As the summer comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect back on my internship at QASymphony and how grateful I am for the opportunities and experiences that I was afforded. On my first day at QASymphony, I stepped off the elevator of 550 Pharr Road feeling a mixture of both nerves and excitement. I had no idea what to expect – all I knew what that I was going to be the intern. I walked in expecting to copy papers, fix printers, and make coffee runs, but to my surprise I was treated just like someone who was actually apart of the team. I had real responsibilities and the opportunity to see their impact on the company.
As a college student who spends most days sitting in a classroom, it can be difficult to get an idea of what it would actually look like to be on a marketing team. However, working in the office each day, sitting in on meetings, asking questions, and having hands on experience with different softwares and programs provided me with a more realistic glimpse into daily life in the marketing field. My desk was in the center of the marketing department, so I was able to get to know the team, ask questions, and observe what others do on a day to day basis. I can now say I have a better grasp on what being part of a marketing team entails and the methods used by QASymphony for success and cohesion. Although the list could go with the amount of things I have learned over the summer, here are the five main things that I learned from my time at QASymphony:
School vs. Working World:
At firstI was a little nervous to adjust from the freedom that college life brings – walking around, getting a change of scenery, and the ability to take naps when needed – to sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, 5 days a week. However, I quickly became fascinated by the fast paced world of tech startups. The professional yet approachable environment of QASymphony made it easy to adjust and inspired me to take initiative, seek out more responsibility, and learn as much as possible. I thought that as the intern I would feel out of place, but the company quickly became my home. The working world is completely different from student life, but I have a huge appreciation for the differences and the experiences that I have gained.
Team accountability and responsibility:
When you’re part of a team, it is absolutely imperative to hold your own and step up the plate, even when you’re not asked to. In the working world, you’re no longer held accountable by homework, tests, and quizzes. Instead, people must be able to rely on you and trust that you will complete your tasks and get the job done. It was really cool to experience how satisfying it is to complete a project and see the impact of that project on the company. It helped to be part of such an encouraging and welcoming team, because even though each team member had their own responsibilities, everyone was willing to answer questions or lend a hand when needed.
What you do makes a difference:
One of my favorite parts of my internship was seeing the impact of the projects that the team worked on. I have always been a data driven person, so analyzing the click through rates of Pardot campaigns, reviewing sessions in Google Analytics, and checking readability in WordPress became extremely interesting to me. Every action performed by the team, even something seemingly simple as a call-to-action in an email, has an impact on the results of campaigns, which affect leads, strategies, and more. I’m extremely thankful that the marketing team let me sit in on their meetings with the CEO in which they discussed data results because I was able to see the impact of our efforts and how they made a difference.
Software doesn’t have to be scary:
Considering I knew little about software, I was nervous about interning at a software firm. However, the team made sure to give me the low-down of the company structure, the product, and what QASymphony provides for its customers. I was soon able to keep up with the jargon and not feel lost when words like “Agile” and “DevOps” were being thrown around. Through my experience I got to learn a lot about how a marketing team works together while also getting exposure to the fast paced world of tech start ups. It was really cool to be part of such an encouraging team that was always willing to answer any questions I had about the projects I was given. Software soon became less intimidating and started to become more fun and interesting.
The importance and power of networking:
Over the course of my internship, I met with a different member of the QASymphony team each week to get to know the team better and see what advice they had for a junior in college. Every single person I talked to stressed the importance of contacts and keeping up good relationships with the people you know. Another thing I loved about QASymphony was that each month the marketing team went out to dinner, and every other Friday they had lunch catered at work so everyone could eat together. The environment was very friendly and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and make friends with the other people around me.
As I return to Athens to start my junior year at the University of Georgia, I will have now tasted the real world and gotten a glimpse into what a career in the marketing field looks like. I went into my internship thinking I would learn a few new things, but I can now say I have a more competitive marketing skillset and was exposed to more than I had thought I would be. I can now apply the tools I worked with and feel comfortable in several different software services that had previously intimidated me. I cannot thank the team at QASymphony enough for the opportunities and experiences they provided for me, and I’m appreciative for my new home away from home.