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Biomedical engineering student Celine Wang ’25 spent the summer interning with CareYaya, a startup that matches students with elder home care needs. Wang—who helped create video content for CareYaya—spoke with Duke I&E about her experience.

Tell us about yourself. What led you to your summer internship with CareYaya?

I’ve had an interest in video production and editing as a side hobby since middle school. I first heard about CareYaya through the Handshake portal, where they had posted a listing looking for summer interns and people with video production experience. After applying and talking more with the team, I felt inspired by their work in transforming the currently flawed and inaccessible caregiving system. I was also excited knowing they were a smaller startup, because it meant I would have more freedom in exploring what I was interested in and could get involved with various aspects of the company.

What were your internship duties? Was there a typical “day in the life”?

My internship duties involved scripting, filming, producing, and delivering instructional and promotional videos for CareYaya. For a typical project, I would start with brainstorming ideas and the impact we wanted the video to have with the rest of the team. From there, I’d script and begin filming any extra footage needed, then edit and animate with Premiere Pro and After Effects. There wasn’t necessarily a routine “day in the life”—I had a flexible schedule and freedom to develop a workflow that was best for me. As CareYaya has been rapidly expanding throughout the nation, I also became more involved with research and outreach efforts in building awareness of the caregiving needs that we’re working to fulfill and the technological potentials of AI and virtual reality in the healthcare space that CareYaya has been developing.

What were your favorite parts of working at CareYaya? Were there any challenging aspects?

I really value the creative freedom I’ve had in working at CareYaya! If I had a sudden video idea or animation I wanted to try, the team was very supportive in executing those details even if it meant taking a bit longer. Video production can also be a tedious process, though—sometimes I’d spend a long time on an animation, render and export it, and then suddenly notice something wasn’t perfectly aligned the way I wanted it to be, and then have to spend time revising and reanimating.

How was your experience at a startup different than your experience may have been at a larger company?

I felt that there was a very open and welcoming environment—any ideas I had were really listened to and felt like they had an impact, even if they weren’t related to video production. At a larger company, I may not have had the chance to be involved with a lot of different aspects of CareYaya outside of what my internship was originally listed for. I also had the opportunity to connect and network with people involved with every aspect of the company and discuss personal career goals beyond my time at CareYaya.

Did your internship affect your thinking regarding your academic or career goals?

I’m grateful to have spent time doing video production in a more professional sense. It was valuable for me to explore and also consider how skills I normally just considered a hobby can be used in an impactful way at a company. Working at CareYaya gave me a lot of insight into how a startup operates and also taught me to be open minded and to be constantly entertaining and exploring new ideas. Through CareYaya, I’ve seen how one idea to transform the caregiving scene can turn into incorporating so many different aspects of technology to advance caregiving.

What advice might you give a student considering interning or working for a startup?

Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself and your skills! Startups are often looking for help in different areas of the company, so if there’s something you want to try learning more about or exploring, definitely ask to be involved with it. It never hurts to ask!