Parcel B Fellowship
Overview

The Parcel B Fellowship is intended to help Olin students learn more about technology startups through programming tailored to Olin's learning style alongside an actual internship in Silicon Valley. This program supports our mission by better preparing students to become startup interns, and one day - employees and founders.

 

The program draws inspiration from Stanford's Mayfield Fellowship program and Olin professor Rob Martello, and material from Y Combinator's Startup School as well as blog posts and book excerpts from accomplished technologists, entrepreneurs and investors like Ben Horowitz, Paul Graham, Sheryl Sandburg, Joel Spolsky, and Keith Rabois.

This year is almost like the Olin Partner Year. We're testing out the idea, looking for bugs, and of course, gathering feedback. Any Olin student intern or recent graduate can be in the Fellowship as long as they can attend all the events in San Francisco in person.

 

We hope that outcomes include: a greater knowledge of how startups work, a strong and long-lasting network with the Olin alumni community, an understanding of whether working at or founding a startup is right for you, and hopefully a greater ability to achieve those goals and make smart career decisions.

Schedule & Syllabus

June 06, 2018

Opening Event - Welcome Dinner

Meet the other fellows over dinner.

June 12, 2019

Campfire: Starting From Zero

Fellows attend the June Campfire talk series on starting something from nothing. Panelists include Olin alumni: Maia Bittner '11 of Pinch and Rocksbox Zach Brock '07 of Common Networks, and Adam Bry '08 of Skydio.

June 20, 2018

Fellowship Discussion 1: Startup 101

What do we mean when we talk about a startup? What purpose do they serve in the tech ecosystem and in the economy broadly? What are the different kinds of things people call "startups" - from a couple cofounders and a dream to multi-billion dollar tech giants - and what are the differences? Who should start a startup? To answer these questions, we have a lecture from Paul Graham and readings from Peter Thiel's "Zero to One" and some blog posts by Sam Altman. Also introducing the concepts of runway (default alive vs. default dead) and venture funding.

June 27, 2018

Fellowship Discussion 2: How to Be a Good Early Startup Employee

We discuss Keith Rabois' lessons on how to be a great operator, and wisdom from Ben Horowitz's book "T he Hard Thing About Hard Things," which cover common pitfalls of smart employees at startups. Kim Scott covers lessons learned from Sheryl Sandburg on radical candor, and we cover issues of diversity from Sandburg's book, "Lean In."

July 04, 2018

(Optional) July 4th Party

San Francisco has a lot to do on Independence Day. We'll find a venue for a traditional outdoor barbecue, but warn the Fellows, it can be freezing in San Francisco in July!

July 11, 2018

Fellowship Discussion 3: Growth

Growth is the only priority of a startup that has found a product people want. Selected reading explains why this is true (Peter Thiel, Joel Spolsky), and how startups should think about growth differently than big companies (Paul Graham). We also cover common startup revenue models (Christoph Janz), and some insights from prolific growth expert Brian Balfour and VP of Growth Marketing at Facebook, Alex Schultz.

July 18, 2018

Fellowship Discussion 4: Trends in Technology Sector

It's impossible to talk about trends in the technology sector without referencing Mary Meeker's annual Internet Trends Report. We'll follow that up with a thorough blog post by Vinod Khosla on where the industry is headed. Fellows will gain exposure to the broad sets of problems that remain unsolved, both in business and in technology.

July 25, 2018

Campfire: Starting from One

​Fellows attend the July Campfire talk series on growing something into a large something. Panelists include Olin alumni who have started companies now doing many millions of dollars in revenue or who worked on the growth teams at some of the fastest growing companies in history (TBD).

August 01, 2018

Fellowship Discussion 5: Joining a Startup

There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to finding a company to work for, either as an intern or a full-time employee. Readings by Naval Ravikant and Andrew Chen on finding purpose in your career, and Jensen Harris on his experience contrasting big companies to startups. Sam Altman and Joel Spolsky on hiring an interviewing so Fellows can see what the other side of the table is looking for, and a closing article on negotiation by Michelle Wetzler. A final activity for Fellows will be to use some of the things they've learned to find leads on startups they may want to work for in the future.

August 08, 2018

Closing Event

The last event is a networking event involving all the Fellows, the Bay Area Olin Community, and outside guests looking to meet the Fellows.

August 15, 2018

Campfire: Fellowship Experiences

With two weeks before Olin move-in day, any Fellows left in the Bay Area will be invited to present to the Olin community about their internships at a special Campfire. We bid them farewell and hope to see them in the Bay Area again soon.

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