GreatAmerica Internship Proves to be more than Just a Job Title

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

Aug 14, 2018

(Picture above: GreatAmerica interns celebrate month end by welcoming employees and visitors into the building.)

Company Culture Encourages and Challenges Enhancing Skills, Gaining Experience and Being Your Best Self

This summer, I had the opportunity to hold a role as a summer marketing intern for GreatAmerica and became involved with multiple business units. Throughout my internship, I learned about many different facets of marketing, thanks to various team members at GreatAmerica who invested their time teaching me and delegating projects to me.

While I learned a lot in regard to marketing functions, I also learned many things at GreatAmerica that cannot be taught or read from a book. I learned things outside the realm of marketing, like how to behave and learn in a business setting, as well as the power of a strong company culture.

Here are some things I learned during my time as a GreatAmerica marketing intern:

Enhance Skills by Asking Questions to Gain a Better Understanding

Throughout school, learning and asking questions is expected. Teachers constantly pry students to ask questions, or to raise a hand. However, in the business world it became my responsibility to vogue for myself and ask questions.

The first day of my GreatAmerica internship, my team leader informed me that asking questions was the best way to learn, and he was right.

On numerous occasions, strategic marketing directors from various business units reached out to me with project opportunities. To gain a good understanding of the task, I knew I needed to ask questions for clarification, insight, and to have every tool I needed to successfully complete a project.

I learned those who ask questions, no matter what your role, find more opportunity for growth than those opposed.

Gain Experience Learning How to Work Best with Different People

Each person is different, and in a work setting everyone plays a different role. In turn, understanding how to work with different people and realizing their method of doing things may be different than yours plays an important role in workplace cohesion.

Keep in mind, different does not mean wrong.

For example, someone who prefers using old sales or marketing tactics may not be as comfortable in the digital realm. Instead of becoming frustrated, think of the situation as a growing opportunity. You can each learn from one another’s tactics and work together to evaluate the pros and cons of both and then incorporate the best of each. One team member gave me great advice to,

“Remember to take elements from each person’s suggestions, but make it your own!”

Be Your Best Self by Accepting Feedback as a Growing Opportunity

Everyone at GreatAmerica, myself included, strives to bring their best selves to work each day, for each other and for the customer. This company culture is rooted deep and has motivated and influenced me to grow and learn each day. I found the most growth opportunity when seeking feedback from others with an open mind.

Every time I received feedback, I learned it was a chance to improve my work and gain professional experience.

Even though I held pride in the work I had done, I realized there is always room for improvement.

I was extremely fortunate to be a part of GreatAmerica this summer as a marketing intern. My time here has been full of learning, building friendships, and a little fun of course. In fact, I found such a passion with GreatAmerica, we worked to extend my marketing internship through the school year.

I look forward to continue working with, and being mentored by, the people of GreatAmerica (and Collabrance) to continue enhancing my skills and gaining more experience.

At GreatAmerica, I learned what it meant to bring my best self to work, and am excited to continue to grow and bring an even better version of myself each day.

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About The Author

Taylor McDonough

Taylor started at GreatAmerica nearly a year ago as a marketing intern and recently accepted a role as a Sales Development Representative at GreatAmerica within the Connected Technologies Group. She plans to start full time after graduating from Iowa State University this spring with a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising.