Maddie's Internship Experience

The first week of June during my summer going into my junior year of high school I had applied, was offered, and accepted an internship at Golden Openings, Inc

            Kimberly Baeth, who is the president, introduced my job as a marketing/social media internship. This entailed me to sit at a desk and work. This isn’t uncommon in the business world, but as a 16-year-old girl it was new to me. Not new in a bad or good way, it was just new. For the first couple of days, I followed up with clients on different social media platforms and learned about Golden Openings’ website. About a week in I was tasked with sending out a local press release. I had no clue what a press release was, but it sounded official and of high importance. I got to work on writing down the contact information of all the local news stations and reached out to them about this new and upcoming event.

            By the time I had completed my second week I felt like I had good production, but saw no visual result so far. There was no way for me to tell if my work was impacting the business in a positive way or in any way at all.

            I continued to do as I was told, helping enhance the website, contacting other businesses across the nation over Facebook, and revising our business’s mission statement. I called local chambers in search of new upcoming events that would be in need of shovels for a groundbreaking, giant scissors to kick off their grand opening ceremonies, or simply some balloons for a party. As nerve racking as it was, I enjoyed interacting with business men and women in the same fields as me. It was easier to piggyback off of someone’s ideas on the phone, or even better, in person. Liking prior clients’ Facebook pages and following them on Twitter just wasn’t as “real.” It was more rewarding to hear a voice over the phone sharing their interest in working with us.

            Golden Openings’ goal is to sell an experience. It is hard to sell an experience through the internet. Salespeople can’t connect to you on an emotional level by getting a notification that you liked their picture.

            I think this is why companies sometimes don’t see the importance of their marketing through social media. Teenagers have brought to the business industries’ attention that social media is a form of networking that anyone and everyone can and should get involved with. The sky's the limit on how much you want to tweet, post, like, comment, etc. People don’t fully see all you can do. This is where I started to see the importance of my job. I am supposed to share our clients experiences that we helped make possible through conversation and pictures. If I can share a picture that emotionally intrigues a potential customer and makes them say “I want that,” then I feel that post was successful.

When in the production or service business you have to have your president, your sales director, your marketing executive, and many more important positions. But who is supposed to go back and retweet the picture of your products that your last client posted? Your head of marketing doesn’t have enough hours in the week to even go on their own personal Facebook or Twitter. The head of sales is constantly on the phone trying to meet all customers’ needs without over doing themselves. Your boss looks like they are doing nothing, but truly has 101 things to do in the next hour.

My job is to do what everyone else puts on tomorrow’s to-do list. I work around 8:30-3:30 three days a week, putting me at a total of about 20 hours a week. For a teenage girl that’s giving up prime tanning hours and many late morning Starbucks dates.

Even though this job took some growing up, as the intern I see great benefits from this position. I get to work with social media from a whole new perspective. I have learned and developed skills about interacting with people in the business world. Other than in the office, I have learned prioritizing skills, time management, and how to build my schedule. I also have learned why my parents come home so tired some days.

The valuable part for the business is that newbies come in with fresh eyes. They see the little things that everyone else skims over and misses on a day-to-day basis. They can go through and see missing attributes or pictures that need editing on the website.

Just like I am building and learning about working in the real world, this company is building and expanding constantly. Twenty years ago Kimberly saw the importance of making ribbon cuttings, grand openings, and groundbreakings all very memorable events. She saw a need in the economy for a business dedicated towards making these events an experience, not just another product business. This mindset and the amazing employees are what has kept the phone ringing and customers smiling. When Golden Openings, Inc. was kick started they jumped right in and did not waste a single minute of their time. They quickly became international, and sales were skyrocketing. With a fast pace beginning there were many things left unsaid. They had not taken the time to create a mission, vision, or set their core values. Even though these things were an “unspoken agreement” already, they needed the uninformed to be informed. They needed to make the people who normally glance, double take. They needed to make it clear that customer service is their main priority. So, as the marketing/social media intern I started working with Kimberly on revising our mission statement so that it engulfed everything we value and what we plan to do.

It was a lot of pressure to try and accumulate the perfect words for such a successful, small business. Along with this great responsibility, I was helping Kimberly and her team promoted a new chamber appreciation program. It allows chambers to earn revenue through referrals or provide their members with 15% cash discounts.

All of this kept me busy for a couple months. It truly was a great first job experience, but as summer slowly started to come to an end so did my internship. School was going to start soon, and it was back to my less professional high school lifestyle.