To help entertain myself during our 5-week break, I decided to pursue a “Winternship” opportunity. Like the name implies, these internships are conveniently offered during winter break. Winternships are highly sought after, and are a great way for students to break into industries they’re interested in exploring and/or working in after graduation.

Landing the Job

I applied to a few companies for marketing positions. After interviews with two companies, I was offered a position with Improv’eat, an organic, non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) health-food company based in Atlanta, GA. I was also thrilled about the fact that I would telecommute for the internship, which allowed me to return home to California to visit family and friends, who I haven’t seen in months.

After lots of phone calls and email exchanges with Improv’eat CEO Todd Fitts (who graduated from Fuqua’s Cross Continent MBA program in 2002), we settled on a few action items and deliverables for me to work on. This included assisting with the company’s social media strategy by helping to create Twitter posts. I also looked into how the company can best utilize a Facebook fan page and blog. Essentially, I’ve helped to consolidate and streamline information that’s offered via each social media channel. Mr. Fitts and I communicate weekly (if not more often) and I turned in developments and assignments as they were completed.

Real-World Experience

This is the first time I’ve worked on my own to develop a marketing strategy. And I love it! Prior to coming to Fuqua, I had little marketing experience. I had worked with a startup company where I assisted with website content and messaging, but that was always part of a larger team effort and was less independent that what I’ve been doing at Improv’eat.

After taking MMS courses in marketing and strategy, I knew that I wanted to explore career options in those areas. This Winternship has given me the opportunity to gain unparalleled insight on designing a marketing strategy, prioritizing product-messaging needs, and utilizing social media platforms. I was given the freedom to create ideas for future blog posts, a Twitter strategy, and suggestions for streamlining Facebook use.

The two courses I mentioned earlier – marketing analysis and strategy – have really come in handy during the Winternship. I’ve drawn upon lessons learned from those classes, such as assessing demographics, creating cohesive messaging schemes, and establishing a corporate identity. It has been thrilling to put what I’ve learned into practice. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of real-world skills already, and I can’t wait to report on the final product!