By: Stephanie Scott
Photo: Deniece Griffin
Kendall Glynn is an energetic and charismatic Journalism student at Georgia State expecting to graduate in Summer 2019. By coincidence, or fate, he landed an internship that wasn’t in his field of study, but aligns perfectly with his aspirations of being a sports journalist.
“It’s not just to get your foot in the door; the point of an internship is for you to be in the room and know that you belong.”
How did you hear about Students2Startups?
I applied for an internship with a company, then they contacted me and told me it was unpaid. I declined the offer. The same company called a week later and said they were applying to the Students2Startups program to be able to employ a paid intern. They told me to apply directly as a student looking for an internship, so that they would be able to hire me through the program backed by Invest Atlanta. I submitted the Students2Startup application and was approved.
What is Rented.com?
Rented.com is in the vacation rental industry and when people hear that they think Airbnb, Homeaway, or other similar platforms. They think we’re competing with Airbnb, but we’re not. Rented.com pairs homeowners with property managers who handle everything when it comes to renting out vacation homes. Instead of homeowners being the ones listing their properties on websites and being the one to give renters the keys and do all the work — we manage the entire process. Rented.com recently established Rented Capital. Which, is the investment side of it. We help property owners to appraise their homes and guarantee them a certain amount of money monthly for short-term rentals. If it doesn’t rent for that amount, it’s on us. We want to mitigate as much risk as possible for homeowners.
Why was it important that you be paid as an intern?
If you are going to work, get paid. If you don’t have the financial support to not get paid while you’re working, then you’re forced to eliminate that internship altogether. You have to be fortunate enough to have parents who can provide for your livelihood. For a lot of students, our parents can’t afford that. I had to turn down that initial unpaid internship because I couldn’t afford to not get paid for working 40 hours a week.
If you’re someone who comes from a family who has generational wealth or your parents just make enough to be able to pay your way, an unpaid internship can get your foot in the door. But, not everyone can do that. For the rest of us, when we work, need to get paid because we are not only working to get our foot in the door, but we’re working to feed ourselves so we can walk through the door the next day. If someone was to ever say, “you don’t want to work unpaid, you don’t want it enough,” they are ignoring millions of factors that are different in some students’ lives.
For students who feel they’re under qualified or are still taking unpaid internships, how do you have the confidence to go after paid internships?
There was a good year between my first unpaid internship and the paid internship I’m doing now. It felt like the only option was to take an unpaid internship in my field, or take a paid internship doing something I was not interested in. So I created my own option #3, which was to spend my time cultivating skills that would help me move towards the direction I’d like to go in my career. The skills that I taught myself are the very skills that helped me get the internship I have today. I created my own website and taught myself how to make podcasts. My boss at Rented.com was excited to find out that I knew how to podcast because he wants to do podcasts for Rented.com. I had those skills, so I bring something useful to the company. That’s why I had the confidence to take on this internship. I know that I bring something valuable to the team.
Just start somewhere and teach yourself skills you’d like to acquire. The more you do that, the more confident you’re going to get. When you’re in an internship or job, and the room is full of people that are older and more experienced, you’ll know that you have been molding yourself into what you want to be as a young professional and you’re just as valuable as anyone else in the room. That’s the point of an internship. It’s not just to get your foot in the door; the point of an internship is for you to be in the room and know that you belong.
What do you do as an intern with Rented.com?
I’m a content marketing intern. Which, means I handle all the content we put out into the world. I work on the content that goes on the website, the blog, and social media platforms. I’m responsible for some of the company’s public relations too. For example, I’ll pitch to reporters to write stories about Rented.com. I also copywrite and edit articles from contributors as well. I’m going to be interviewing the property owners and property managers of Rented.com to go on our YouTube channel, and then there’s my favorite part, the podcast. I’ll be hosting the podcast and scheduling the podcast segments.
What have you learned from your internship?
I’ve learned that being out of your comfort zone is good. I never thought in a million years that I’d work at a finance and tech real estate company, while I know this isn’t an industry I want to be in for the rest of my life, it is somewhere that I can function and contribute. I know if I can contribute here, of all places, I can contribute anywhere. There’s always something you can do. You have to value your skills and when you value yourself enough, the right company is going to value you too.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you and do you have any entrepreneurial goals of your own?
Entrepreneurship is any endeavor where you risk something in order to create something for yourself. I spent a lot of time teaching myself skills so that I could pitch myself as a good investment to companies. In that way, I’m an entrepreneur. I do have entrepreneurial aspirations because the dream for me is to have my own entertainment sports medium one day.