“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
I was a sales and marketing professional with a degree in computer science before I came across the ElementIQ Internship program. Having a stable job which was paying the bills comfortably was not something I thought I’d complain about, but this thought was soon changed.
Have you ever skimmed through your résumé and felt like you really want to see something meaningful on there? Well, I did!
The moment I realized that I was not doing something that I really wanted to do, I opened my eyes to the opportunities that were out in the market. Whilst scrolling through my Facebook, I came across an advertisement for the ElQ internship. Although I was well aware of what traditional marketing was, I had no clue what digital marketing was.
Thus, the first step to my application was a google search titled “what is digital marketing” and “what does digital marketing include.” I realized that I had immense potential in this field because I had had some sales experience and I was computer savvy.
I shot out my résumé to EIQ and within the next 24 hours, I knew what to do next. Ramesh replied to my application promptly and asked me to complete two tasks before a probable interview – An inbound certification from HubSpot and an English grammar test. To be honest, I thought this was the most relevant pre-interview checklist I’ve come across.
The next step in my application process was a face to face to interview with Ramesh and Vikram at the Spacekraft office (a co-working shared space that reflects the start-up essence) in Burnaby. Suited up, I met with the two EIQ employees who were extremely welcoming and easy-going.
The interview was set up in the spacecraft lounge that turned it into a constructive conversation rather than a formal interview. The questions I was asked were very relevant to the job and were well aligned with the expectations mentioned in their advertisement. The interview that went on for just over an hour, was one of the most productive conversations I’d had in context to a job.
Next, I met with Sam a few days after the initial interview and we discussed what he expected from his employees and gave me a brief introduction of what EIQ believes in as a team. Sam came across to me as a person who motivates his team and wants his employees to grow with the team.
This was exactly what I was looking for in my life – to be a part of a motivated team where my opinion is valued and new ideas are a result of constructive conversation with fun being the by-product. I must admit, the Spacekraft office was also a catalyst to my affirmative decision once I was offered the position a week later. Allow me take you through the journey of my first week of work at ElementIQ.
The Pilot (Day O):
As soon as I accepted the offer, I was asked to come in for an onboarding meeting with Vikram. On a beautiful Thursday morning, I walked into the Spacekraft office in Burnaby and had the same expressions Harry Potter did on his first visit to Hogwarts. I knew there was so much I was going to learn and so much I was going to be good at. I may sound presumptuous when I say that I knew I was going to be good at so many things, but here’s why I am not:
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.”
My confidence came from a vibe, a vibe I got from my welcoming colleagues and the people I was surrounded with.
We went over a variety of tools and software I would need over time at EIQ to successfully carry out daily tasks. Some of the tools were as simple as an email account and an instant messenger and some were more detailed like Teamwork, Quip and Slack. Have you ever watched the detail in which the Quartermaster (Q) describes his exhibits to James Bond? Vikram was as passionate as Q in this scenario – you could tell that he was passionate about his operation space.
Following the tools of the trade were the tricks of the trade – Vikram went over some of the essentials of digital marketing concepts with me. Some of these concepts were The Marketing Funnel, Buyer Personas and Social Media Channels. What I appreciate most about this session was the fact that it was assumed that I was fresh to the field and all information was delivered without the need of a prerequisite.
(It was like enrolling in Comp Sci 404 at Uni without completing the pre-requisites and finding out the instructor is going to recap Comp Sci 304,204 and 104 again. Instructor goals!!)
The session had an open-ended activity to it which included me trying to market one of my favorite brands. All in all, my orientation day made me realize (for the first time) that following your passion could not go wrong!
The One With The First Huddle (Day 1):
The following Tuesday after my orientation was my first official day with the EIQ team. I was welcomed by the team and the day started with a morning huddle. This was the first time I was going to be a part of the huddle and I was curious to know what it was all about.
What Makes An Effective Daily Huddle?
- Blockers: Any blockers that may be a hindrance to any tasks that have been assigned
- Daily Tasks: Any tasks that may need attention or discussion
- Chatter: Any mention-worth items from client tasks
- Share Something: Each day one person shares something interesting, usually motivational or influential
As someone who tries hard to be organized in life (with little or no success), the huddle seemed like a very important part of my day.
The huddle was followed by a walkthrough of our clients and Vikram walked me through each client’s case thoroughly. I understood that each client was different and each case was interesting in its own way.
Although we had already touched base on some of the tools that I was going to need during my tenure as a digital marketer, Vikram took the effort to thoroughly walk me through each of the tools starting with TeamWork (a project management and task manager with collaborative capabilities). This was followed by Quip (a modern replacement of docs with uber-collaborative functionality and integration capabilities) and Slack walkthroughs.
The walkthroughs were followed by realistic activities that directly aligned with our line of work and enabled me to communicate with the team easily and manage my tasks to perfection (just what a true procrastinator needs in life).
The day went by so quick that it almost felt like an elementary school field trip. At the end of it, I was full of things I had newly learnt - my body relaxed and my mind tired enough to let me sleep like a baby.
The One With The Reports (Day 2):
I was the kind of student that went off to a library every time I needed to get some serious work done. I always thought that I wasn’t able to get work done at home because it wasn’t the right environment. This was proven wrong on my second day at EIQ.
My second day at work was another first-timer. The EIQ team works from the Spacekraft office three times a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and remotely twice a week (Wednesday and Friday) so my second working day was going to be the first time that I would be remotely connected with the rest of the team. To my surprise, it was as smooth as a face-to-face meeting with great coordination and pre-assigned tasks.
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work another day in life”
The challenge I faced was a different one. Whilst I was in school, mathematics and statistics was something I absolutely dreaded and my second working day at EIQ was meant to introduce me to analytics and reporting which can be broadly categorized as a result of statistics. Vikram introduced me to a software unlike any other called NinjaCat that is used in the marketing world to analyze the real-time ROI situation for a particular business.
As and how I got used to navigating around the software through the day, I realized that I was now dealing with real data, real numbers, and real situations. As unnatural as it may sound, real-world problems are what make our lives interesting! The moment I started to understand that my analysis or reports would make a difference to a business and its marketing strategies, the hidden mathematician within me rose out of the grave.
The day can be summed up into three great sessions where I learned a lot about Facebook Advertising, Google Analytics, and Reporting.
The One With The Norman Doors (Day 3):
The next day back at the office started off with some reporting tasks I had been assigned the previous day. I worked on these analytical puzzles like a child trying to find the right way to join two Lego blocks and I absolutely loved the challenge! By the time I had finished my task in hand, it was almost time for the most awaited activity of the day – a UX/UI walkthrough session with Joseph.
As a computer science student, I had a fair idea of the importance of ease of access or ease of use of a particular object. However, what I didn’t know was how often we come across bad designs and how they are introduced to us. Joseph had a great flow to his session. In fact, an exemplary one. One of the key takeaways from this session was the Norman Doors anomaly. Joseph set up a presentation explaining how bad doors are a part of our lives and how we have to face awkward situations trying to overcome the push and pull battle! As simple as this may seem, it was the start to a great insight on User Interface and User Experience Design.
This session was followed by some reading to be done on UX/UI and taking a look at the resources shared by Joseph. Following the session was the weekly meeting that the EIQ team assembles for every Thursday. This meeting was a more elaborate meeting in comparison to the daily huddle. The weekly team meet can be divided broadly into the following:
Weekly Meeting Composition:
- Wins: Mention worthy achievements
- Numbers: Numerical representation of our performance
- Deep dive: Topics that need to be discussed in depth
- Tasks and Challenges: Follow-up tasks in line with discussion
With the end of the weekly team meet, an eventful Thursday had come to an end.
The One About This Blog (Day 4):
My fourth day at EIQ was not only my second remote working day but also a Friday. FRIYAAY! The tasks I had for the morning were read a little bit about our clients. I got to know what our clients do in terms of business and what their business goals are. This study was followed by a short analysis of what these clients do, again using google analytics and NinjaCat.
The highlight of the day was a session on content writing with Karmen. Her session on writing for the web included multiple examples of good and bad writing. She made me understand that writing for a crowd is just like trying to read their minds. It is important to read their thoughts and cater to the needs of that crowd.
A brief part of the session also included information on structure, images, formatting and other such neglected factors. Some of the resources that she shared helped me in writing this post.
Well, with the week coming to an end, I had just one task to complete before I could sip onto the madness of the weekend – updating the notes for our daily huddle for Monday morning.
The One With WordPress (Day 5):
My fifth day at EIQ was a Monday. This was also my first Monday as a part of the team. Honestly, the best part of this day was just after I woke up and realized that I did not have the Monday Blues. I guess that is how it feels to work a job you really like. My Monday was a busy one, and what I had most to look forward to was a Web Development session with Lincoln and a Local Search Optimization session with Vikram.
The morning started off with some pending tasks from before the weekend. Just after lunch, Vikram and I got together for a short session on how Local SEO is carried out. The session was a great add-on to the other sessions I’d had with him as they were like joining different pieces of a puzzle.
After my first session, it was now time for a Web Dev walkthrough with Lincoln. This was the most technical session as yet and gave insights on how websites are developed, how they are themed and what goes into making an effective web page. Lincoln also walked me through some of the applications that would come in handy when wanting to create an effective website or landing page. This session definitely gave me a thorough introduction to Web Development.
This was the end of not just a great Monday, but also a fantastic first week at ElementIQ!