When I decided I wanted to apply to the Interintellect community, I didn’t expect to be accepted. I’m a 21-year-old college student with little real-world experience, and I didn’t feel I had much to add to a group of individuals who were much further ahead in their journey to self-actualization than I was. But my interest had been piqued by the chatter happening on Twitter and, in typical Igor fashion, I decided to try my luck by reaching out directly.
If I was accepted, I thought that I was going to be a demographic anomaly in the community. Thus, my chosen outreach strategy was to embrace this anomalous quality in my email. Authenticity has served me very well since my transition out of high-school image construction/maintenance/repair into becoming more comfortable with who I truly am (or think I am right now).
The subject line of the email I sent Anna [Gát, the founder] in mid-February reads: “Slack Join Request (not traditional)”.
I mentioned in my email that I felt starved for genuine, good faith intellectual discussion on my college campus. I felt I had become used to being shut down in the classroom at USC — but I found myself in the very opposite situation upon joining Interintellect.
When I joined the Interintellect, I had never worked with a mentor who was as dedicated to helping me succeed as Andy is. Having him in my corner makes me that much more confident that I will get where I want to go.
The Interintellect community couldn’t care less what hereditary qualities you possess. Valued much higher is the quality of your thought, and your willingness to discuss ideas on the merit of the ideas themselves. The Interintellect has the highest signal-noise ratio of any online community I have ever involved myself with. I would argue that it is harder to log in to the community’s online forum and not learn something than it would be to come away completely intellectually refreshed.
While the discussion of abstract ideas has been a wonderful outlet for me, and a much-needed respite for my local friends, it is not the most valuable thing I have gotten out of Interintellect: I was delighted one day when I saw that Anna had added a channel to the forum titled Mentorship. “Aha!,” I said to myself.
I joined the Interintellect just after I had decided that the world of technology entrepreneurship was to be my next adventure. I knew I needed to break into the industry and find out what different roles my talent stack was suited for, but I was a complete outsider. From what I had read online, ‘Product Manager’ sounded cool. “I think I’m probably a leader, and I like working in teams,” I said to myself.
The Interintellect has the highest signal-noise ratio of any online community I have ever involved myself with.
In the Mentorship channel, I met Andy McIntosh, who also lives around L.A., and at that point my life changed completely. Andy is a top product manager at Veritone, and exactly the person I needed to learn from. Andy started to help me clarify exactly what my goals were, and he built me a list of companies to start reaching out to for internships.
During the process of outreach and interviewing, Andy helped me every step of the way. This included helping me write templates for the emails I was sending, 1-pagers, interview strategy and much, much more.
In the end, I got to secure an internship with L.A.-based VC and startup studio Science Inc!
I have been spending the last month working on the founding teams of multiple startups and I feel as if I have finally discovered the craft which intrinsically motivates me, which I love doing simply for the sake of doing it. Before Science, I motivated myself through fantasizing about what the future could hold should I find success. Now, I am motivated by the work I do every single day.
Paying it forward
When I joined the Interintellect, I had never worked with a mentor who was as dedicated to helping me succeed as Andy is. Having him in my corner makes me that much more confident that I will get where I want to go. Interintellect has completely redefined what I understand mentorship to be, and I hope to one day provide the kind of value back to someone else just like Andy has to me.
I am so incredibly thankful to Andy, Anna and the Interintellect community. Finding my love for entrepreneurship has been absolutely world-shaking for me, in the most positive way. I am currently one of the youngest members of the community, but I imagine that won’t last for long — I hope to see the cohort of members in my age demographic grow over the next year.
If anything about my story resonates with you, I encourage you to apply to join us. We welcome all new members with open arms.