Workden is a startup that partners with local restaurants and businesses that are underutilized during the day by bringing in remote workers to utilize available space. Essentially, Workden is a matchmaker between vacant spaces and remote workers.
Level UP students have laid the foundation for continued growth at Workden in what’s been a truly invaluable partnership. Workden Co-Founder and CEO, Steven Regimbal, partnered with one such student, Sammy Yin, to help with market research and analysis for the businesses’ potential foray into Latin American markets.
A student at the University of Toronto specializing in Accounting, Sammy was exposed to various facets of business by working on this project. Sammy, who is fluent in Spanish, researched Latin American cities and demographics. She then provided recommendations to the Workden executive team regarding entry into the Latin American market to start operations. Workden was stacking research to plan for future growth, and Sammy was an integral part of that foundation for the company’s future.
This project piqued Sammy’s interest in market research, and she started making connections between what she was learning about business at the university and what she was experiencing hands-on.
“I found the applicability of concepts that you learn in university can also be used in the workplace,” Sammy shared.
Between LinkedIn group chats, Facebook Messenger, weekly group meetings, and 1:1 Google meets, strong communication channels held students accountable and gave them clear guidance and support on exactly what they needed to be doing, while also allowing room for creative out-of-the-box thinking.
“It was a great supportive experience,” Sammy said.
Sammy’s and other Level UP Students’ work on this project has been game-changing for Workden.
“Our business at one point was run by a lot of the Level UP students. We were heavily reliant on these students for a lot of these tasks because we chose to empower them,” Steven said.
“We were able to see the business differently knowing we had an extremely talented army of young minds to help us execute and build out those plans. It really helped us reshape how the business looks,” Steven further explained.
Steven was blown away by the project outcomes from Sammy and other Level UP students.
“With their help, we were able to stockpile research in preparation for growth. We have been able to map a growth plan for the next 24 months thanks to the projects completed by Level UP students.”
Working alongside Workden executives helped Sammy identify what she wanted from her career. During her time at the startup, she expanded both her business and soft skills which will prepare her for future opportunities.
“I love working with startups because they give you the responsibility and they validate all your skills. They trust you and they trust you will do a good job. That’s one thing I really find encouraging,” Sammy shared.
Steven shared the same sentiment.
“I feel students felt like they made a difference. I think they did what they did, but were coached and exposed to the big picture. It was a balance of staying in your lane and focusing on your role, but also being exposed to different verticals and different elements of business.”
There’s no denying that Workden is on the path to expansive growth, and they hope to share that journey with future Level UP students.
“We have a very clear road map for the company and the next round of students will be very involved. They will be able to see a lot of tangible results of their efforts which is really cool,” Steven said. “I love the Level UP program. These students are the engine that’s moving us forward. I would love to hire them all if we were in a position to do so.”
Sammy is grateful to have participated in Workden’s market research and analysis project. The experience exposed her to so many facets of startup culture and helped her get more in tune with soft skills, which is invaluable in today’s workforce.
“I would definitely recommend this environment to other students because they get hands-on experience, especially working with startups.”
Thank you to Sammy Yin for sharing her experience on Riipen. To learn more about how you can get started with the Level UP remote internship program as a student or employer, visit the website here. Stay up to date with the latest in higher education, experiential learning, and the future of work, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Riipen Report.
Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.