Collective Bias: My First Internship
Four semesters into my college career, I decided it was time to take my involvement to the next level. After intensive involvement in campus organizations, it was time for me to start focusing on what I would be doing after my years at the University of Arkansas. Determined to find an internship, I utilized the UA’s Razorback Career Link website to find postings. I came across an internship program by the Northwest Arkansas Council and AT&T which partners with companies in Northwest Arkansas to offer internship opportunities to students. Selected students are given the opportunity to interview with three companies and I was fortunate enough to get an interview with one of my top choice companies – Collective Bias! I was ecstatic when I got the call from the Northwest Arkansas Council saying that I had been chosen for my very first internship! On Thursday, September 6, I started as the Communications intern for Collective Bias. Since that day, I have learned a lot about Collective Bias, ‘the real world’ and myself.
Though I do not sit in “Intern Alley” with the Account Services and Finance Interns, I sit (and work) with an amazing group of people on the MarComm team. At the time of my arrival, Collective Bias was going through a rebranding from the old logo to the latest one and it was interesting to see and help with the new logo being incorporated with the company. It was particularly exciting for me because I got to see things that I was concurrently learning in class actually take place. Two of my classes this semester, Introduction to Marketing Strategy and Issues in Advertising and Public Relations, were discussing how certain images are used to identify a product or company. The Collective Bias that I researched in preparation for my interview was transforming into a totally different Collective Bias due to this brand change.
My three months here have been amazing. I was fortunate enough to only get one class on Tuesdays and no classes on Thursdays this semester so on those days I make the commute from Fayetteville to Bentonville to work in the real world. I quickly learned that balancing school work while doing and internship and staying involved on campus is a challenge. It has been said that in college you can only get two out of the three: Good Grades, Sleep or a Social Life. Collective Bias has been very flexible with my school schedule and has allowed me the chance to develop academically and professionally. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I am in class and learning the basics of journalism and marketing through PowerPoint slides, books, exams and papers but on Tuesdays and Thursdays I escape that world and put those skills into practice at Collective Bias. I have been able to use my writing and editing skills to edit and schedule out posts for the Collective Bias Blog and I have gotten to research articles related to shopper marketing, social media and trends in shopping. I also get to go out and run errands for the MarComm team…calling companies to get prices, picking up the Coffee and Hot Chocolate for Collective Bias’s Half Birthday and for the first time in my life I used a leveler (well, a leveler app) to hang pictures on the wall to decorate the Collective Bias office! Actually seeing things get accomplished with my help has been the most rewarding part of the internship to me. Seeing those Tweets that I researched going out on the Collective Bias handle and reading those teasers that I wrote sent out to everyone in Collective Bias made me feel like a true part of Collective Bias.
Although this is my first internship, I can tell that the culture of Collective Bias is very unique. When Monica and Mailena asked me in my interview to rate myself on a scale of one to ten of how weird I am, I knew I would love this place. Everyday has been a new adventure because although I have some duties that I do on a regular basis, Mailena always has something different for me to do. I am grateful to the Northwest Arkansas Council, AT&T and Collective Bias for taking a chance on me and giving me this first experience. I am happy to announce that I have accepted an internship offer from the Communications Department of GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio, for the Spring 2013 semester. I am sad to be leaving Collective Bias after one semester but am grateful to the company for helping me jumpstart a potential career in the world of Marketing and Communications and will forever remember my time spent here. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be back but for now, THANK YOU COLLECTIVE BIAS!