We sat down with four of our previous interns and asked them a few questions about their experiences in the clinic!
How did you become an intern with the Center for Digital Engagement and Ann Arbor SPARK?
Chris: I was getting ready to graduate and didn’t really have anything lined up, job wise. My mom knew of the internship and suggested I apply, so I did.
Andrew: I first heard about the internship when I took Google Ad Words at Eastern and I wanted to complete other Google certifications. I was at an unpaid internship doing social media and content marketing and Bud was convincing me and finally, I gave it a shot. I didn’t know what Content Oro did for the first 3 weeks, but it turned out to be a really great experience.
Ashley: I Don’t remember how I first heard of the internship, but I kept hearing about it. I remember I kept saying Nah, I don’t wanna do it, it’s not for me. I went to the info meeting about the internship and I still thought I didn’t want to do it. I was totally against it. Finally, I applied, and it led me to where I am.
Glori: A professor encouraged me to apply, but I didn’t think it was right for me. It was past the deadline when I finally applied. I guess I had something else in mind, I barely had any digital marketing experience and I thought I was underqualified.
What was the biggest challenge you faced working as an intern?
Chris: The biggest challenge I faced was communication between myself and the CEO. It was important for her to communicate her vision so I could produce what she wanted. I didn’t know what she wanted so I had to figure it out. Ultimately she told me I saved her company by solving a problem she had with her biggest customer.
Andrew: My biggest challenge was figuring out what Content Oro did. It was hard to explain and it was the main reason I made the successful video. Creating structure was hard. I was in PR and they needed me to do sales, create a process and outreach to customers. It was difficult creating something out of nothing, but I led all sales efforts for Content Oro.
Ashley: My challenge was that I had no idea what was going on. I couldn’t understand my boss’ language. Once I learned the language it was easier. Startups always have challenges: labor, time, tech, etc. If there is something else you can do when the problem is being fixed, do it. Do the things that are going to move you forward.
Glori: I worked with MyFab5 and what they were doing wasn’t working, but they kept doing the same thing. Building trust with them was a challenge. I wanted to change the posting times, but I was new and he didn’t trust me. I did research on posting times and asked if I could change posting times for one week to see if I could increase engagement. When I backed it with research and got results, I gained more trust with my boss.
What was the most valuable information you learned while at the internship and what influence did it have on your career?
Chris: Creating the video for Warmilu. I had video experience but it gave me an example I could show of what I would do for a business. I also gained more respect for small companies, not just startups. There are a lot of opportunities for smaller organizations to do a lot of stuff with a variety of skills and projects. Small business owners have a lot of good ideas, but they don’t know how to market them.
Andrew: The most valuable thing I learned, that I still use a lot today is a quote from my boss. “If you ask for money you’ll get advice, if you ask for advice you’ll get money.” I learned how to curate a way of asking how I can be a better asset to a company. I ask, “how can I become usable for the team.” Don’t be afraid to take initiative within your needs. You have to think about limited resources, what would you, as a consumer, want from a company, how do you apply trust and credibility.
Ashley: It sounds so cliche but, work hard and do your best. People do pay attention to that. Enthusiasm leads you to places and gets you noticed. My career started because of this internship. Working hard will get you to the right people and the right places.
Glori: People who know me think I’m good at school and communication. This internship gave me the confidence when it came to jobs. Celebrating little wins and helping your partners was also a big part of what I learned. Supporting your partner helps you both learn, and it creates a great network. I also gained a lot of knowledge about digital and even though I’m an Assistant Account Executive at experiential with event marketing, I can speak to what others are saying in the digital world and comment on digital experiences, which has gained me respect in my position.
To learn more about our previous interns and where they are now, Meet the Speakers!