One of the benefits stated on the hiring page of the Internship Program is “Learn by DOING (your classmates won’t be learning these important marketing skills at their jobs).” The moment I read this, I know I had to apply for the ElementIQ Internship Program.

Starting my career in a marketing agency has always been the goal ever since I found my passion in marketing. It is no doubt that I have limited experience, but I am always eager to learn and grow. I was seeking for a company that would provide me with a positive learning environment.

At ElementIQ, that opportunity is present where I could make real contributions from day one. Because only by doing can you find your real passion. So, let me bring you to the start line.

The Intern

Sorry for the downer, but this ain’t a Hollywood-polished storyline of a 70-year-old bored retiree going out of his way to start an internship in a youngsters-dominated company, nor am I Anne Hathaway. This is actually more exciting than that. Okay, maybe not the latter, but certainly the former.

On a freezing morning in late November, I slung on my charming bright orange backpack to enter a significantly spacious coworking space called Spacekraft as the new intern hustler to join the tight team at ElementIQ.

I arrived at 10am (start-up perks #YAS), only to be turned down during my first chat-in with Lincoln that we actually start at 9 (JK. The early bird catches the worm). My commitment with them is working 2 to 3 days in the office, and then the other days remotely. Why do another internship as a fresh grad after completing 3 semesters of internships during your school period, you ask?

As a fresh graduate from SFU FCAT with background experience in social media and creative writing, I was more intrigued by the possibility of exploring my career options early on. I prefer to think on my feet and be accountable for a variety of duties than just focusing on the same daily duties.

Contrary to popular belief, my duties do not include standing in front of a photocopy machine for hours. Although this is how cool our photocopy machine looks like:

Nor does it include brewing coffee just to kill time until the clock hits 5pm. Starting as an intern with an agency is more rewarding than you might prematurely perceive and you’ll see why.

Here’s the outline of my first week:

Dia UNO (Day 1)

This is a sneak peek at what a chunk of my training agenda looks like:

**10 am**
* Welcome!! with Ramesh and Lincoln 🙂

* We will always make things right.

* Admin – hours – lunch – payroll review – equipment – supplies – washroom – garbage – expenses – Spacekraft – Huddle at 9:08 each day – HubSpot Learning – ideas/questions?!

* Google Apps setup and walkthrough

* Email, Calendar, and Docs

* Quip setup and walk-through

* TW setup and walk-through

* Slack setup and walk-through

* Paperwork, etc


* Work on your Bio for the website (HOMEWORK)

* DistilledU as a resource

* Good Apps to install (HOMEWORK)

* Check out Stencil and Canva

* Internship Program First Week Blog Post (HOMEWORK)

* What to subscribe to? Marketing Land, Search Engine Land, Moz Top 10, HubSpot Blog

Note that this is the agenda only for 10AM, not the entire first day. Upon setting up my email and Slack, my colleague Ramesh presented my full first week agenda on Quip. It is broken down into time slots of what I’m going to learn and be assigned each day. To start off, I needed to get the flow of how the team operates and communicates.

I could see right away that they are very effective in everything they do, from logging tasks to filing things where they are supposed to go. For example, they have approximately 30 channels on Slack, each designated to a specific client and other relevant topics.

Another tool that I find useful is Teamwork. You can easily keep track of accomplished and upcoming tasks by logging in your work time through Teamwork. When you’re done, simply check it off and it will automatically take it off the list. It feels as good as physically striking things off your to-do list.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

Overall, the tasks are exciting while appropriately challenging. Which is why it’s extremely important to stick to deadlines while progressing at your comfortable pace. Tracking the time of how much you spend on each task will allow you to be able to review your productivity and adjust your pace if necessary.

Dia DOS (Day 2)

*This is the second time I came into the office that week, but technically was my third day.

Growing up as a wired Millenial, I would have thought that all these apps are self-explanatory, lessening the need to take a lot of notes. I was wrong. The next day I couldn’t figure out where the link to the Google Hangout for the team’s daily huddle was.

Lesson learned: With the amount of information you have to absorb on the first day, your brain will thank you later if you jot down all the important information. There is especially a significant amount of new material to absorb.

Day 2 is when the real lessons begin. My agenda was packed with learning the basics of SEO, Local Search Marketing, and Website Development. All of which I have never learned before. Fortunately, Payman, Vikram, and Lincoln have excellent teaching methods. They incorporate relatable elements in their explanations, making it easier to grasp how these strategies work.

For instance, Payman, our Inbound Marketing Strategist, underlines that “Linking is king.” But in leveraging your credibility and mentions from authority sources, you need to make sure that your site provides quality content. The point is, I aimed to connect the dots between what I already knew and what I was currently learning. In this case, between content marketing and SEO.

Learning new things this way makes it easier to understand how each element complements each other on the periodic table of digital marketing that we live by at ElementIQ.

A Few Key Takeaways From The Internship:

1. Ask questions! Always try to think on your feet and come up with hypothetical cases to easily understand what you are learning.

2. Don’t forget your notes. Jotting them down is only the first step, reviewing them is a major key that should be followed.

3. Read great books and articles. Stay curious. Stay humble, and don’t be afraid to stumble.

In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to checking off more and more tasks on my Teamwork dashboard.