YouthHack Fellowship Program: Spend Your Summer Interning At A Start-Up!

Betina: Hi Readers! If you’re interested in interning with a start-up this summer, then this one’s for you! 🙂

I’m a core team member of YouthHack Manila, a really cool org that is all about empowering the youth through technology and entrepreneurship. I get to work with a really wonderful and diverse group of students who are from different schools. YouthHack’s Fellowship Program is one of the major projects I’m working on this year. Essentially, the Fellowship program is an internship program, which pairs students with summer internships at start-ups! (yay!)

For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of FAQs and links below to answer and any questions you might have about the program. Everything is taken from the YouthHack website and the YouthHack facebook page (with my occasional commentary and clarifications)!

What is YouthHack?

YouthHack is an organization that was started back in June 2014 with the goal of helping high school students learn more about technology and entrepreneurship. YouthHack started out as a two-­day technopreneurship challenge event in Manila, Philippines where students got a chance to listen to actual entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. With the help of ideation, prototyping and pitching workshops, students also got a chance to showcase their ideas to a panel of judges.


(Betina: If you’d like to check it out, YouthHack Startup Challenge 2016 is accepting entries until March 23! – Applications are open for high school and college students!)  

A lot of students in under served communities and developing countries aren’t given the opportunities to explore the fields of technology and entrepreneurship. We aim to help students develop their critical thinking skills and equip them with both a soft and technical skill set that will allow the them to thrive in the 21st century workforce, while using their skills to solve problems in their community.


(Betina: This picture was taken at YouthHack Code Weekend 2016, another one of our many events)

We hope to bring bright young minds together and give them a support system and network that will help them as they pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavors. We hope to build the ecosystem in these areas by providing these students with real world experiences, seasoned mentors and a vibrant entrepreneurial community. We’re composed of youth leaders, hackers, designers, programmers, writers, film­makers, hustlers and changemakers. Over the past 2 years, we’ve expanded to hold events and programs in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Philadelphia.

(Betina: Just for clarification, YouthHack is not affiliated with any one school in Manila. We take in high school and college students to be part of the team and our events are usually open to all students – Like our FB page to stay tuned for any events or programs that might interest you!)

What is the YouthHack Fellowship?

The YouthHack Fellowship program pairs talented students with startup companies for an 8-12 week internship program. If accepted into the program, you will get the chance to work closely with the startup community of your area, enjoy great YouthHack perks, and meet some of the coolest and brightest individuals.

(Betina: I’m always asked ‘Why is it called a fellowship instead of an internship program?’ Truth be told, I’m not sure. My guess is that ‘fellowship’ sounds more collaborative than ‘internship’ does and implies greater learning opportunity than just getting coffee and photocopying.

*Edit: Turns out, it’s based on this Silicon Valley program. )

Why Intern?

YouthHack believes in giving the youth the opportunity to turn their ideas into realities. Along with this, there’s no better way to learn how to start a company or build actual products then by working for startup companies. By interning at a startup, you get a chance to contribute to the actual process of building the product, and playing a big part in the growth of a company.

(Betina: The Border Collective is essentially a love letter about how much we love interning, so clearly I’m really a big believer in the value of internships. Startups in particular are such a great learning space because the learning curve is so steep that you’re guaranteed to learn a lot in a very short span of time.)

How does it work?

The first step is to fill in the applications. Then based on your application the YouthHack Internship team matches you with a startup based on your interest, skills and experience. You then also become part of the YouthHack Community, and you get a chance to network with other YouthHackers doing the internship program.

(Betina: So what are you waiting for? If you’re driven, willing to learn on the fly, and interested in spending your summer immersed in the Manila startup culture, then apply now!!)

How do I apply?

Applications for YouthHack Manila Fellowship Program 2016 are still open until March 5, 2016! Just fill out a short form: and send in your resume to

Hear from 2015’s pioneer batch of YouthHack Fellows!

YouthHack asked the pioneer batch of YouthHack fellows to talk about working with some of the country’s top startups. Here what one fellow wrote!

(Betina: Click here to see what some of the other YouthHack fellows wrote on the YouthHack blog!)

Alex Agcaoili’s 3 Reasons to Intern at a Startup :

Alexandra Agcaoili, mClinica’s summer intern (B: who happens to be an ADMU freshman and a good friend!), discusses why students should think about adding an internship to their summer bucket list:


Alex: We often find ourselves with a dilemma at the start of summer – what to do with the three months of free time we suddenly have in our hands. It can be overwhelming to think of how to possibly maximize that time. With an extra long five-month summer this year (thanks to the K-12 shift in curriculum), I had to find a way to make the most out of it.

Thanks to YouthHack Philippines, I found myself interning at a startup called mClinica at Bonifacio Global City this June. Although it might seem like a big sacrifice to take a two-hour drive (Katipunan to Taguig during rush hour) to spend 8 hours on unpaid work, the experience as a whole was worth every minute and more.

(B: For reference, mClinica is a tech startup ready to revolutionize how we see medicine!)

I’m currently on my 3rd week of internship, and based on my initial hesitations, I’ve come up with three main reasons any student should consider taking up an internship, especially at a startup.

  1. You get to meet great people.

Fear: Awkwardness. Student interns are usually the youngest among all the people in an office, and might not be able to relate to the others working in the office.

The idea of being the youngest at an office might be intimidating for a lot of people. Luckily, the team at mClinica consisted of some of the most welcoming, and fun people I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with. I didn’t feel awkward at all being “the new kid,” since they always made an effort to actively include me – nor did I feel like just an intern. I was treated like an equal that happened to be new to the team, with whom they were excited to work.

The great thing about startups here is that they’re very small – there were only less than 10 of us at the mClinica office! This meant that everyone was able to talk to everyone else, and it was clear how bonded the team was – eventually, I bonded with them as well.

A whole lot of what I learned during my internship came from my conversations with officemates, all of whom had lots of experience and advice to share.

  1. You learn how a business works.

Fear: Would an intern really receive enough hands-on experience to learn about businesses?

If you want to learn the way businesses are started, then startups are the best place to do so. A startup is basically what it sounds like – a company that’s just starting out. While that might seem a bit boring or plain to some, it provides a closer look at the intricacies of building the foundation of a company.

At mClinica, I learned how contacts are drafted, how clients are secured, and even how businesses expand into foreign markets. I happened to intern at a time that the business was rapidly expanding into various projects, and it was exciting to say the least.

  1. You feel fulfilled.

Fear: What if it’s… boring?

Not a lot of people believe me when I say it was genuinely fun to be sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, but it was. It the kind of learning process that involves you taking things into your own hands – which is just the way I like it. I felt productive. On the rare occasions that I would find myself frustrated with compiling all kinds of information, I found comfort in knowing that what I was doing was something truly relevant.

There are many ways to describe what mClinica aims to do. Its objectives include connecting making healthcare more affordable, providing people with health information, reminding patients about their medication, and so much more. The underlying principle beneath all this is simple – as a business, their main goal is to help people. Knowing that, and knowing that all the research I did was geared towards making a difference, nothing ever really felt boring on the job.

I will admit that initially, I was reluctant to give up all the time I would’ve been able to spend going out to the mall, taking up new hobbies, or perhaps even just lazing around at home and taking advantage of a restful pre-college summer. Now that I’ve spent a few weeks here at mClinica, however, I don’t regret my decision one bit. In fact, I find that I’m enjoying myself more and more as the work days go by.

So if you have the chance, I urge you to intern at a startup. Any startup. If you have to, seek them out. You will find that the memories, the experience, and the fulfillment are worth it.


Alex in action at mClinica! Photo courtesy of YouthHack

Betina: And there you have it! If you are a student and you have any other questions about YouthHack’s Fellowship Program, e-mail or shoot us a message on the FB page and somebody from the team will get back to you shortly!

If you’re from a startup in Manila (or anywhere else in the world really – YouthHack has an active presence in 10+countries) and would like to get in touch about being a part of our fellowship program, please e-mail David Ongchoco (YouthHack founder and CEO) at

If you’re not acquainted with The Border Collective yet, we also write a different regular series: the Internship FAQ’s where Justine and I answer your questions about interning, job hunting, resumes, and interviews! We’re already on part 8, and you can read them all here on the site. We suggest you start with Part 1 though, because there’s an actual progression with how we talk and advise.

Justine and I are a bit busy at the moment (with midterms and all), but we’ve got tons of other Intern-views coming up, the continuation of the FAQ’s, and a lot more content in the works so stay tuned through our FB page! If you have any questions about interning, you have any suggestions on how we run the blog, or you want to nominate someone to write for the Intern-view series, drop it here into our Google Form! And if you have time-pressured questions or you want to be assured your anonymity, drop it here in our!

To contact either me or Justine, email us at and! For business inquiries, email it to

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