By Chase Hall, Intern at Heinz Marketing
Last summer I was a server at a restaurant, and this summer I wanted to change it up. I really wanted to take a peek inside the business world, especially marketing, because it was a big interest for me. I did some research, talked to my parents because they both have held internships in their past, and finally sent out some emails to possible employers. When Brian Hansford responded to my email about the internship inquiry with details about work life, environment, and standards, I knew Heinz Marketing was where I wanted to work.
To be clear, I have never held an intern position in my life. This summer is the first time I’ve ever worked in the marketing industry. Going into the internship I did not know what to expect. You always see interns on TV shows and movies going on coffee runs and doing work that no one else wants to do, however my experience so far has been nothing like that.
I get the opportunity to sit in on client meetings and conference calls every single day when I am working. In these meetings and phone calls I learn about what marketing is in real life, the processes we engage in and the end result we are trying to achieve. I get assigned projects to complete for either my coworkers or certain clients. Through these projects I have learned more about marketing in the past month and a half than I ever would have reading a textbook at school. And that is exactly what I wanted out of this internship; to learn about the business to business marketing industry and how it operates. My internship this summer would not have been the same if it wasn’t for the awesome work environment in the office.
The work environment at Heinz feels like home. Literally… I feel like I’m at home but I’m actually at work. Whether it’s a coworker roasting someone with a good joke, Sheena bringing in delicious food, or one of my superiors checking in on me, our office is comfortable and engaging. Plus, I even have my own desk and get to listen to music when I work! Everyone in the office has their assignments to complete and personal goals to accomplish which keeps them focused. I imagined the office to be small cubicles where no one talked, no paintings or decorations… But it is full of life. We have a giant food station, tons of paintings and posters on the walls, AND we have a dog. His name is Oliver and he is fun to play with when taking a quick break from work.
When I started the internship, I had a very hard time understanding what everyone was talking about. My coworkers would be using terms like ABM, demand generation, CMO, and many others that I was familiar with, but not to the point where they could say it and I would immediately knew what they were talking about. Being actually IN a workplace where I am surrounded by constant marketing techniques and terms like these brings light to a language that I was not familiar with. Yes, I am saying that marketing is, in a weird way, its own unique language. I have decided to give the marketing language a name… It will be called “Markisian”. As I work every week I practice and listen to Markisian, learning more about it and becoming more aware of it. I believe Markisian cannot be taught from a textbook. It is really only learned from practice and firsthand experience. I still am learning it, but it is cool to be surrounded by it. Everyone I work with has basically mastered it, so I listen to many of their conversations and try to decipher what they are saying… in Markisian.
If you are looking for an internship, my one tip is to reach out. It does not matter if you know them, if the company they work for is prestigious, or anything of that nature. What matters is showing effort and determination to get the internship. A lot of employers were in the same spot as you at one point in their life, so they understand. I did not know Brian when I first emailed him, and he responded within 24 hours of my initial email. If you email someone and they respond unkindly or don’t respond at all, that’s perfect because now you know that he/she would not be a good person to work for. The worst thing they can do to you is say no. There are plenty of amazing employers out there that will say yes, you just have to reach out and ask them a couple of questions!