I may have a different story than the typical intern – I’m not a college student doing this for class credit. In fact, I’m a college graduate hoping for a career change, currently working three jobs and completing an internship to gain some hands-on experience. I know it sounds crazy. Trust me, it feels crazy, too! But it’s all worth it. Let me tell you why.
A little background on my journey…
At 18 years old, I’ll admit that I was stubborn. I decided I was going to college to get my degree in English Literature. I loved reading books and analyzing them afterwards, so it seemed the obvious choice. I rolled my eyes at the questions about what I’d do with a degree like that, because I was studying my passion. I figured that after I graduated, I could become a teacher and just talk about books all day for the rest of my life! (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work out that way…)
So, I got my degree, and loved every bit of my schooling. But after I graduated and began classes for my Teaching Certificate, I quickly realized that the field of education just was not for me.
I was stuck: what am I supposed to do now?
What I did was some soul searching. You know the old adage, “Do what you love?” As cliché as it sounds, that’s what I wanted. I needed to find a career where I would be happy going to work everyday.
I started taking some Graduate-level classes, talking to my professors, and searching online for new careers. Finally, after a whole lot of research, I came across the field of marketing. The more I read about it, the more I felt that it was something that I could see myself doing (and enjoying) for the rest of my life, so I took the leap!
Getting my start at Stratus Interactive...
What I quickly came to realize was how important experience is on a resume when you’re applying for jobs. I just didn’t have it, and I knew that finding the right internship was the only way I was going to get it. I applied to Stratus Interactive and they agreed to help me get that precious experience I needed. I immediately fell in love with it as soon as I stepped foot in the door.
There’s a trendy vibe to the place. Pop music bounces around the open workspace in downtown West Chester, but don’t let the fun atmosphere fool you. These people are all hyper-focused on meeting clients’ needs and doing what they do best: Websites and Digital Marketing. It’s comfortable. There are no stuffy, corporate attitudes, just a real down-to-earth vibe. Right away, I knew this was exactly where I needed to be.
What I’ve learned so far…
The most important thing for me in obtaining an internship was gaining experience with all the different facets of marketing that I possibly could. And, I have absolutely gotten it here at Stratus Interactive.
The most consistent tasks I work on are writing copy, or content. This includes social media posts, flyers, newsletters, and blogs. Even though I’m an intern, I’ve been integral in accomplishing relevant and important assignments that create actual impact for Stratus’ clients. The team works with me closely to make sure I understand the goals of each assignment and collaborates with me to make sure the end-result meets those goals! No fetching coffee (or beer!) for this intern.
I’ve always been one to shy out of the spotlight, and as a writer it can be difficult to balance that with the pride you have in your work. I wrote often in high school and college, but I was very reluctant to ever put anything into print. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling I had when I saw my first published piece of writing from my work at Stratus. It was small; just a few words attached to a picture posted on Facebook. But to me, it was everything!
My supervisors have been amazingly generous in giving me autonomy to use my own creative skills to get my assignments done. However, I know that they are there when I need some guidance. They have also been vital in exposing me to so many different aspects of what a marketing agency does.
One of the things I’ve learned is the massive scope of responsibility at an agency, and the ever-changing landscape of the business. Each department exists as its own individual entity but they all fit together harmoniously to accomplish the larger, overall goals for the client. It’s actually quite beautiful!
To anyone reading this who might relate…
If I could give a recommendation to future internship-seekers, it would be to just DO IT! Get out there and get your internship! I wish I had someone tell me while I was still in college how important it is to have an internship in today’s job market where experience is a must.
You may find that you love your career choice, or that it may not be for you. If it’s the latter, don’t be afraid to veer off the road that you’re traveling if you’re not in love with what you’re doing. Passion is everything, folks!
So cheers to you, Stratus! In the short time that I have been here, I’ve absorbed more than I could have ever asked for. Thanks for giving those of us who need an introduction into the world of marketing a chance.
Aimee is an intern at Stratus Interactive getting her feet wet with content writing and digital marketing. She got her undergraduate degree in English at West Chester University. She’s also an avid cross-fitter and certified cat-lady (a winning combination, for sure)! See all Aimee English's posts.