert, always willing to tackle the most difficult of assignments.  We can also vouch for Rachel’s social media instructional capabilities, as we couldn’t help overhear her teach her father how to use Twitter.  Way to go Rachel, @Holy_Cross would be proud! #ParentsOnTwitter.

Andrew is from suburban Detroit, and he maintains an endearing Midwest formality and chivalry. It took him at least two weeks to stop addressing me as Mr. Starkman, and he opted to wear impressively pressed shirts and a tie despite our summer business-casual policy.  He did Northern Michigan proud by sending us some of the region’s famous fudge during a brief hiatus to spend some time with his family.   He also took it upon himself to be responsible for changing our rather heavy water cooler bottle, which seems to be an almost daily occurrence.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the polished presentation that Rachel and Andrew jointly put together on how various businesses are using LinkedIn.  In addition to being rich with detail and analysis, their seamless interaction was impressive and underscored they are consummate team players.

We’ve come to rely heavily on Rachel and Andrew for support on a wide range of issues and projects, and like their intern predecessors, will leave a huge void when they pack up today and return to school.

Rachel, Andrew: Thanks for all the hard work, dedication, and loyalty, and best of luck in your senior year.  We will miss you  a lot!