Sheedy Interns Develop New App to Bring Meaning to the Workplace

Author: Scott Howland

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When Caitlin Jette walked into the first meeting for her summer internship last April, she “knew nothing about The Working Life or its mission,” she said. But she had friends who had taken courses with Professors Paul Blaschko, Megan Levis, and Walter Scheirer, who were coordinating the internship program, and she was eager to gain entrepreneurial experience.

“I always wanted to work on a startup before I left school or shortly after,” she said.  The Working Life app felt like the perfect opportunity.

The app is for anyone looking to "heal their relationship with the modern workplace," the group's mission states. It is for people seeking something new – something more substantive than the kind of inspirational quotes they might find on Instagram or even the water cooler talk they might enjoy with their coworkers. 

“I thought it was an idea that could really resonate with college students and beyond,” Jette said.

Jette was one of four students from the Sheedy Family Program to intern with the Working Life for eight weeks over the summer.  The students worked with industry professionals to build the app’s dashboard, develop news and video content, and gather market research that will vitally shape the app’s design. Parker Geary, Ian Oh, and Iverson Sun also spent their summer working on the app’s development.

The interns were challenged to learn new skills that would make them more marketable for future job or internship opportunities. Jette, for example,  learned to use Adobe Suite to develop the Working Life logo and branding. She was also introduced to the programming language Bubble, which helped her build the Working Life website. 

“I feel hugely fortunate to be able to walk away from this summer possessing these new skills,” she said.

The app is part of a start-up that is in the early stages of incorporation. It will soon launch to prospective test users, Iverson Sun said – an important stage for a project of this kind. 

“Not only will this be a test of The Working Life’s systems, but will also gauge the quality of work that we interns have done as well as the feasibility of this project in the long run.”

The Sheedy interns worked with the leaders of the Ethics at Work project, Paul Blaschko, Megan Levis, and Walter Scheirer, as well as Ryan Kreager of the IDEA Center and Sam Sorich of “Glass Darkly Films.” 

“So often we just assume students know how to work on a team,” Blaschko said.  “But that’s a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. The student interns rose to the occasion and exceeded all our expectations.”