Let’s just say I’m happy I wasn’t running around getting everyone’s coffee.
This week marks my final week as a Mediafly marketing communications intern. I’m happy to say it was a success. I’ve learned more about marketing and sales than I ever thought I would. I’ve dabbled in blog writing, social media, competitive intelligence, event planning and employer branding. Best of all, I got to experience the real world of what I’ve been studying for the past three years.
It was a memorable journey where I learned quite a few things. Here’s my story:
Becoming a Flyer
Just days before the end of my junior year, I sat staring at a computer screen with 25 tabs open and an Excel spreadsheet filled with tens of companies to which I had applied. I highlighted yet another row in red, signifying a “Thank you, but we have decided to move forward with other candidates. Good luck with your future endeavors.” I started to accept the fact that I wouldn’t get an internship this summer, not even with the company with the nice green dragonfly logo I was so hopeful about.
Much to my surprise, the green dragonfly appeared in my inbox a few weeks later. I was invited to interview with Mediafly, a Chicago-based sales enablement platform company. After a few phone calls and an in-person interview with my future manager, Lou Barreiro, Mediafly made me an offer that I swiftly and happily accepted.
A Day in the Life
I work best when I have many tasks to complete, and at Mediafly, there were no shortage of things to be done. I wrote numerous articles for Mediafly’s blog including their Thursday Thoughts series, monthly sales trends, ghostwriting employees and even a fun Game of Thrones-themed one.
I also took on competitive intelligence, which involved extensive research on competitors, comparing them to each other and Mediafly, in order to draw more informed conclusions. I then presented my findings so that we could further analyze and propose new ideas. In addition, I got some exposure to event planning, social media, and employer branding, where I got to use my creative journalism side to produce company videos. I was able to break into new areas of knowledge through mini-sessions with my marketing team, that taught me about content strategy, PR, SEO, and analytics.
Aside from actual work, the Flyers really know how to have fun. After a long day at the office, we would sometimes take out a board game and play until we decided to go home. From time to time, we could hear a grueling foosball match ensuing in the game room. One of my favorite memories was on July 21, Mediafly held its 11th birthday party, where I really felt the welcoming and friendly company culture.
Without a doubt, my internship taught me a lot of concrete information on marketing and sales. But it also taught me larger lessons, making it all the more valuable:
When faced with many different tasks, it’s important to stay on top of things. I kept a notebook, and every day upon coming to the office, I wrote down what I needed to prioritize for the day as well as any important reminders. I also kept careful track of deadlines. I have always considered myself somewhat of a neat freak, but it really came in handy for this internship.
I’ll admit I have quite the fear of failure, so naturally, this one is my worst enemy. No one likes to hear negative comments about their work, but how can you grow if no one ever tells you what you can improve? I received a lot of great feedback, and whether it was positive or negative, I learned to understand, be thankful for it, and use it to improve my next projects.
It’s good to try to figure things out on your own first, but asking questions will save you time instead of having to redo something you did wrong because you didn’t speak up. Your teammates are great resources. The basic principle of an internship is to ask questions, learn, gain experience, and grow.
As my internship comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on this wonderful experience I was so lucky to have. At Mediafly, I felt like part of the team and what I was contributing to the company was actually useful. Through it all, my fellow Flyers were always supportive and even became people I would call my friends.
I’m truly proud of the work I accomplished. I went from struggling to figure out what Mediafly does and what marketing actually is, to comfortably using the words “leads,” “B2B,” “automation” and “sales enablement.”
I have one year left before I graduate and step into the real world, and I will always take with me the skills and lessons I learned at Mediafly. I’m now more prepared and confident than ever. It’s all thanks to a company that lives on the 20th floor of a diamond-top building in the heart of Chicago.
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