Dr. Katharine Brooks, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900
Summer 2011 Site ReviewsPosition: Development Intern
Student: Government Senior
A day in the life at Mass Relevance at first glance is that of a typical early stage startup. Everyone, including the CEO, sits at desks in one room in front of shiny new MacBook Airs. The conference rooms that surround the work area might be filled with salesmen making calls or engineers chalking up new products on a white board. A couple of people might be competing in the weekly Wii Tennis tournament or brainstorming on the couch with beers. However Mass Relevance is more than just an early stage startup.
Two software engineers created the company as a side project to their day jobs. Their idea was to create a platform to take the vast amounts of social media content and filter it for relevant content that is valuable to other companies. After meeting the of former CMO of Bazaarvoice and now CEO of Mass Relevance, the three were able to raise venture capital from several prestigious people and firms such as Mike Maples and Austin Ventures in December 2010. The company is now the go to company for brands and media companies that want to display social media content on TV and for realtime events. The company’s customers include MTV, ABC, NBC, and The New York Times.
As a software engineering intern over the last nine months at Mass Relevance, I have been able to work on a variety of really cool projects. I built the website and visualizations for Twitter when it hosted a town hall with President Obama. My work was featured in a picture on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. I helped scale the platform for high traffic events such as widget that was hosted on ABC News homepage for its special coverage of the Royal Wedding. I added natural language processing algorithms to the platform to enhance the curation of input data.
Along with the great projects, another cool aspect of working at Mass Relevance is the experience of working at a startup. It’s a small team, so everyone's input is important. My ideas have made it into the company’s product. Everyone is very passionate about what they do but also takes time to have fun. It is very important to the founders to have a great culture. The last Friday of every month, or Fantasy Friday as it is called, the company plans fun activities for everyone to do. This last month we went bowling, and the previous month we got BBQ and hung out at someone’s pool.
The experience at Mass Relevance has been great. It is a great company and is in a really exciting position for growth. If anyone else has a chance to work at the company, I would encourage it. They also buy everyone including interns a new MacBook Air for them to keep.