My 2022 Student Internship Experience

Written by: Allison McCann, Content Marketing Intern

In the summer of 2022, I found it difficult to believe in the possibility of having an on-site internship before my senior year at Cleveland State University; as I scrolled through my LinkedIn recommendations nearly every listing was out of state and listed as “remote.” That was until Dr. Thomas, my communications capstone professor and Public Relations Student club supervisor sent me a referral for the Content Marketing internship position at North Coast Media.

The future was beginning to look more promising because of this opportunity. I eagerly applied for the position and started to do research on the company on my own. Soon after applying, Debbie Pipik, Director of Human Resources called me to set up an interview. Following a series of inconclusive remote interviews, it was my first in-person interview, and having a proper interview experience was so refreshing I found myself actively enjoying it. In previous interviews, I had never felt so eager to talk to potential coworkers both in the interview and in the office.

Upon being hired, I was not entirely sure what to expect from a first day but I was delightfully surprised, to say the least. After meeting with Mackenzie Shoemaker, Content Marketing Project Manager, and being introduced to the entirety of the office, the team treated me to lunch at Pho Thang, a small Asian restaurant near the office. I quickly came to realize how welcoming and approachable my coworkers were and I mentally sighed with relief.

When the “real work” began, I was more prepared than I had previously thought. Regardless, Mackenzie and Aurora always provided help and guidance on every first-time task. This training helped me into a routine which allowed me to learn quickly and I realized the piling list of tasks I had learned to do easily in the span of just the first week. Even in their absences, Aurora and Mackenzie kept me busy and hungry to learn. I forced myself to break my worst habit: my refusal to ask for help. After all, everyone around me made it incredibly easy.

Once I was regularly invited to meetings and participating in more advanced tasks, I subconsciously made a long list of “favorite things” from my experience in the internship:

  • I had a positive interactive dynamic with my coworkers
  • I received plenty of encouragement from my coworkers
  • My opinions and suggestions were heard
  • Inclusion in meetings for all of North Coast Media’s brands
  • No two days were ever the same
  • Variation of tasks
  • Genuine contributions

Through creating a specification sheet for digital media assets, editing articles, transcribing interviews, drafting social media posts, creating a social media analysis and live tweeting a webinar, I was directly contributing to the company’s success. Everything I was doing truly mattered.

The feedback I received on my work was motivating and encouraging, regardless whether it was positive feedback or constructive criticism. While the importance of some of my tasks carried more pressure, that pressure filled me with a sense of accomplishment. I had reached a point where I was trusted to do impactful tasks and was confident I could deliver what was requested. The experience and encouragement I received was empowering.

The variety of the work I was completing kept me on my toes and and I was always excited when my family would ask “what did you do today?”

Prior to this experience, my understanding of internships was distorted by stereotypical concepts of an urban office setting and I will admit I was intimidated to take the next step. However, if I was given an infinite number of chances to re-do my first internship, I would choose North Coast Media every time.