Internship Experience: Haina, Marketing Strategy Intern at Syracuse University

In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.

Name: Haina
Graduation Year: May 2020
Major: MS in Marketing
Hometown: China (Inner Mongolia)
Intern Company/Title: Syracuse University’s Division of Marketing and Communications – Marketing Strategy Intern

Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
My internship allowed me to gain experience in internal communications. This included working with the marketing strategy, creative and content, and external communications teams, as well as with partners. I contributed to our team as a marketing strategist based on what I learned from school and also as a student who can participate in those events.

I’m currently working on several projects and research. One of the projects is Family Weekend. I started to work on this project from the very beginning; I met with partners and had phone calls with them every week. I also worked on an events calendar and abbreviated schedule.

Another project that I worked on was with the English Language Institute. I had a meeting with the assistant director of international students who runs the flagship program from Syracuse University. We had a cross-functional team meeting to talk about the best way to target the students from China. I also researched some competitive schools that have an English language institute. Recently, I worked on a research project about the Syracuse University Study Abroad program, looking at competitive schools and data sites.

How did you land your internship?
Before I saw this internship on LinkedIn, most of the internships I applied to were about market research or analysis. I changed my major from social work to marketing, so Ithought that it would bea good start for me to learn more about marketing. This position fits into my major and I wanted to try. After coming back from vacation, I received an email to interview with my director and I was very excited. Finally, I met four people from the marketing strategy team and received an offer for the internship.

What did you learn from your internship experience?
I learned a lot from this internship and I appreciate this experience during the beautiful summer at Syracuse. I learned how to communicate with partners and cooperate withmulti-functional teams to make sure projects could be finished on time. There were many situations where I could apply what I learned in the classroom to my job. I love being creative and efficient in implementing a strategy. I do this through analysis to meet partners’ needs and achieve goals.

Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
I planned to start in market research and analysis, at the initial stage of my career, but after this summer in marketing and communications, I’m not sure my career is here. I feel that I’ve enjoyed working on the marketing strategy. Coming up with ideas and finding resources for clients makes me happy. I like to work with different teams and hear different perspectives from them based on their background and experience.

How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
The most important thing for me is confidence. Work experience helps me build my confidence. I learned to integrate marketing perspectives into the real market and I also learned soft skills that I cannot get in class. My ideas have been recognized and adopted by our team. I don’t feel nervous anymore when I make a presentation in front of 20 experienced workers.

My team is also very patient to answer my questions and they share their work experience with me to help me improve. I always hear compliments and encouragement from them, and that makes me enjoy my daily job.

How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Teamwork is important. My team is like a bridge between partners and our internal teams, so there is a lot of communication and collaboration. During this year in the M.S. in Marketing program, I had a lot of teams and they were very helpful. From all those classes I took and the jobs I did, I started to develop a marketing perspective. My favorite class has been business analysis and decision making. I learned analysis and visualizing data skills that I can use in my job.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
The Division of Marketing and Communications is like a family where everybody is there for each other. I love my job because people care about me and my professional growth. They listen to my thoughts and always ask me about my work. They provide me with instruction when I need help.

I also love collaboration. We work together and share goals to provide creative strategies to meet customers’ needs. My work is different during each stage, starting from reading project reports and helping marketing strategists, to working on project tasks independently.

I talk about my internship experience with my family and friends, and I tell them that I am enjoying working here. I love working with these people. They all have different ideas based on their experience and professional backgrounds. It’s not just about what I learned about marketing, it is also about how to get along with people and how to broaden your knowledge. I extended my internship from the summer to stay here during my fall semester.

Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Looking for internships is a tough experience for students, but it will all pay off when you receive one. The first piece of advice is to start early. Go to the Career Center to work on your resume and cover letter, and attend some company information sessionsto network with people. Plan a list of companies you want to apply to. Modify your resume according to the position requirements and actively apply for any internships related to your major and interests.

Kimmy Kimball