Friday, August 24, 2018

Toria's Summer Internship Experience

One of the main reasons the Center for Digital Engagement continues to grow the summer clinic is to watch students gain insight and experience for jobs in the SE Michigan area.

For the students to gain their CDE/SPARK Digital Media Certificate, they must complete an 80 hour internship with a local startup, attend weekly panel discussions, and get certified in Google Analytics or Adwords.

We sat down and had lunch with Toria Beckum to talk about her experience this summer in the clinic. Toria worked at IndustryStar and chose to get certified in Google Analytics. She is currently a public relations student at Eastern Michigan University. Check out her interview below!

What are 3 words you would describe the clinic/internship in?
       "Rewarding, Professional, Challenging"

Did you have any reservations before applying?
      "Yes, I was a PR major and didn’t have professional marketing experience yet."

What made you apply?
      "I went to an informational meeting about the program and decided it was a great opportunity! My professor, Jaime Ward, also helped sway me to take the jump and apply."

What were you most surprised to learn?
      "Google Analytics and Data Studio. I was also surprised to see how much professional research we did in the office "

What are you most proud of at the internship?
      "The mocks ups I made for the website."

How did it help you in the PR field?
      "It set me apart from my peers because I have a visual marketing experience now. I am a more well-rounded PR professional with a diverse skill set."

What was your favorite thing about working for a start up?
        "I love getting the opportunity to do different things each day."

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
         "For me, it was figuring out how to navigate Google Analytics and I overcame it by watching tutorials and taking practice tests for the certification."

How was it being in downtown Ann Arbor?
      "It was a great atmosphere and positive with a lot of events during the week for interns. "

Do you want to work in SE Michigan in the future?
      "I would like to stay in greater Detroit because of the opportunity it offers."

 What was a typical day?
       " I worked in 5 hour shifts per day. I would find parking, go to my cute little desk and work on assigned tasks. I always got feedback and engaged with the team. There are also a lot of new lunch spots to try every day."

What's the main reason other students should apply?
        "They should apply so that they can learn new skills and further develop skills they do have in a professional setting. It is also the best networking opportunity I have had. The interns end up being a community!"

How does the internship help in other career aspects?
      "The clinic will help you with LinkedIn building, mentoring, resume building, gaining professional contacts, and it shows dedication to future employers to get the certificate."

What advice do you have for doing well in the internship?
      "Go out of your way to build relationships with the company and other interns, work hard, keep records of all the projects you complete, and journal what you do everyday."

How has this changed the course of you future?
       "It has put me in a different class of PR professionals because of the extra knowledge I gained. It will open up new opportunities for me in digital marketing. I won’t be looked at as just a PR major and that has changed my mind to go into a more marketing based job."



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