One of the most difficult skills I have learned so far in my internship has been marketing. I have no previous experience with marketing. As a brief reminder, I am serving as a Marketing Intern for a startup that provides microinsurance to people living in international poverty by soliciting donations from individuals. My role has been to raise awareness of our brand and, mainly, write blog posts pertaining to microinsurance so that readers understand what it is. As a result of this, I’ve gotten a lot of experience in areas like social media strategy, reaching out to news outlets to raise awareness of our work, and, of course, writing blog posts.
I am interested in working in the nonprofit sector in the future, and so far have felt very flexible about what my specific role would be within that sector. I have built up skills that I feel will be broadly transferable; for example, last summer I was a Grantwriting and Development Intern at a large nonprofit. I’m excited to be building another transferable skill set in marketing, because I think this can definitely come in handy when looking at nonprofit jobs. I think it will expand the jobs that I’ll be qualified for, and make me an overall more attractive candidate. I don’t know if marketing is a passion of mine, but I am definitely open to learning more about it and gaining more experience with it, and I’m excited about how it might open up my job prospects.
I have definitely learned more than just this hard skill. The environment of 1871, the incubator where I work, has definitely been a really interesting place to be. Last summer, I worked in a very traditional office environment. Being in a wide-open space, where a lot of people are talking on the phone, conducting meetings, and just generally doing their work in the same area has made me a more flexible worker. I’ve enjoyed the stimulation of working here, and I know now that I can work in a huge variety of office environments. Again, I think this flexibility is key for working in the nonprofit sector, where work culture and atmosphere vary widely. (The IRS has 25 different categories for what counts as a 501(c)(3), the official designation for a nonprofit – this means that there are a lot of differences between any two given nonprofits!) I am confident that I could be happy in a lot of different situations, and this has been confirmed by my work at 1871.
I’m excited to see what the future of my career looks like! For now, I’m enjoying building my skills and experience, and seeing what I like and don’t like. This summer is making me feel hopeful that I’ll be happy no matter where I end up.