“What are you doing this summer?”
It’s a question any college student is asked hundreds of times throughout the course of summer break. In a day and age where getting an internship is a crucial stepping stone to a successful career, this question comes with some weight. You’ll be asked by family members, friends, peers, and pretty much everyone else whom you bump into while you’re back from school. Although I generally consider myself to be an outgoing, friendly person, this question begins to take a toll on you. Fortunately, I had an experience in the Marketing Department of Schneider Downs that I loved talking about.
“Oh I didn’t know you were an accounting major,” is how the conversation usually starts. Then, I usually smile and reply, “No, no I’m not. I work in their Internal Marketing Department.” This is usually where it gets interesting. People often wonder why I chose to accept a marketing internship at a professional services firm, and I understand their curiosity. When I was interviewing at Schneider Downs, it was unlike any place I had been. I interviewed with two members of the Marketing team, and when they explained the position to me, I realized that this was undoubtedly going to be an incredible opportunity for me. They informed me that I would be able to work in all different aspects of marketing. I would be able to perform research, design marketing materials, review digital analytics and more. It was a no-brainer: why wouldn’t I want to do that? I was offered a chance to taste all of the different aspects of marketing that I learned about in class, and I took it.
When I started, I was nervous. I vividly remember introducing myself to the other interns at orientation and asking them where they went and what their majors were. Almost every intern gave me a slightly funny look and answered accounting, and when I responded with marketing, they may have chuckled a bit. I completely underestimated the size of the firm, and to be frank, I wasn’t sure that I would ever understand and remember all of the abbreviations, terms, teams or projects. The first weeks took some getting used to, but each day I would just try to take in as much as I could, and if someone mentioned the name of a person or industry group, I would try to look them or the group up in order to better understand the company. With the help of all of the members of the Marketing team, I was able to make a relatively smooth transition. Each person on the team would go out of his or her way to help me with the software, bring me to meetings, give me assignments, and make me a part of the marketing process.
As the summer progressed, I was able to handle more projects, and I continued to work with various groups. I even got to present some of my own social media marketing ideas to the managers and our Chief Marketing Officer! I am thrilled to say that I am able to continue interning here this fall. I aim to continue working on the social media campaigns and website evaluations/analytics. Now, every time someone asks me that dreaded question, now, I get a chance to ramble on about what an incredible experience I had. Thank you, Schneider Downs, fellow interns and the Marketing team, you’ve helped to make this my favorite summer yet.