Overview of students experience with the StEP program including how the student found StEP, mentorship & internship experience and take-aways.


Company: ClearSky Data

Position: Sales/Marketing Intern

Internship Duration: 5 months

Paid Y/N: Yes

Finding StEP

My name is Brooke Haley, and I am currently a sophomore at UMass Boston, majoring in Management. In my freshman year I took a course called Connected Scholars, focusing on how to build professional networks, manage LinkedIn profiles, conduct meaningful conversations with potential employers/mentors, etc. At the end of the semester the course culminates with a networking event that hosts on campus resources, and each student from each section invites a mentor. During this event I met Aijan Isakova – Program Manager at the Venture Development Center (VDC) – who then introduced me to StEP. From there I went to a panel that the VDC was hosting to explain the program and introduce potential program mentors. Following the event, I applied and got in contact with Dan Phillips, StEP founder, to establish if I was a fit for the program via a phone call.

Mentorship Experience: 

Dan through his many connections and past experiences  in tech start-ups referred me to an internship opportunity at ClearSky Data that I could apply for. ClearSky Data is a tech start-up in South Boston that redesigns  cloud storage and eliminates unnecessary steps and fees for companies with large data sets. Following the phone call with Dan, I got paired with my mentors – Michelle and Gaberiella – who are currently working at VMware.  First, we tailored my resume and revised cover letter for the internship position I was applying for. Then we conducted mock interviews to prepare me for the first interview. After the first interview with ClearSky Data, we met and discussed next steps for the second interview. Following the second interview I got the internship!

My mentors gave advice and thoroughly answered any questions I had. They provided a lot of clarity and eased the application and interview process because I was prepared. Without my mentors’ guidance and advice, I do not think I would have gotten the internship due to my lack of knowledge and preparedness.

Internship Experience: 

During my internship at ClearSky Data I worked with both the sales and marketing teams. I assisted the BDR’s (business development representative) to create and maintain customer profiles in Salesforce, using Discover and LinkedIn sales navigator. Also, I created lead lists based on our ICP (ideal customer profile) and demographics (where are we having success and where are we not), instilling better BDR practices based on calls, emails and closing rates. I also created an email nurture stream that introduced new marketing approach in terms of wording and structure and hosted events for customers at ClearSky Data, f.e the customer advisory board, and coordinated events for the sales teams across the US.


I got to work with people who valued an intern and saw an opportunity to teach me. My experience within a start-up taught me how to work with a team and coordinate events and meetings, improved my time management and communication skills, and introduced me to the world of innovation, technology and start-ups. The list truly goes on because you get to be a part of every aspect of the company and are trusted with projects that have an impact on the team and the company in its entirety.