Spotlight Intern Edition: Hannah Van

by Hfbtech

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Getting to know operations intern Hannah Van, who does more than stock the pantry!


Q: What do you study?

A: Urban Studies at Brown University

Q: How did you arrive at Urban Studies? 

A: I went through a bunch of majors, including computer science, psychology, economics, and english, and still hadn’t found something I liked enough. By the time we had to declare during 2nd semester of sophomore year, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in. My friend told me that she had a friend that hated everything and was doing urban studies, so I tried that and ended up loving it.

Q: What interested you about RapidSOS?

A: They are designing technology that fills a gap I didn’t even know existed until I started researching the company. From an urban studies standpoint, living in a city means your home isn’t limited to your apartment or house, so when you call 9-1-1 you’re likely on a smartphone. With Haven, 9-1-1 can find you wherever you are in the city. (Shameless plug)

Q: How does this internship compare to your past ones? 

A: It’s very different. I worked at a teen celebrity magazine where each day was basically the same type of work, like putting together photo galleries and scheduling social media. And then I worked at a law firm which was almost the opposite, very corporate, and all of my work entailed putting together a research project. Being on the operations team here has given me a behind the scenes look at managing a company, from hiring to working with vendors, and every day is different.

Q: What is the best thing about your job here?

A: In addition to working with really energetic and talented people, I like that some of my assignments are things I would do on my own for fun, like sourcing good restaurants and planning events. Looking for a new office space has been exciting too, and I’ve learned a lot about the New York City real estate market. 

Q: Your reputation as office Yelp queen precedes you…What’s been your favorite restaurant in the city this summer?

A: Noshborough in Astoria. It’s relatively new, and they do a lot of fusion food. My favorite is the Waffco, a waffle-wrapped taco with brisket, daikon, and carrots. (Nihar: “Daikon? I had taco bell for dinner last night.”) I would give it 4 stars- it’s a really low key place, and you don’t have to fight for space.

Q: What do you do during your free time? 

A: I like biking, exploring wherever I am, so it’s nice being in New York and being able to do that. And I’ve been listening to a great podcast called 99% Invisible by Roman Mars.