• Todd Petrella

When Something Needs To Be Done, Call Max

For our second intern showcase, we are going to focus on Max Sewell. Max's official title at UP Cycle Design is general intern, but I don't think that does him a lot of justice for the amount of effort he puts in and value he creates.


Max, like most of us at UP Cycle, is a University of Delaware student, majoring in entrepreneurship and minoring in advertising. He also interns at another start up run by a UD student, Oh So Cycle (and it took me writing this to realize the similarity between our company names). Max does a lot for us; some of his contributions include writing opening and closing statements for pitches, helping out with financials, designing a marketing strategy and SWOT analysis, and planting the seed for LLC status. Pretty much, Max tries to help out wherever he can in order to make UP Cycle Design a successful organization. The way I see it, if you need something done and done well, Max is your guy. Read on to learn more about him.

Why did you want to intern at UP Cycle Design?

Max: I wanted to intern here because I didn't really know exactly what Sierra was doing but I knew it was something important. And I learned that UP Cycle is a way, it's a company that's trying to use these recyclable fabrics and materials, and eventually this has evolved into helping nonprofits. And that's what originally attracted me was this idea of fabrics are being turned into 100% upcycled products.

What’s been your favorite part of working with UP Cycle Design so far?

M: It's probably being able to go outside my role. I'm not stuck with one role, like, if I was a marketer at another company, I'd probably be stuck doing only marketing. I like being a liaison and having hands on in everything.

In what ways do you most hope to create value as an UP Cycle Design intern?

M: Like I said earlier, I help out wherever I can. One of the things I want to help out with next is helping Michelle make T-shirts. You can make a lot of impact with T-shirts, even if it's a slow build-up. If we were to have T-shirts to support our non-profit partners, everybody's winning.

What's been the most valuable thing you’ve learned from your internship up until this point?

M: Learning how everything works in the background, learning about logistics, etc. Also, you can create a small business if you want to, its easier than one might think. At what point do you realize your current job is killing you and you don't want to work there anymore? It's not that difficult to start a small business.

What are your personal goals for the company?

M: More sales, more community involvement, like how can we [UP Cycle and the community] work together to help each other? I'd like to build from there. Also, more teamwork between everybody, more integration of UP Cycle and Level UP, like access to Level UP to hear ideas about sustainability and vice versa.

What advice would you give to someone looking to intern at a startup?

M: Make sure you learn about the company. Make sure you have SWOT analysis. Make sure you analyze your roles, how to fit in, how can you provide value to increase sales and expand the company. That's all stuff you can use in an interview or resume.

How would you describe our company culture?

M: We are environmentally-focused college students that work well together and we donate to non-profits. *laughs* I'm not too good at describing culture.

If you could make a change to your internship, what would it be?

M: I'm not entirely sure. I would like to get paid at some point because that way I can continue to provide value and more contributions for the company.

What do you think has been the most impactful part of your experience so far?

M: Most of the things I've done. Helping with the pitches, helping make the company become and LLC, the SWOT analysis. Pretty much anything I can do to help Sierra in a meaningful way.


And with that I called Max the "Patron Saint of Helpers." Max has helped UP Cycle Design get off the ground and make strides. I know that while he's here, he will continue to help the company grow, expand, and provide meaningful value. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Max a little bit. Thanks for reading!


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