Hi, everyone. This is Emily Ravet, the host of A Sit Down with Scholars. This is a podcast where we hear straight from present or previous interns. These interns sit down with me to share what skills it takes to be an intern, and what benefits they gained from their internship experiences.
To kick things off, I’m going to go over the basics about myself. I just recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I just wrapped up my degree three days ago, because I had to take an extra class. I have a degree in journalism, and I have a track in strategic communications and a minor in gender and women’s studies.
So my first internship was at a law firm, the summer after my sophomore year. Then, at the start of my junior year, I got an on-campus job, and it wasn’t formally an internship, but it was in an office and gave me a lot of those great profit skill set and internship. Then, during the spring of my senior year, I was offered an internship at Scholars, as an SEO and content strategist. So, that’s where it got me here today as a full-time content strategist. I’m going to go in-depth about each role, how I got the position, what I enjoyed in this position, and what I learned career-wise.
My first internship was at a law firm in my hometown. For this internship, I got it through networking in my community. I did primarily office work like filing things, uploading them online, and clearing out some space in their files. It sounds like such a simple task but it definitely gave me that experience of being in a law firm. At that point, I was thinking that I wanted to be a lawyer, but after being in that situation, not that they like scared me off or anything. I just realized that I wanted to pursue marketing, which was my degree. And I really enjoyed that marketing element, and I wanted to do marketing. I had gotten advice from the paralegals and other legal professionals just chatting with them, and I decided that I wanted to continue my business route. But this was a great experience because one, I had made that choice of, “oh I don’t think law school is right for me right now.” And, I also started my professional jobs on the resume. Before then, I have been a nanny, I had been a swim instructor, I had been a lifeguard, which often has really good transferable skills, but I think that this really started my professional titles on my resume. So it got me started, and I think that it was a big reason as to why I got offered my on-campus job because I had that prior office experience.
For my on-campus job, I completed that from the start of my junior year and finished it once I left campus in the spring. For this job, I found it via the job posting platform that my university has for its on-campus jobs. And this role was great because I interacted with a lot of executives because they were in their MBAs. So this was great to chat with people and network. I also communicated with professors because I was a program assistant. I helped the students out, I helped the professors out, and I also worked on projects. And, this gave me really great project management skills and just being able to balance, communicating with students but also getting those behind-the-scenes tasks done. That was really great and I really loved that at the end of the job I got to do great training and got to that leadership role, which I really enjoyed.
So then I was offered an internship at Scholars, the spring of my senior year, and this was great because it allowed me to get a feel for the company and the culture right away. I knew that it was what I wanted to do after I graduated, so it got me this head start and it’s not like I started day one full time, not knowing anything. I kind of knew the basics, and I knew that I was going to grow on those skills, and grow and take on more tasks. I really enjoyed getting that headstart my senior year and getting that headstart of starting at Scholars, and that is where I got today.
But then along with that another element that I would really highly recommend to all my college students out there is to do brand ambassadorships and freelancing. So, essentially, I was a marketing major. And because of doing brand ambassadorships, and taking some journalism courses. I decided to transition to be a journalism major because I really liked that advertising element, and the advertising element just wasn’t in marketing, that’s not what marketing is. So, I really loved doing that brand, those brand ambassadorships though I did my first one was in Zipcar, and I did one with US Cellular and that was a little bit different. And, then I also did Bumble and PINK brand ambassadorships for a short period of time. While I was doing that, I did a few other freelance projects with Ad Council, Amazon Prime, I did a few posts for Bumble and GrubHub. I can continue them beyond post-grad. Brand ambassadorships are really important with larger universities because marketing and advertising people are trying to target these groups of college students. Brand ambassadorships are really hot right now they’re a really good way of advertising to these target groups.
So I started with Zipcar, my junior year, and I had applied for an Amazon brand ambassadorship. And someone reached out to me at this marketing agency and they had said “hey, we already have an Amazon Prime filled. But, would you want to work with Zipcar?” And honestly, I had only heard about Zipcar once in passing. Then I really looked into it and it was something that I was really interested in because the car is a car rental service but like short term by the hour. So I really enjoyed that, and that entailed posting on Instagram. What I would do is I would create one post a week, three stories a week. and this was just for a month. Then on the back end, the marketing agency would then promote my ad to the greater Madison, Wisconsin area. So that was really great and then I went on to do another brand ambassadorship with Zipcar, and that entailed more on-campus tabling, along with some Instagram posts. So that was a really great experience and I loved working with Zipcar specifically, and the marketing agencies that they partnered with are really solid. And they’re great to communicate with. So, that got me a head start in doing remote work because I was so used to kind of getting emails, completing projects, and getting back to them. That just gave me that headstart on remote work and made me realize that I really do love doing remote work.
And then I also did that brand ambassadorship with US Cellular and that was solely in person. I went to the Badger sporting events, and I would pass out branded materials and gather data from people who had US Cellular and people who didn’t have US Cellular. That was a really great experience, and I enjoyed that working with that marketing agency.
Then I also did freelance projects as I mentioned. Those were also through marketing agencies, as well, and I really like those one-time posts. Typically they would go on my Instagram and promote various things that I was passionate about. I have started getting kind of picky about who I would get to partner with and who I wouldn’t. And so those are all good experiences and got me that hands-on experience with marketing but in a nontraditional way. So, I would highly recommend that to all college students, honestly.
And that wraps up my internship experiences! So from now on, there will be other guests that I will be interviewing, sharing with me their internship experiences and their journeys, and the benefits that they gained from each internship.
I’m glad to get these conversations started on the podcast A Sit Down with Scholars and if you’d like to read the blog posts that I write for Scholars, you can read those at hirescholars.com/blog. If you have any previous internship experience and want to be a guest on this podcast, email me at Emily, firstname.lastname@example.org.