By Courtney South
St. Louis has been hitting the news big lately with the focus being on the saturation of startups planting their feet in our Midwestern soil, versus heading west to San Fran or northeast for NYC.
According to FoxBusiness.com, “Arch Grant’s founder Jerry Schlichter says St. Louis is a prime candidate to become the next big startup capital. ‘There’s a real energy here to try and develop a robust entrepreneurial climate,’ says Schlichter.”
TruQC is a cloud-based job-site documentation and quality control app built for the iPad. Ross Boyd, CEO here at TruQC, and Dane McGraw, our VP of Development, both worked in the industrial coatings industry when they brought TruQC to fruition. With less than 10 employees, and having already been downloaded in 54 countries, it’s safe to say TruQC is on to something.
A little bit about my role
So, where do I come into the picture? I am the first TruQC intern. Ever. (Applause welcome).
Interning at a start-up is one of the most intriguing places to work and learn. There’s no small-fish-in-a-big-pond feel. The entire company roster is smaller than your average Catholic family, and the office looks more like your friend’s modern-style apartment rather than a stuffy boardroom.
My days are spent learning the ins and outs of what TruQC is. I am (literally) physically positioned in the office directly between the CEO and the Director of Client Services. This is conducive to me absorbing absolutely everything they discuss and think through during any given day.
Right off the bat, I began learning the great detail that goes in to an industrial painting job in order to understand how TruQC is crucial to the successful documentation of those projects. We took a drive down to the Eads Bridge where I was able to see the equipment and overall process that goes in to refurbishing such a structure. From the various layers of coating, to the different types of rust, to the number of times a U.S. Navy ship must be repainted—it was all new and unfamiliar information.
Then you have the app and coding language. Our Chief Technology Officer is based out of Colorado, so my learning process is rendered via email and Skype. If you think you know anything about coding, you are widely misguided. When I say “coding language”, I truly mean it’s a language in itself. (I should know–I was a terrible French student). After my first conversation with our CTO, I attempted to hide my befuddlement. Endless hours of data input, testing, and revising are put in to developing an app, and it’s a continuous and evolving process.
The road ahead
I’m a little over a month into my internship, and I love it as much today as I did on day one. Putting a value on a company where your ideas are heard, and where you’re treated as an equal player in the game, is impossible. Beyond that, working for a start-up holds endless possibilities. Ideas aren’t turned down—they’re thought over, discussed, and built upon. Creativity is not just embraced—it’s fostered, and dedication to the product and client is beyond evident. The mentality at TruQC is not “we can’t make that happen”, rather “let’s find a way to make it happen”.
My number one priority when looking for an internship was to find a place with an enormous amount of growth ahead, where I could grow as an individual and grow with the company simultaneously. TruQC is the lead innovator of quality control app technology in their industry, and the growth ahead has no boundaries.
To put it simply, I’m a pretty fortunate intern.