Employer: The Huffington Post (recently merged with AOL)
Internship Title: Advertising Sales Intern
Describe your duties:
I assisted account managers on the Corporate and Entertainment teams. I helped them put together decks to send to clients as verification that their advertisements went live on the website. I conducted extensive research for a video that will soon be featured on the "Impact" section of The Huffington Post about Corporate Social Responsibility. The video will be produced along with one of the founders of Twitter, Biz Stone. I researched the philanthropic activities, volunteer programs, and charity sponsorships that 20+ major corporations are involved with today. I also attended multiple training sessions, including a session on how to sell The Huffington Post to clients and another about the new types of advertisements that are being sold or will be launched in the future. I took part in a content moderation training session and became certified to manage user comments on the company's website. I also attended weekly meetings with the advertising team and participated in their discussions about current projects.
What did you most enjoy about your internship?
One of the best things about working at AOL was its exciting and fun culture. It was not uncommon to hear someone shout out "Happy Friday!" in the middle of the office. Piñatas hung from the ceiling and a new one is put up every time the sales team has a big win. The people were friendly and willing to let me shadow them and teach me how to use all the computer programs. Everyone was smart and passionate about their jobs and their enthusiasm was contagious!
What was the most difficult aspect of the internship?
My least favorite part of the internship was the first week when I was new at the office and did not know the other interns. I was also a little intimidated by all the new computer programs I would have to learn how to use in order to complete assignments for my manager. The first week was definitely tough because it took me some time to adjust to the new environment and get settled in my daily routine.
How did your experience at Bucknell prepare you for your internship?
My experience at Bucknell helped prepare me for this internship because I was able to use my research skills and writing skills to complete my tasks. After writing multiple 20+ page research papers for my English classes, I was prepared for the in-depth research and analysis I had to conduct at my internship.
How did your internship prepare you for a career?
My internship prepared me for a career because I was exposed to both the business and editorial sectors of a major corporation like AOL. Journalism and advertising are two career paths I am interested in pursuing upon graduation. My experience helped me understand what goes on in a typical office setting, how to work in a team to achieve a business goal, and how to write a succinct report.
What recommendations do you have for other students considering doing an internship?
Internships are invaluable experiences for college students. I have made an effort to get an internship every year at Bucknell and I have learned and built off all my experiences. Each internship prepared me for the next one and kept me focused on my career path and interests. Internships are a wonderful way to build your resume and gain experience before you have to take on responsibilities when they really matter. As you choose an internship, find something that you have an interest in but perhaps don't know much about. Take chances and experiment with different types of internships because you never know when you might discover a new passion. I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career when I was a freshman, but I knew the types of careers I did not want to pursue. I reviewed my strengths, weaknesses, and interests before applying for internships and I was not afraid to take risks. I may not have enjoyed all my internships equally but even the negative experiences helped me get to know myself better and locate my passions. Even as a current senior, I'm still exploring career paths and hoping that I will soon find the perfect fit.
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