(from L to R: Nathan, Gwen, Tori, Caitlyn, Sarah)
Another summer internship is in the books! Every year, our internship class gets better and more talented (we think it's something in our water), and this year was no exception.
This summer, we were lucky enough to have 5 interns: Gwen Brunot (Creative), Caitlin Matsen (Marketing), Tori Schurr (Account Management), Sarah Selzer (Marketing), and Nathan Walls (Technology). They each brought a talent that only enhanced our team and we will be sorry to see them go.
Enough about what we thought; we want to know what they thought of their experience. Take it away, guys!
WHAT WAS THE FAVORITE THING YOU WORKED ON?
GB: A new client's website redesign, because this was the project I saw through the entire way from the very first client meeting, to wireframes and visual design, and front-end development. This project gave me a chance to touch all areas of a website redesign and really get first-hand experience on working and presenting to real clients.
CM: I really enjoyed creating content for clients' websites, as it was an exciting way to utilize both creative writing and marketing skills!
TS: I enjoyed working on the client projects the most. I felt as if I truly owned the day-to-day communications. I was able to interact directly with clients and monitor their projects from start to finish.
SS: My favorite thing I worked on was the 2019 Intern Recruitment project. I really enjoyed digging into the Google Analytics of last year's site and form, and then thinking critically about what the numbers told and how to boost the quality and quantity of applicants for next year. Additionally, I was thrilled to be able to use those ideas while designing the new landing page for applicants, as well as the fliers for job fairs.
NW: I loved the opportunity to work on a project as an intern team. After the wireframes, the design and the marketing plan were made, it was really cool to turn the design into an actual working website.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAY?
GB: My biggest takeaway from my internship here at Hileman Group was how to work effectively on a team and directly with clients. Everything I did here was a huge in-depth and immersive learning experience, but being able to work on a team and with clients was probably the biggest takeaway for me.
CM: My biggest takeaway is the value of working on a team that plays to each other’s strengths, is constantly teaching one another and is extremely supportive. This environment makes the core value of winning together easy.
TS: There are so many different directions and career paths you can take as a marketing student. Marketing is such a diverse field that can cover any industry. I never would have thought that Account Management would have been a career path for me before this internship.
SS: My biggest takeaway is that people and culture are everything. How enjoyable and how much you learn has a lot to do with the people you are surrounded by and learning from. This was really made clear to me this summer because I *loved* everyone I worked with, and Hileman Group’s culture is very growth-oriented, so it was easy and fun to dig in and work hard at learning new skills, because everyone else is teaching and learning alongside you.
NW: There is so much more that goes into digital marketing, marketing automation and SEO than blindly using keywords on your website or choosing a demographic for your Facebook ad campaign.
ADVICE FOR FUTURE INTERNS?
GB: My advice for future interns is to take in absolutely everything that you can while you are here. You can learn so much from everyone at Hileman Group and asking people and trying to get to know and learn from everyone here is the biggest asset to you as you start your career. I would suggest to try to get at least a grasp on what someone from each team does, even if they are not on your team or field of work, because you never know what great information you will learn. Take everything as an opportunity to learn and grow.
CM: My advice is to always ask questions, it’s the best way to learn!
TS: As cliché as it is, never be afraid to ask questions or step out of your comfort zone. Internships are designed to allow you to grow and learn. Asking questions is one of the best ways to do that. You aren’t expected to know everything and it is easier to ask questions than it is to undo work.
SS: Take every opportunity you can! Whether it be a weekend volleyball game or volunteering after work to writing a blog post or designing a landing page even though you’re a marketing intern. The former are great ways to bond with your coworkers and therefore get comfortable and feel like part of the team super quickly, and the latter are great ways to expand your skill set and see what you are good at.
NW: Ask lots of questions, do great work, and enjoy working in downtown Cleveland because there's just too much to do.
IF YOU HAD TO DO IT OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU? WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
GB: I would absolutely love to do this summer over again at Hileman Group. I had such an incredible and beneficial internship here and it has also been a blast to work here. I do not think I would have done anything differently, as this was a great learning experience for me. I know that I can take all my new experiences and knowledge along with me to my next internship or job.
CM: Yes, I definitely would! I wouldn’t change a thing.
TS: Absolutely, I have had such an amazing experience here in all aspects. I learned so much from my team, the other interns, our clients and our projects. I think one thing that I would do differently is that I would ask for more feedback on not only my work, but also my professionalism, because there is always room to improve.
SS: Heck yes! I have loved my time at Hileman Group and I would say it is by far the best internship I have had. The only thing I would change is probably to feel comfortable asking questions from day 1. Everyone is super kind and eager to help!
NW: I would definitely do it again, but I would ask more questions. There were so many times the problem-solver in me wanted to figure something out by myself, when I could have just said out loud, "Has anyone used <insert API or library>?" and gotten all the information I needed.
WE're NOT FISHING for a Compliment, We SWEAR, but... DESCRIBE HILEMAN GROUP IN 3 WORDS.
GB: People-Oriented. Creative. Impactful.
CM: Engaged. Passionate. Encouraging.
TS: Accomplished. Supportive. Inspiring.
SS: Hard-working. Fun. Food.
NW: Friendly. Focused. Experienced.