Robert's Exciting First Week as an Intern at ElementIQ

Onboarding: How did I get here as an Intern?

In 2018, I had an important choice to make either continue with the job I was at or take a chance.  I chose to take a chance and flip a coin.  I went travelling with my lovely wife and explored the world  and started to realize that life was completely different than working a dead end job.

It was until one morning, I met this guy in Costa Rica who was a Digital Marketer working on his laptop in the hostel I was in.  I started asking him questions about it and what a lifestyle he was living, travelling and working all at the same time.  This got me really thinking that this could be me and I would really love this type of a career.  It was until that moment that everything changed for me.

I now had a completely different outlook on life and couldn’t wait to get started when I got home from travelling.  Knowing that life is all about choices and risk taking I took that risk and joined a company where I learned so much on my own.

Then, hit COVID-19 in late February.  I got laid off and life really threw a curveball at me. It got me thinking it’s time to head back to school and further educate myself.  After three intense months of virtual online learning at BrainStation I graduated with a Diploma in Digital Marketing.  Now it was time to get my foot in the door.

Fast forward a couple months later through multiple interviews and here I am as an intern at ElementIQ.  To top things off even more I had a daughter who was a couple months old during all this and it definitely kept me on my toes.  This proved to me that as long as you have a goal and stay motivated you can do anything.

I felt like COVID19 hit us on the west coast and everything shut down but for me when it hit us I raised up and pushed through and took it as motivation.   Now I am ready to dive into ElementIQ and continue my journey as a Digital Marketer.

First week as an Intern at ElementIQ

Photo by Canva


Day 1: The Journey Begins

As my first day was right after Canadian Thanksgiving weekend my belly was full and I was ready to get started.  I joined a Zoom meeting at 10am and met my fellow intern Brian and our mentor Andrea who welcomed us with open arms.  I was introduced to programs that ElementIQ uses like TeamWork, Slack, Passcamp, Humi.  I also set up our email account with ElementIQ and was officially welcomed in.

Now, the rest of the day was 1 on 1’s with the team and introducing myself and learning about everyone’s role and what they do with the company.  I felt like this was a great way to get to know the team and figure out everyone’s role and personalities.  I was told about a team gathering that was going on tomorrow at “The Hive” for rock climbing.

Now, this was a challenge for me as Day 2 of being with ElementIQ I was asked to go rock climbing with the team.  It was a tough decision due to COVID19 but I was up for the task and wanted to meet everyone face to face.  A risk worth taking and further implementing that don’t be afraid to take risks in life.

Day 2: My very first huddle

The excitement from the night before and very little sleep I was thinking about my first daily huddle in my dreams.  What is a daily huddle? Since working virtually we have a daily huddle every morning talking about our Wins (What was our big win yesterday?) and our Big Rock (What is it today that will be a challenge for you?) and Blockers (What is it today that prevents you and needs to be discussed?) and Chatter (Anything to chat about for today?).

It being only 15 minutes long we get all of these questions answered so everyone has a good feeling on how their day is going to go.  Afterwards, I had my 1 on 1 with another intern Brian and learned we both went to the same school (Brainstation) to get here and he actually knows one of my good friends from school (It’s a small world ain’t it?).

Next, we watched a webinar about “Rand Fishkin” on Influencer Marketing and SEO.  Rand Fishkin is founder of Moz and his new business “SparkToro” which is an amazing tool for Digital Marketers tracking consumers movements online.

I learned a lot of valuable information and was glad to know that ElementIQ keeps us updated on webinars that are important to us.  Next up, I was introduced to ElementIQ by Andrea who let us know more about programs ElementIQ uses and how to use them (TeamWork, Slack, Passcamp, Humi).

As the day rolled on we met with Julia who gave us our first real task to do that was based on brainstorming for a client and how we can find them partnerships that make sense mutually.  After that, I spent some time on YouTube and looked at videos that helped guide me on the programs that we use.  After a long day of learning I was excited and intrigued to go Rock Climbing at The Hive and meet the team.  I have to say I’ve only rock climbed a couple times before and I was nervous but excited at the same time.

First week as an Digital Marketing Intern

Rock Climbing at The Hive


Day 3: Introduction to ElementIQ Channels and what to expect as an Intern 

Morning Meeting at ElementIQ

The busiest day of the week! It started off with our Daily Huddle and learning what everyone's wins and rocks were for the day.  The single most important information session of the week was right after this with Brian and Andrea.  I learned all the different channels that ElementIQ has to offer potential clients and who is in charge of them.  Paid Search, Local Search, Social Media, Recruitment Services, Analytics, Content Marketing, SEO, Hosting.  Knowing the different channels that ElementIQ uses and operates for our clients was very informative to me and knowing what to expect.

I learned the most important takeaway from this session with Andrea was “The 5 second rule”.  Anytime we look at a website or anything to do with Digital Marketing is to apply this rule.  If we cannot understand what it’s about in 5 seconds then we have a problem and need to change things.

First week as an Intern at ElementIQ

Photo by Canva


Afternoon Brainstorming

After this, I was asked to take a look at the case study page on our website and find a case study that I would like and write down the “pros and cons” of it.  Next, was another huge topic that I feel satisfied to be a part of which was the “Brand Brainstorming”.

This, for me, was the big win of the day as I got to deep dive and help out with ideas on how we want ElementIQ to feel to potential customers.  I spent an hour brainstorming ideas and coming up with “quotes” and “one liners” and ideas on where I think the brand should go to improve.  It was a great way to show my creativity as a fresh employee at ElementIQ.

Later in the afternoon, I deep dived into another session with Julia and Brian and we learned more about ElementIQ 90 day plan.  Julia who is in control of the business development side of things really showed us what was upcoming in the next 90 days.  I felt this was amazing to see what ElementIQ has in store for the next 90 days and was very grateful for it to be shared with me to help improve it.

Our Weekly Meeting on Thursdays

The end of the day ends with every Thursday we have a weekly meeting where we go over “News” to be talked about whether good or bad and gives everyone a chance to express themselves and let everyone know how their week has gone so far.  I really enjoyed this meeting as it gives me a sense of what co-workers have achieved and struggled with for the week.  The day ended for work but managing time with my daughter was an everyday task too after work that I always look forward to.  This day was a good example of what a day generally will look like on a busy day at ElementIQ.

Intern at ElementIQ

Photo by Canva

Day4: The Success Story of the Founder of ElementIQ

With a short week due to Thanksgiving I was on the final day of week one (Hurray).  I felt accomplished and definitely a successful week with everything that I've achieved.   I am also thankful with what ElementIQ has taught me so far in the first week.

First week as an intern at ElementIQ

Photo by Gaelle Marcelle on Unsplash


The Morning Session

The day started off with our huddle of course and everyone's Wins and Rocks and potential hurdles.  It wasn’t until after the huddle when the most important part of the day happened.  Me and Brian met with Founder Sam Araki.  Sam told us how he created and founded ElementIQ back in the days in Calgary.  What a story it truly was and inspiring for me to hear where Sam started to where he is now.  The biggest takeaway I got from the meeting was this quote by Sam:

“This company is bigger than me. It's not just me but it’s everyone involved in it that makes it so special”.

Coming from a Founder who really believes in his workers and doesn’t have that big ego that some founders have is really amazing to hear what kind of person Sam really is.  I highly respect Sam for everything he told us and where the company is now.  I also feel very honoured to be a part of this journey and chapter in my life and to improve my skills alongside him.

The Afternoon Grind

In the afternoon I got a chance to work on feedback from Julia on a previous task and it really was beneficial for me because I learned in order to find potential partnerships for a client we need to figure out everything about them first.   It’s the social media channels, the competitor analysis, the way a partnership would work with a certain client and how we can make partnerships mutually work together.  Next, I was assigned a task on creating a buyer persona.  That’s where I did some research in order to understand who a potential buyer persona could be for a company.

I then had my first weekly meeting with Andrea on how my internship is going so far.  This was my chance to give feedback on how I thought the internship has gone so far and I’ll tell you what I was super impressed with how much learning and information I got from the first week of onboarding.  I was stumped on the question “Is there anything negative about your first week?”.

Well, definitely I have had no negative experiences as it was all positive experiences.  This goes from the teaching point from Andrea and the team to being challenged on strategies and ideas to learning everyone’s stories and how they are here and what they do for the company.  This all settled in nicely to me as everyone at ElementIQ seems like a close family and that’s a family that I am very grateful to be a part of.

Digital Marketing Intern at ElementIQ

Rock Climbing Group Photo

So what can you expect as an intern at ElementIQ in your first week?

If you made it this far in reading my post then first of all, I have to say thank you.  This is the story of my journey as an intern in my first week.  Ultimately, being invited into a closely family oriented team is highly engaging to me.  Being welcomed with open arms and not being afraid to ask questions or to be wrong is what we want here at ElementIQ.  Make yourself comfortable and known with the team and respect will follow.

I think for any intern coming into a new challenge and career development in any company is to understand who the company is and what they are made of and the clients they work with.  I felt like this week truly let me know those answers and I am directed in the right direction for weeks to come.

One thing also to note is that my internship seems to be entirely remote and at home during COVID19.  That being said, expect this in the near future and just the challenge of working remotely is a challenge in itself.  It requires getting used to and planning out your day even more so.

For me, this has been a great experience as well as I get to spend more time working from home then commuting in a car or transit for 30 minutes to 1 hour each way to work which in turn gives me more time with my wife and daughter.  It’s a win-win plus I get to control the heat whenever I want (Now that my wife is reading this I’m doomed haha).

So what’s next for me as an Intern?

Stay tuned as this is only one piece of the pie (I'm hungry now).

First week as an Intern at ElementIQ

Photo by David Fedulov on Unsplash


I will continue this journey as an intern at ElementIQ and will continue to give you updates along the way as to where I am and what I've learned along the way.  That is the most exciting part of being a Digital Marketer is each and every other day is not the same as the day before.  Doesn’t that sound exciting to you?

If you have made it this far I thank you for being excited just as much as I am.  Please Stay tuned!

Also, if you are interested in becoming our next intern please do apply below to join our amazingly awesome funky team.

“To Live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people exist, that is all”. -Oscar Wilde

headshot of robert

Brian’s First Week of Internship Experience

Are you looking to apply for the ElementIQ internship program? I guess that’s why you are here to read my blog, and yes, this is exactly how I started with my research too!

This blog is my first week of internship experience at ElementIQ, and I’m glad that you are here to read it. Before we began, I would love to share my journey of becoming an element.

Realization of Technology

For a person who has experienced the world shifting from modern to digital, it makes me think a lot about my career path over the past three years. During my childhood, the only digital thing was TV, and it took up a big part of my life. I must say I loved watching cartoons when I was a kid; even now I am an adult, I still cannot resist watching them.

When my nieces are watching cartoons, I sit down with them and we watch it together. I must say, cartoons have some magic in them that makes them irresistible. As I watch, I always feel something is missing that makes everything feel too smooth. THE COMMERCIALS! I never realized how much a commercial would impact me. Those Hot Wheels commercials made me ask my mom so many times if I could have them, yet I still don’t have them.

Hot Wheels Commercial

Hot Wheels commercial

As I grew older, I realized how impacting those commercials were. Although I don’t own the toys, it did get my attention to ask my mom for a purchase. Imagine ten kids doing it, there will definitely be a success case for purchase. As time goes on, not many people own TV cable, and not many will see the commercials because everyone is on their phone or computer. Those commercials still exist, and they are just called ads.

During my education at BCIT, I’ve been exposed to so many digital techniques, such as web development, graphic design, and video editing. I have never thought of myself doing anything digital because I’m that Asian kid who thinks maybe being a businessman will bring success to my career.

Of course, this is not the case because I know everything is digitalized, and you can feel it since everything is on the internet. We rely so much on technology that we don’t even realize, especially during COVID; when everyone needs to work from home, technology becomes necessary for everyone to stay connected.

Becoming An Element

People always say it is crucial to plan before you start doing anything. When I was studying I realized that this statement is true. If you never plan, you find yourself stumbling around, and nothing will get done. To do web development, you need to plan your file placement. Also, to do digital marketing, you need to execute a robust digital marketing plan.

Why does the company have a project manager?

Because you need someone to plan ahead and make sure things are getting completed.

After graduating from BCIT, I started my first job as a web developer, and I was so excited that I finally started my career. During the work, I was exposed to digital marketing to divide the workload, but the tasks I was doing were just the tactical side of digital marketing.

As I did more, I became interested in digital marketing, so I asked myself if I want to pursue my career as a digital marketer. Eventually, I left my job and went to BrainStation for digital marketing. One thing that always interested me is digital marketing's strategy side because it is at the heart of making your business successful.

After three months at BrainStation, my friend sent me a screenshot of a digital marketing agency that was looking for an intern, and that digital marketing agency is ElementIQ. I began my research, and as I went through the website, social media and the blog post that was posted from the previous intern, I was fascinated with the team and the work that ElementIQ had done.

As I sent over my cover letter and resume hoping I would get a response from them, I was invited to do my first interview with ElementIQ a week after. I was so happy and excited that I had the opportunity to showcase myself, and a few more weeks later, I was invited to join the ElementIQ internship program.

Workstation View

Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

First Week of My Internship Experience

Day 1 - Meeting the Team

I was super excited to start my very first remote day at ElementIQ. I hopped on to Zoom at 10 a.m. to meet Andrea and Robert for onboarding. Andrea began by introducing us to the tools that ElementIQ uses for communication, Slack, Teamwork, etc. During the onboarding, we were to set up all the accounts, and that was when I knew I am officially part of the ElementIQ team.

After onboarding, I was told to have a 1-on-1 with the rest of the ElementIQ teams. At first, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect, but I felt very welcome and warm as soon as I got into the 1-on-1 with the team.

As I shared my story and the team members sharing their stories, I felt very comfortable talking to each one of them. The 1-on-1 on the first day was the most excellent way to start in a new company because you got to understand everyone’s role and personalities, especially in a remote environment.

Day 2 - First Daily Huddle

Another exciting morning because it was my first daily huddle at ElementIQ. As Andrea had onboarded with us about the daily huddle on day one, I was informed that each member would have to share their Wins (Highlight of the day prior) and Big Rock (One specific, actionable item of the day).

Once the round is done, we move onto Blockers (Actionable items that need support from other team members) and Chatter (Talking points). After blockers and chatter had been resolved, the person who was to host the huddle had to share a quote or anything they found valuable for the team. The huddle's sharer was Brendan, and he had shared an ad that I found is so funny yet so true.

Best Time Ever to Get Braces Ad

Ad by Smile at the World Orthodontics

After the daily huddle, we watched a webinar "Rand Fishkin: Influencer Marketing & SEO" hosted by SharpSpring. As Rand Fishkin shared his experience and the data he had gathered, I gained a lot of knowledge and was happy that ElementIQ shared this valuable information with us.

As soon as the webinar was done, we jumped into our first training session on Teamwork with Andrea. During the training, we learned effective communication and estimation for each task are crucial to keeping the team informative on what is happening. We wouldn't want any of our team members to fall behind on information, and this was why our first training was to learn how to use Teamwork effectively.

After a long day of training, would you think the day had ended? Last week, I was informed that ElementIQ was planning to have a rock climbing event at The Hive, and I was invited to join the team for rock climbing. I was delighted and excited to have a chance to meet the team in person, even though it is only my second day. However, with covid and everyone having to work from home remotely, how often would you have a chance to meet the team in person.

ElementIQ Team at The Hive Doing Rock Climbing

Day 3 - Busiest Day

I was the host for the daily huddle, and it was quite an exciting experience for me. With the professionalism everyone brought during the huddle, it was my time to share, and the thing I shared with the ElementIQ team was the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma.” The documentary gave me a different perspective on how I view the social network that is impacting us daily, positively and negatively.

“Social media isn't a tool that’s waiting to be used. It has its own goals, and it has its own means of pursuing them by using your psychology against you.” - Tristan Harris, Co-Founder & President of Center for Humane Technology

After the huddle, Robert and my first training of the day was to go through the “elements” of marketing at ElementIQ with Andrea. I learned the different services ElementIQ provides for their clients, contents, development, SEO, social media, etc. I quickly learned the operation side of ElementIQ and quickly understood what to expect for my internship at ElementIQ.

After our training with Andrea, we joined Julia for our second training of the day, and learnt about lead generation for ElementIQ. The biggest lesson is building trust and being transparent with the clients, and these are the values ElementIQ cares for the most.

Lastly, we had our weekly meeting where we went over the Wins for the week, and later we shared the News and Numbers of this week to see what are positive and negative. Whether we received positive or negative news; our goal was to always learn to improve and bring success to ElementIQ. Day 3 at ElementIQ was the busiest so far, but being productive at work is always a great thing.

Desk view with calendar and desktop

Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash

Day 4 - Be an Element

Due to Thanksgiving on Monday, we only have four days for my first week, but I felt a lot of accomplishment and acquired a lot of knowledge over the week, thanks to the team at ElementIQ.

After the huddle, Robert and I got to hear the story from the founder of the company, Sam, talking about how ElementIQ was formed. I really appreciate the time Sam had spent his time telling the story because how often would you have had a chance to hear the story from the owner directly?

In the afternoon, I got to share my experience of my first week internship with Andrea. All I can say is the positive because I can not find anything negative about this internship experience. Just within the first week, I had acquired so much information that helped me with my journey for the internship.

Next Step of Being an Element

So what is my next step?

Knowing ElementIQ had invested so much time in perfecting their internship program, I felt extremely lucky that ElementIQ had chosen me for being their intern and given me such a great internship experience.

Needing to learn is always the motivation of mine, and being able to acquire so much information just in the first week of internship, you know you land in the right place.

My journey at ElementIQ had just begun. Seeing my Teamwork and Calendar filled with learning opportunities get me excited about what comes next.

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” - Bruce Lee

Exactly what Bruce Lee said. I am always ready to take on challenges and prepare to bring value to ElementIQ.

Photo of little kid ready to walk up the stair

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Are You Ready to Become an Element?

Apply here and get ready to take on those challenges ElementIQ had prepared for you. I guarantee that you will also have a fantastic internship experience like me.