Making coffee, filling out spreadsheets, taking notes... all boring tasks expected of a company's intern right? Wrong! Interns are an important part of corporate culture. And how you treat the position is telling of who you are as a company. At SPS DGTL, while interns are utilized for many entry level tasks, we don't want them to stay stagnant. We try to give them the same opportunities and respect as any other employee. To get a better feel for what interning at SPS DGTL is like, I sat down with Eliza, our Social Media Intern.
A: So, how did you first hear about us?
E: I found SPS DGTL through one of my campus job-search websites and was immediately interested in the job description. I’m a self-proclaimed Twitter aficionado. I was drawn to the idea that I could be doing this for an internship.
A: What is your favorite part of what you do at SPS DGTL?
E: The creative freedom I have at SPS DGTL is something I could have never imagined. You think internships and you think doing non-stimulating, mundane tasks no one else wants or has time to do. I honestly thought I’d be writing basic tweets in between coffee runs. Clearly I need to stop basing my job expectations on movies.
In reality, I have so much liberty when composing social posts. I’m encouraged to think outside the box and enthusiastically taught new things to apply to my work.
I even use my artistic side to design engaging graphics and have become the designated “whiteboard typographer." I would have never thought I’d be writing inspirational quotes to display or writing up office-wide to-do lists in full color.
Not to mention being able to tap into my endless supply of puns and dad jokes for creating funny content. In the end, the only coffee I get is for myself and the only spreadsheets I work on are those for my social media posts.
A: What are you studying in school? Do you feel like that has been applicable to your position?
E: I’m a double major workin on BAs in Anthropology and Psychology, with a minor in Biology. I love understanding human nature and behavior. I’ve always been told how applicable social science can be in marketing but I really had no personal experience. Upon getting the internship, I realized how valuable my social science education has been for this position.
For example, theories in psychology like the “commitment principle” seen from a marketing lens can explain why people are loyal to brands. Understanding mental processes behind decisions can offer insights on how to better market to your audience. My linguistics classes taught me the power of language which makes me conscious of my word choices. If only they offered a “Linguistics of Social Media” class...
A: How would you describe the culture at SPS DGTL?
E: Our company culture makes me so honored to be a part of the SPS DGTL team. The camaraderie across all departments is so valuable when many elements of digital marketing are enriched by inter-department communication. There is a wonderful sense of equality no matter your position in the company, which made it easier to bond with my coworkers.
Even as an intern, I’ve never felt that my position is undervalued or taken advantage of. We are all integral pieces of the company machinery. From part-timers to the CEO, no one lets you forget that.
A: What is the biggest lesson you have learned working with the company?
E: I’ve learned so much about the digital marketing and social media world. However, something more big-picture is knowing how much of a priority company culture will be for me in job-seeking.
Working at a company that emphasizes and demonstrates the values of its culture makes for an extremely positive work environment. Especially if those values align with your own. We do everything here human-centered and that extends beyond client relations.
Our office is laid out in a way that encourages open communication across departments. The approachability of all employees is strong. I’ve learned that I thrive in this type of environment and will seek opportunities in the future that resemble the culture of SPS DGTL.
A: What advice would you give to others looking to get into a social media position?
E: Never sell yourself short. Especially in terms of your creative ability. Social media is all about creativity, and it’s better to show off a wealth of skills than to taper down your self-promotion because you think something is irrelevant.
When I told the marketing team I could use Photoshop, I was able to offer them a new resource for photo editing. Now, I’m editing images for our team’s content every week. That wasn’t part of the original job description, but I made this ability of mine known and it became part of my weekly duties. Same with my calligraphy skills!
Social media jobs are mostly social media, but there will always be random creative opportunities. Even if your niche is, I don’t know, basket weaving, I can guarantee someone in the office wants an artisan basket for their files.
Caring About Culture Can Pay Off In A Big Way
Both hiring interns and choosing an internship can be challenging. But keeping culture in mind when making these decisions can make a huge difference in the quality of your experience.
Eliza seemed to enjoy her internship (she even got a promotion!) and we enjoyed having an inspired and motivated intern in the office. Creating a quality culture is a win-win for everyone.
Learn more about the culture at SPS DGTL here!