Prior to beginning my internship, I worked in a variety of sales positions, from door-to-door and cold calling, all the way to B2B and in-person sales. These roles helped me build sales experience and in general provided great work experience, but I wanted to expand into the world of technology and gain new experiences. Of course, my first instinct as a sales-minded individual was to head into digital marketing. Even though digital marketing was very interesting to me, I decided to go a different direction at first.
Some research and hands on experimenting made me realize I actually was most intrigued in web and app development. My reasoning was that because I enjoy the problem solving aspect of development, I have a more analytical mindset, and I enjoy building things that can be seen and interacted with. Being a very hands on learner, I decided to take the bootcamp route at RED Academy. After finishing the full stack web and app development course, I attended the RED Academy Talent Connect event, where alumni were able to present themselves to potential employers, and vice versa. I was fortunate enough to meet Andrea, Lincoln and Sam from ElementIQ. After hearing about Sam’s presentation of values and his vision of the internship program at Element IQ, I approached them right away, following the employer presentation segment. To my suprise, they were intrigued because I had advertised myself as “Sales and Development”.
At first, I thought there was not a need for someone that could be successful at both sales and development. I started searching for jobs and talking to people at networking events and I quickly realized that I was a unique individual in the industry, which is why I decided to test the waters at the Talent Connect event and sell myself as someone that could do both.
ElementIQ had a new lead source which required a tech-minded individual with a strong sales background. That was convenient for me as I love sales, I love tech and development, and I have always been intrigued by digital marketing. They explained the internship is a very hands-on experience where I would get to gather a deep understanding of digital marketing and actually apply the skills in a work environment. Previous experience leads me to believe that hands on learning is most effective. Ultimately, everything perfectly lined up, my interview went well, and I began my first day as an ElementIQ Intern.
The reason you are reading this is probably because you are curious what your first week as an ElementIQ Intern will look like. Your first day begins at 10:00 AM where you get to meet the team, in-office and abroad. Everyone on the team is welcoming and very easy to get to know, they make you feel like you are part of the team right away. This specific intern on-boarding meeting was run a little bit different than it normally does.
After I met the team, Sam kicked off the meeting with our main value in the company - freedom. Allowing you to work while being able to travel, but still being held accountable. Sam then opened up to the team to discuss the overall value we at ElementIQ provide. Following that, Sam explained his vision and future goals for ElementIQ. Hearing this on my first day as an ElementIQ intern made me feel valued as a team member and like I was part of something bigger.
Following your first meeting with the team, you get to dive right into learning. Your first day revolves much around learning all the programs we use at ElementIQ. Especially the main one - Teamwork. Like anything new, I was lost and confused using Teamwork. All in all, I was very satisfied with my first day at ElementIQ and I was excited to learn new things.
Overloaded with new knowledge and the excitement of positive change, you could probably guess I had a restless sleep. However, Day 2 was finally upon me and I was ready to go. On your 2nd day at Element IQ you begin at 9:00AM with the rest of your team at the daily huddle. This is a time where you will get to focus on your previous day’s wins, the team’s blockers, and your current day’s goals that you want to accomplish. Plus there is an extra section for chatter - just anything that needs to be addressed. To end every team huddle, there’s an interesting “share” from one of the team members which is usually a quote or something that they found valuable and would like to share with the team.
Following the daily huddle, you are fully immersed into learning digital marketing. I sat down with Lincoln for an overview of all the different marketing channels ElementIQ has and saw examples of how we can utilize them to get the best results. This is a very generalized overview, but does provide you with good enough context to understand digital marketing as a whole, and how ElementIQ does it differently.
As you know already, I was very confused when working with Teamwork. Luckily for me I was able to sit down with Andrea, who is the coordinator of the Internship program. This step would normally happen on your 1st day of the internship, but she had been away on my first day. She explained to me exactly what to focus on while using Teamwork which really gave me a clear understanding of how to properly use Teamwork to the standards expected at ElementIQ. Since Day 2 was going smoothly, I started to focus on setting myself up for success on Day 3. With freedom being the main value at ElementIQ, you get 2 days a week where you get to work from home. In my opinion, it’s the 2 days you would want to work at home; Wednesday (hump day) and Friday (weekend kick off day).
If you are like me, someone who has a short attention span, work at home days are kind of scary. At first, I was worried I would not be able to keep busy enough and might fall victim to at-home distractions. On your first at home day, you will quickly realize this is not a problem at all. You will have so many different lessons, tasks or meetings to do that you’ll never find it hard to keep busy. Believe it or not, this was one of my busiest days thus far.
Your day starts like any other with the daily huddle. Andrea does a great job at structuring your internship to surround you with skill sets early on in the internship that will help support you, as you progress into your area of specialization with the company. Since my focus is on sales my lessons today were focused around the pre-sales questionnaire with Brendan. In this meeting we dissected our current pre-sales questionnaire and the importance behind each question, which took up most of the morning.
Depending on the skill set you bring to Element IQ, the team will sometimes ask for your help on certain things. Since one of my skill sets is in WordPress development, Lincoln and Joseph scheduled a meeting with me to help fix an issue with one of the plugins we used on our client’s website. I enjoyed doing my part, and was happy that they reached out to me. After the meeting we found a resolution that seemed feasible. Then, that afternoon, I had some extra time so I began to break down my thoughts and put my vision for the sales process onto paper.
At this point, you probably can guess how day 4 begins. I find it nice getting into a routine with the daily huddle. The biggest value of the daily huddle, in my opinion, is the communication factor for the team. You will find that every team member is on the same page when it comes to our clients. This is a breath of fresh air compared to previous jobs I have had.
Following the huddle, Lincoln and I discussed our current sales process and how our current revenue is being generated. At ElementIQ, your thoughts and ideas are always valued and you will never be shut down for voicing your opinion. If you decide to join the team, you will quickly notice I have lots of opinions. Some better than others, but I love how the team is open to hearing them, no matter what. That being said, I took Lincoln through the sales process idea I had written down the previous day. Lincoln seemed to really like it, and gave me some feedback on areas where I could improve it.
Knowing that communication is so important for our team, I spent some time talking to Andrea and took her through the sales process as well. Although she saw I was getting ahead of myself, she still let me finish and gave me her feedback on improvements that could be made. She then explained to me that I needed to slow down a bit because she noticed that my focus was being divided into 2 different mindsets - sales person and intern. I was feeling overwhelmed.
Week 1 of your internship will fly by. Like I said, Fridays you also get to work from home. Following our daily huddle, I got to meet with Vikram who is one of the more senior team members at ElementIQ and is also one of our team members who’s living abroad. We started off the meeting just talking about hobbies and building a relationship with each other. It was nice to get to know Vikram better. After spending some time talking, we started to discuss our “90 day plan” process, starting from the beginning where we find out our clients needs, then breaking down all the different dynamics of how the 90 day plans get created and deployed.
One of my tasks was to build a buyer persona for ElementIQ. After getting ideas of how to do a good buyer persona from Vikram, I wanted to take him through my sales process as well. He also had lots of great things to say about it and gave me spots I could improve on. I spent the rest of the day working on 3 buyer personas for Element IQ. I was fired up after our meeting and had all these ideas for the sales process that I wanted to get down over the weekend. Finding myself still getting overwhelmed, I took a step back over the weekend and began to understand Andrea’s advice about slowing things down.
The first week at Element IQ will have you feeling excited and mostly overwhelmed, but don’t worry. After talking to the team and reading the other internship blogs you will realize that everyone’s 1st week, feels this way. I am personally excited and thankful I have this opportunity to learn digital marketing in a hands-on learning environment. I absorbed a lot of knowledge in my first week and can’t wait to continue progressing. If freedom, trust and communication are things that you value, then your experience as an ElementIQ intern will be amazing.