Everyone familiar with MyTennisLessons.com will have an idea of how creative, inventive and innovative the people behind the business are. They aren’t just passionate about tennis, but all aspects of what they do on a day to day basis as well.
If you don’t know however, you will after reading the next few paragraphs. For me personally, this has been a unique experience working with, getting to know, and becoming friends with every single person on the MTL team.
It all started back in September when I met the two founders, Andrew and Jesse, at a career fair here in Austin, Texas. Being a tennis player myself and interested in all things tennis, it quickly became clear to me that there wasn’t another company in Austin I’d rather work for. After meeting with both of them a couple of times and getting introduced to the rest of the team, my six month internship with MTL was made official. Even though I was unclear what my specific role would be three months prior to the internship starting, I knew that I was very lucky to land such an opportunity. Even though they had a general ideas of what I would be doing, a lot can change over the course of three months, especially for a rapidly rapidly evolving start-up company (That’s one thing I learned working for a start-up for the first time).
While I was wondering what it would be like working with a bunch of guys (it wasn’t too bad 😉 ) I was very much looking forward to taking on new tasks and responsibilities and contribute in any way that I could.
The first day came and, honestly, I was quite nervous. Here I was, a German native, starting work for a company in the United States for the first time. I quickly realized however, that there was no need to be so on edge. The whole team was very welcoming and made my first working day incredibly easy.
I started off with a little project that included calling tennis instructors and introducing them to our service. I was intimidated at first, but it definitely got better after the first few phone calls. To be honest, in the end I actually enjoyed talking to prospective instructors. John, MTL’s Communications expert, who’s also in charge of the fabulous MTL Blog (even before I started working, I already loved reading the blog posts), gave me the opportunity to contribute to the blog as well.
Writing content as well as taking over the MTL Social Media Outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, quickly became my main tasks. I can’t even describe how much I enjoyed doing it for the last 6 months. I am so grateful that John, and actually everybody on the team, supported me in everything I did. They gave me the space to be creative, develop my own ideas, and also follow through with them. They let me do what I love to do the most, which is engaging with other tennis enthusiasts.
Throughout my time at MTL I had fun coming up with all different kinds of content. Whether writing more serious posts ( “10 Reasons You Should Get Out and Volunteer”), as well as more humorous and light hearted ones (“5 Reasons You Should Date a Tennis Player”/ “7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Date a Tennis Player”) I was able to reach out to a previously untapped customer base. I gained so much experience over the last 6 months and learned so much from every single coworker (you guys just rock!!) and I am so grateful to take all those experiences back home with me. 🙂
For me, it was so impressive to see what this small and young team accomplished and how well they worked together. Everybody knows their role in the company and works independently, but on the other hand they are also very supportive and collaborative.
Joining this team, and actually feeling like a part of what they were building wasn’t difficult at all, especially considering how welcomed I felt outside of business hours as well. Whether it was getting the whole MTL team out on the tennis court, or having an afternoon golf session (it was the first time I had a golf club in my hands!), it brought the team closer together and made the MTL work environment genuinely unique.
Also, I was glad I was able to introduce the team to some German things as well. Even though it may have just been German chocolate and other candy it was great way to let them into my home country as well. Speaking of Germany and the United States, the World Cup has had a huge impact on our company as well. Being surrounded by true American soccer fans, I literally became one too. How can you not be when you get an American jersey with your name on it, you automatically feel as part of #TeamUSA. (at heart I might still be German though. ;-)) Andre Agassi described it as #HappyHome, and the MTL home definitely was happy, too. I’m just glad both teams advanced.
All in all, being abroad in a different country for a whole year taught me a lot of things. How to step out of your comfort zone. Facing and meeting any kind of challenges head on. Just being outgoing and accepting when it came to anything new. But most of all, spending time with the MTL team, watching us succeed, inspired me. I am very proud to have gotten the opportunity to be part of this team for the last six months. I can’t wait to see them growing over the next months and even years to come! #GoMTL