The interns that walk through our doors don’t fetch coffee, they experience our full Digital Surgeons University Intern Program, work on client projects and contribute to the DS environment. Our interns are awesome, and we wanted to show them some love in our newest blog series. We caught up with some DS interns that found permanent positions in our office or used the skills they learned here to secure a job elsewhere.
When I grow up….
Everyone decides what they want to be when they grow up from a young age. I’ll never forget endlessly saying, “Mom, I’m going to be an ice cream truck driver one day!” which is pretty normal for a five year old with an obsession for ice cream. Even though that dream still lingers in the back of my mind, I grew up and decided that the communications field (marketing, advertising and writing) is where I belonged. So near the end of my junior year at UCONN I went on the hunt for the perfect internship, and Digital Surgeons seemed like the perfect fit.
The DS internship…
Interning with Digital Surgeons was a year in the making. I was offered the Digital Surgeons internship in fall 2010, but had to decline because the commute from Storrs to New Haven was impossible with my teal ‘94 Honda Accord that could barely make it down the street. Luckily I interned my senior year with Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group, which gave me solid marketing and public relations experience. I knew in the back of my mind though I still wanted to find a way to intern or work for Digital Surgeons.
As graduation approached and with no jobs in sight, I decided that another internship was the way to go. I remembered how much I had wanted to intern for Digital Surgeons and reached out to them to see if I could reapply. Luckily, I was offered the Writing & Marketing Internship again and I don’t think I could have made a better decision for my first summer after graduating.
As anyone feels when they start a new job, I was nervous walking in the first day. I didn’t know if my past experience would be enough for the level of work expected of me. But from the first moments in the door, everyone was extremely welcoming, which was a relief.
It’s not about fetching the coffee
A Digital Surgeons internship is no ordinary internship. I wrote blogs from day one. I had to learn how to write in a conversational tone, which went against the grain of my English degree. If I ever was confused on a topic or assignment, I never felt afraid to ask questions (hopefully I was not too much of a pest!). I got to work with some really great clients such as Bridal Reflections and Tranquility Vacations. I mean, who doesn’t love writing about a gorgeous island or a beautiful wedding gown? Throughout the summer my blog writing abilities vastly improved, and by the end of the summer I had a strong portfolio of work that I brought to interviews. The portfolio in hand was a huge confidence booster.
Not only did I write for Digital Surgeons and their clients, I also learned the basics of web analytics, researched opportunities for online promotions and sent out marketing e-mails. I learned how to weave my way through the internet and find the best information out there. Each day went by extremely fast with many different projects happening at the same time. My multi-tasking skills increased so dramatically I even impressed myself sometimes.
I left the internship at the end of the summer confident that I had the experience I needed to land a job in an almost impossible economy.
Where I am now…
After the internship ended, I had interview after interview scheduled. When interviewers asked what my strongest assets were I was able to say multitasking and writing because of my experience at DS. I was able to show them my portfolio of writing which included work from both of my internships. My portfolio pieces from Digital Surgeons displayed my creativity, an asset needed for the marketing positions I was applying for.
The basic SEO and analytics training gave me the confidence I needed when describing my researching skills and to relate data to online performance. If asked a question about research, marketing, or writing, I was always able to refer back to something I had done with Digital Surgeons. I forget about projects sometimes because there were so many to talk about!
Because of my experience with a wide variety of clients and online marketing situations, I am now a Client Services Coordinator at Lapine Associates. The knowledge and skills gained at DS gave me the confidence I needed to land that job.
My advice to anyone struggling to find a job is to find a good internship. Something that fits what you want to do, where you’ll be involved, really working and have something real to take from the experience. That’s exactly what I got at Digital Surgeons.
Marketing & Writing Internship, Summer 2011