In this first 2012-13 installment of our ‘Inside the Internship’ series, Second Year student Phoebe Weatherall debunks the myth that “you can’t find a paid internship as a first year.” Read all about it!
Whenever I thought about summer internships, I kept two things in mind: (1) I wanted to spend the summer at home; and (2) there are limited opportunities for freshmen. Given these constraints, I was skeptical I’d find anything to suit. And for a while I didn’t. But I continued to search CAVLink routinely – dedicating about twenty minutes a week to browse the database. Until one day, I found just what I was looking for: an internship in the Boston area open to freshmen. The company was Care.com, which, after a bit of research, I found to be an online service company that addresses every family’s care needs, like child- and pet-care.
I was excited by the idea of working for a start-up and hurried to apply. The position required a resume, cover letter and writing sample. I uploaded and submitted all three documents through CAVLink, then supplemented my application with an email to the contact person.
I heard back within the week about a phone interview. The purpose of this call was two-fold: to explain the position in more detail and to assess my knowledge of the company. At the end of the conversation, my interviewer invited me to a two-hour Skype call with other employees in her department. I had that call a couple of weeks later and received an offer shortly thereafter.
I had no idea what to expect on my first day. According to the position’s title, I was a content marketing intern, but I couldn’t say exactly what that meant. Luckily, the other department intern, Lauren was equally inexperienced and our boss, Stephanie was an able teacher. Under Stephanie’s tutelage, Lauren and I jumped right into the work. Within the first couple of weeks, we were making cold-calls, link-building, and writing basic HTML. And before I knew it, I had written and published an article for the site. Needless to say, things were moving quickly. But that, I suppose, is the nature of a start-up.
At Care.com everyone’s required to wear a number of hats. The current CFO remembers dabbling with the human resource and legal functions of the company when it first got off the ground. And even now, five years later, flexibility is still a requisite. That was apparent in my day-to-day when I juggled assignments from not only content marketing but also senior care and sales. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I appreciated the fast pace because it never allowed for a dull moment.
Without a doubt, the best part of the internship was the weekly brown-bag lunches with the company’s executives. Once a week the other interns and I had a whole hour to listen to a successful businessman (and woman) relate how he got to be where he is today. That’s how, week after week, I found myself sitting at a table with the CFO, Chief Brand Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and other impressive managers. It was unbelievable!
The summer may be over, but I have no doubt the skills learned and relationships formed will endure. My boss and I continue to exchange emails on occasion, and she’s open to any and all industry-related questions. As for the other interns, we’ve connected over LinkedIn and Facebook and check in every once and a while to see how the year’s progressing. Obviously, we were lucky to find Care.com fosters an environment in which camaraderie is encouraged.
If you’re going to be in the greater-Boston area for the summer and would like to work for a start-up, make sure to consider opportunities with Care. If not, then you ought to take advantage of its free-services to find a job as a nanny. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about my summer, Care.com or Content Marketing.
To read more about this employer, see http://www.care.com/college-caregivers-p1279.html
For more advice on finding internships, check out our extensive resource list at https://www.career.virginia.edu/internship/ or call 924-8900 to schedule an appointment to discuss your search!