Our economy is changing daily, and with it, the talents, skills and experience needed to rapidly adapt of that growth cycle are too. The job market is very competitive, and a tough learning curve for recent graduates. This is why experiential learning and applying to internships are important along with the college experience for all students.
During the summer of 2020, amidst a global pandemic, I had the opportunity to intern at Oracle Netsuite as a Field Marketing Intern working on the intersection of sales and marketing line of business.
I was very excited to start my journey in Corporate America, but at the same time, I was very anxious. It was during a time of uncertainty due to the pandemic, and I am not sure what to expect. However, I accepted the offer with an open mind and willingness to learn and, it was the most productive summer of my life!
I brainstormed on what I really want to achieve from this internship, and I had 3 main goals in mind:
- Understand how Oracle NetSuite revolutionized the traditional legacy systems with data driven solutions to enable businesses to make better decisions.
- Empathize why businesses need an Enterprise Resource Planning System to scale their business even farther .
- Network, Network, Network!
Looking back at the past ten weeks, I was able to achieve all these goals and so much more! I was very pleased with my experience and would not trade anything for it! Here are some key lessons that I learned during this summer!
Want to read this story later? Save it in Journal.
In college, I was known for my excel and analytical skills which helped me stood out especially during business competitions or a project that requires financial modelling. But, I was also known for having terrible design skills, knowledge of wider business context and for presentation and reporting skills. ( Guess you just can’t have it all!).
Therefore, when I learned that my role is going to be about researching and and developing marketing programs to help increase customer engagement, I was very nervous. I never had any experience with that, let alone any knowledge about it.
I approached this problem with transparency and an open mind. Right at the beginning of my internship, I told my manager that I don’t have any experience working with marketing or sales, but at the same time, I emphasized that I am more than willing to learn and have done various leadership experiences which helped me developed transferable skills.
Now, after 10 weeks, I can confidently talk about the general business outlook of different industries, effectively present materials to executives, and most of all, be able to utilize excel spreadsheets integrated with data and use it to make better business decisions!
Pro tip: Take advantage of the learning resources! Most companies have a platform specific for developing and learn new skill sets! This is a great way for you to get out of your comfort zone and maybe learn about coding or some new software!
Having an impact is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can ever have as an intern. It can either be qualitative or quantitative proof that your work was useful and helped with the company’s mission and vision.
Just think about it, you’re bringing a new perspective on the products compared to someone who might be working on it for 5+ years.
However, be realistic about achieving impact from a short time-frame. Most changes or deliverable to get published takes time. There are countless design and development review cycles to ensure that the product delivers the intended value to specific audience. That is why it is important to remember that impact can be measured in so much more ways! (You don’t have to create a new supply chain process to revolutionize the company’s production!)
Here are some examples:
· Did your work helped the team to automate some manual tasks such as by developing templates for sending out emails, making power points, or even creating a guidebook for new interns?
· Were you able to have discussions with different employees and introduced random new ideas and get them thinking? Ask a lot of questions!!
· Learn more about the company! Companies invest in interns not for the value they provide during the internship but for the potential value if they come back to the firm!
Overall, interns can add value by learning, doing a great job on what they are assigned, asking questions, and by not being a liability!
Pro tip: Go to meetings! Even if it is not with your team! You never know when you can make a suggestion or ask a random question that will make them think and reinforce new decisions that can drive change within the business!
Who knows, maybe you can even suggest a future feature of a certain product and you can get dibs on it!
Internships are one of the best ways to explore a company’s culture and its different line of businesses. Even though I was working on marketing and sales, I was very passionate about finance, business analytics, venture capital, and private equity.I immediately told my manager that I wanted to learn more about Oracle approach in helping startups, marketing analytics, global and its finance team.
Having this discussion during the start of my internship allowed us to tailor a timeline to meet different employees every week.
Thankfully, my manager was very adaptive and she took the time out of her busy schedule to ensure that I was able to meet with different business segments and help out with any projects to get a feel on what are the day to day responsibilities working within that role.
Do not watch Netflix during your work times. Again, do not watch Netflix during your working hours. Do I need to say more?