Not Your Everyday Internship Program

August 25, 2017 | Ishita Raut | No Comments |

I remember my first day here at LeadMD as an intern: excited and anxious at the same time. This was my first time working here in the United States, an experience that I really wanted to obtain right from the time I started my Master’s degree in MIS at the University of Arizona. I have always wanted to work at a start-up for the massive amount of experience that it gives you and I’m glad and grateful at the same time that I was offered this internship.

Right from the first day, everyone here at LeadMD welcomed me as a fellow employee and did not treat me any differently. We hear stories about how interns are made to get coffee or run small errands, but everyone here treated me with respect and gave me tasks that would essentially contribute to the company’s progress. I hit the ground running, starting with the onboarding courses about being a consultant and having regular meetings with my supervisor, Natasha. I come from a technical background with some idea about how the business works but no idea about Marketing. The onboarding courses were on-point and helped me understand the basics of Marketing, the terms that they use and how it’s executed in the corporate world.

Speaking about my day-to-day tasks here, they were different every day and I love that! During my interview with Natasha, I had mentioned that I want to pursue a career in Consulting and during my internship, she made sure that she gives me the work that is going to align with my interests. I have heard about interns being swamped with work which isn’t really benefitting them or it’s something that they don’t like, but I was fortunate enough to have Natasha as a mentor who gave me the work that she knows I will be interested in. That’s probably one of the reasons why I was excited every day to come to work!

So, what exactly did I work on?

Apart from the onboarding courses, I was trained on Google Analytics. In my Master’s degree projects, I work a lot with analytics and having trained on Google Analytics was very valuable. I then applied that knowledge on LeadMD’s Blog and Marketplace to export reports that provided the company with valuable insights. Natasha even gave me the opportunity to present it to the team along with the CEO himself! Of course, I was nervous but I loved every bit of it!

I also worked a lot on social media for LeadMD. It was an area I was never exposed to and I didn’t really know the nitty gritty of it. I’m glad I got to do it because I learnt so much about how social media influences people and what are the aspects you need to look at to write a successful tweet or a post. I also got to work on UA testing using Litmus, created banners using Adobe Illustrator, providing insights for LeadMD’s videos using Vidyard Analytics, wireframing and learnt software such as Salesforce, JIRA, SproutSocial and ClearVoice. That’s a long list, right? But that’s what you learn when you work at a start-up!

People matter

Enough about the technical part, let’s talk about the people here. The start-up culture is very different from the usual workplace culture. Everyone here talks to everyone freely. Literally everybody is approachable. You can walk up to anyone’s desk if you want to have a quick chat. LeadMD’s CEO, Justin Gray, has his office doors open to anyone who wants to talk to him. It’s good to work at a place which is this open and approachable to its employees. Natasha has been an amazing mentor but at the same time, she’s a friend too. My fellow intern, Simone, is someone who I became close friends with in these two months!

Natasha advised us to have “spit-fire sessions” with the people working here to get to know them, their work and any advice they might have for us. I cannot emphasize on how important and helpful these sessions have been for me. I firstly want to thank them for taking out the time to speak with me and answer all the questions I had for them and giving me tips and suggestions about how I can improve myself to be a better person and pursue the career that I’m interested in. It’s beautiful how each of them have their own unique stories about how they got here and the advice they have for me.

Advice for life

I’m going to list down a few so that they can help you as well:

  • Networking. This was a unanimous advice.
  • Ask a ton of questions.
  • Get a mentor, inside and outside the company.
  • Work hard but work smart.
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Be open to opportunities.
  • Invest in yourself to know what you really want to do.
  • Be honest.
  • Niche wins.

To summarize my internship experience, it was fun, super-helpful in terms of improving myself as a person and learning new tech-tools, flexible and rewarding. I’m definitely going to miss this place and the people here.

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