Everyone stresses the importance of internships and “experience,” but no one really explains what exactly that “experience” is or should be.
I joined the Briteskies team in mid-January right after classes started (I am a marketing and accounting major at Case Western Reserve University). Going in, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. I knew that I would gain “experience.”I didn’t know if it would be positive or negative and whether this internship would completely shift my career path, but one has to start somewhere.
My first day, I was treated to a delicious lunch from Aladdin’s, given a spacious desk and a lovely box-shaped laptop; I immediately felt at home. In the next few weeks, I became HubSpot Inbound Certified, sat in on many marketing and quarterly planning meetings, and became acquainted with the environment around me. The office has a very relaxed atmosphere with everyone generally working in the same area. It is not uncommon to hear jokes and other conversational chatter throughout the day and to see many skilled and intelligent employees who truly enjoy their work.
I started off with light work: social media sharing, research about company offerings, and other introductory marketing duties. After getting my feet wet, however, I started to get into more of the nuances of content marketing. I’ve written blogs, reviewed our content offerings (case studies, landing pages, and blogs), examined our sales personas, and gotten a chance to give feedback that actually matters.
This “experience” has been awesome and I’ve enjoyed applying what I learned in class yesterday to my work today.
This semester has been challenging. I took on many extracurricular activities and leadership roles, specifically Homecoming co-director, webmaster for Solstice A Capella, decorations advisor for japanCASE, and executive board for First YearOrientation, that often crept upon my free time and made student life a bit harrowing. However, my Briteskies team has been incredibly flexible and understanding and I’vebeendedicated to making things work.
Turns out that the “experience” that everyone speaks of is not a tangible thing. It’s nuanced and has many factors that change and bend to the environment it happens in.
I can honestly say that I grew and learned this semester in ways I never imagined.
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