Just four months ago I was a junior level undergrad scrounging around the Internet applying for yet another internship. I had no real direction as to any position in particular; just like anyone else I was looking for something in which I could gain valuable real life experience from as well as put on a resume. Looking back now, I could not have realized at that time how important one internship could be. That was until I was hired by as a virtual intern at Sprk’d Content Marketing and Design. What started off as a seemingly average summer internship has now blossomed into an incredible position as Assistant Marketing Manager, how cool is that?
Not only has this opportunity turned into my first as I like to call it “big girl job”, but it has also been a valuable learning experience that has taught me skills and lessons I will carry with me through out my professional career.
The most important things I have learned from my internship at Sprk’d:
The Importance of Finding a Professional Mentor
Now I am not just saying this because my boss is going to be editing this before it gets posted (Hi, Christine). I can honestly say that finding a mentor in the industry is one of the most important aspects of undergrad. In college, professors talk all the time about creating connections and relationships with mentors within the university, but they do not stress enough of finding a person who is in the line of business you are interested in that you can look up to for advice and take notes from. I was lucky enough to find this through Sprk’d founder Christine Mortensen. I had the opportunity to catch lunch with her on a few occasions and discuss her past business ventures that led her to creating her own business. As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, it is inspiring that I am able to get insight from someone who has achieved the things that I hope to one day achieve. Not only does she give great business and industry advice, but she also has helped me find out what my strengths are and how I can use them for my career, which leads me to my next point…
The Importance of Knowing and Utilizing Your Strengths
You know how ever since you were little people always told you something along the lines of, “know what you love, do what you are good at and you won’t have to work a day in your life”? Well, I am now a firm believer in this saying. There are certain things that I know I am good at it: being social, being social on the Internet, promoting and writing. Before starting this internship, I did not realize I could make a living doing all these things. My internship gave me the opportunity to utilize all these skills and craft them for Sprk’d and our clients. I am constantly inspired to come up with new marketing ideas and blog post concepts that can help promote and bring in new online traffic. Every day I get paid to do something that I love and that’s a fantastic feeling to find.
The Importance of Organization and Timeliness
Being a self proclaimed procrastinator this was a bit of a difficult concept for me to learn, but I am so glad I realized the importance of these things now rather than later. Punctuality is the key to success. In school, if you turn something late you get docked off points. If you are late in business it’s not just a reflection of you, but of the entire business. It is a sign of professionalism and dedication. Making sure that I have enough time in my schedule to balance being a full-time student, extra curricular activities, a social life and two jobs is definitely not an easy feat, but it’s just a preview of what the “real world” will entail. What I love about Sprk’d is we use a system called Trello that we use to keep tasks organized and updated on a day-to-day basis, which makes things easier on all of us considering we are spread across the country. With that being said, there is one more thing that this intern experience has taught me…
The Importance of Communication
Being a public relations and advertising major I thought I had a pretty solid concept of what communication entailed, but then I became a virtual intern and I was given a reality check. I am based out of Arizona, my boss is based out of Chicago and my other co-workers are on different coasts. That is 3 different time zones we have to accommodate to and let me tell you it can get hectic, but again, this is just another preview of what the real business world entails. Constant communication is key to keeping things within the business running smoothly. That means checking email before, after and even during (whoops, sorry) class, other jobs, etc. We also have a weekly conference call where we all come together and touch base with any questions, comments, concerns or even just to catch up. Keeping everyone on the team updated on where I am with client work, blog posts and other projects is crucial for Sprk’d to work as a functional machine.