What I Now Know: A Student's First Year in Digital Marketing

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Faith Bischoff
Marketing Assistant, Symposia Labs

When you hear the word intern, what are the first words that come to your mind? Busy work, coffee runs, unpaid hours, paperwork filing, grunt work, lowest on the totem pole, etc.? Without further knowledge of the company an intern is working for, these are all safe to assume apply. However, none of these apply to an intern at Symposia Labs, a Digital Marketing Agency. This past summer I had the pleasure of coming on board to the Symposia Labs team as their Marketing Research Assistant. I had no idea what was in store for me or what expectations I would be held to. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of respect, accountability and faith I was given as soon as I stepped into the office.

Symposia Labs is a company that values their hardworking employees, has a strong foundation and mission, and culture that people can naturally fit into. It is a company that understands the true value of a positive work environment and those within it.

Before I started working for Tim and Symposia Labs, I had some experience in the “real world.” I had been a lifeguard for five years, a waitress, and intern, but none of these jobs really tested or overwhelmed me. I always jumped right into whatever task needed to be done and I did it with ease and without much challenge. That all changed when I started working for Symposia. I was challenged because I needed to learn how to self-manage, and to learn the in’s and out’s of the digital marketing world - a world that I was intrigued by, but knew very little about.

Symposia Labs has taught me how to work in an environment that exceeds the four walls of our office. I’ve learned that what I do affects my coworkers, our clients, colleagues, competitors and more. Symposia has made me feel valued, as the young college intern that I am, through being given a multitude of responsibilities that have a significant impact on our company. This kind of responsibility and pressure is something I had never experienced before.

A majority of interns my age fly under the radar, do not get paid, and run errands before they get the chance to even touch content or work in the field they want to, and that is the complete opposite of what Symposia has given me. From day one I have been managing email and print campaigns, completing URL audits, attending and managing networking events, leading workshops and presentations on how to mange social media, updating our company’s website, doing market and competitor research, and much more. I have learned how to master these tasks and find new ways to improve as I have moved forward in this position, and that is something I will never get from a 50-minute lecture or an internship that utilizes my time by having me fetch a latte with no foam.

Symposia has opened my mind and helped direct my path to what I want to do with my career in the marketing world. It has taught me what it means to be held accountable, to contribute, and to truly be a part of a team. I could not be more blessed as a student to be working my own hours, having an office just five minutes from campus, enjoying the ability to telecommute, working with incredible and thoughtful people, and to do what I love. I am thankful for all that I have learned over these past months at Symposia Labs and I cannot be more excited to see what lies ahead.

Timothy Haines