What I Learned as an Intern at a Marketing and Technology Firm

  • Matt Stralkowski
The summer after my senior year of high school, I interned at Trellist Marketing and Technology. I plan to major in International Business at college this September, so bussing tables over the summer didn’t seem to be the best use of my time—I figured it was time to start gaining some experience that I will use in the future.Intern looking into crowd

I thought my job would consist of answering phones and running errands. Instead, I was a part of a launch team for the firm’s newest social app. I worked in-office, identifying events and business targets. On weekends, I went to the events, promoting the app and talking to people. While I got a multitude of responses (as you can probably imagine) the vast majority were very positive and enthusiastic about this cool new product.

During my sixty-six days at Trellist, I learned a lot of valuable information that not too many people my age (18) have experience with yet. This was my first real office job, so I learned how to act properly within an office environment. However, I would not classify Trellist as the typical office environment. Things such as the dress code, guidelines regarding approaching someone who is busy, and even allowing pets in the office provide for a unique “work-home” environment that is flexible for the employees but also highly effective.

I learned about sales and marketing. That is, how to promote your product and convey its benefits without turning customers off. Observing the other members that I worked with, I learned different approaches to take. Due to the firm’s transparent and collaborative nature, I was able to witness the different ways that my team was promoting and marketing the product and then use these in my approach.

I also strengthened my people skills. Intern talking to a customerA big part of our strategy at events was to break through the barrier that people put up when someone is “trying to sell them something”. I needed to develop a way to get past that barrier and get them interested in the product. A large part of my job was doing precisely this, so I would say that I’ve gotten very good at communicating with people. This was huge for me.

Finally, what I would consider the most important concepts that I learned during my internship— I was taught the complexities of running a start-up and being an entrepreneur by the CEO David Atadan. There were multiple times where he made an effort to explain in detail how and why he was doing certain things in a particular way. He made it very clear from the start that one of the main goals of my internship would be to make sure I got real, valuable experience in the world of business. And I did.

The skills that I attained and the lessons I learned during my time at Trellist are something that will definitely help me succeed both socially and academically in my first year of college, and beyond. I’ll hold onto my experiences from Trellist for the rest of my life. I’d encourage anyone my age to take advantage of an opportunity like this if you can.

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