When I decided to pick communication as my major at Purdue three years ago, people surrounding me defined me as crazy. Some of them tried to persuade me to change my mind, since they assumed I would not succeed in such a language-based major as an Asian international student. However, I am a stubborn person who enjoys challenges and proving others wrong. And, I won after my three-year academic life at Purdue and the moment I received a content intern offer from Treefrog Marketing.
On the first day I started working, I was excited. When I was in class, I imagined using my knowledge to do something for real companies and clients. But, I was also nervous, since it would be the first job in my lifetime. Only when I really entered this place did I realize that what I predicted was totally wrong.
As a person who has been brainwashed by comedy drama, such as The Devil Wears Prada in the past few years, it is unavoidable for me to imagine my future workplace as a battlefield. Managers are strict with interns. Interns would be fired for making mistakes. However, the reality proved that all of my thoughts were just illusion. I have to say, if you are not a Treefrogger, you will never know what working at the greatest workplace means. I had thought a lot about different types future workplaces, but I had never thought about working so efficiently while sitting at this place with creative design, flexible hours, and fantastic music.
As an intern at Treefrog this summer, I have done strategic planning, e-newsletter creating, blog writing, and social media scheduling. Although I have learned a lot in class time at Purdue, it was totally different when I was really doing a campaign or writing something in the real world. During these months, I was also able to learn different technical tools, such as SEO, WordPress, Hootsuite, MailChimp, and social media analytics. I was unfamiliar with these skills at the beginning, but my lovely colleagues never got tired of teaching me over and over again until I had great command of these tools.
In my interview, I asked to do some strategic planning. I was so excited since it was my favorite work in the public relations field when I was studying. However, the real-world experience is so distinct from the in-class session. I am responsible for combining my public relations knowledge — including goals and objectives setting, audience segmentation, situational analysis, and campaign execution — to conduct the most comprehensive and flawless strategic plan for Treefrog. In other words, my work might determine the direction of all future work here in the agency. Honestly speaking, I was also stressed out that I might not be able to do well enough and let Kelly and Megan down. However, they were encouraging and praised my work, which inspired me and made me more willing to share my ideas.
Apart from strategic planning, I am also crazy about researching and designing. Luckily, during the months at Treefrog, I was provided with an opportunity to utilize both my research and design skills to create the e-newsletters for one client using the MailChimp tool. When I was at Purdue, I learned about e-newsletters many times, but this was my first time I set about doing it in reality.
Although I was hired as a content intern by Treefrog, as an ESL person, I was not very good at writing. I felt great pressure that my language issue would be an obstacle during my internship. However, things didn’t go too terribly. Victoria gave me a large amount of approval of my writing. Instead of pointing out my insufficient writing skills, she commended me for my researching skills and helped me a lot on grammar issues, which led me to become confident to overcome my writing pain point. During the writing experience, I also learned about SEO, the search engine optimization, something I had never known before. It was abstract to understand when I heard about it for the first time, but Megan and Victoria both patiently explained once and again. Thanks to Treefrog, I gained access to a magical tool that I have never learned about in class.
Some people might think scheduling blogs and social media is a boring task since it requires you to do the same things repeatedly. However, I appreciate that Treefrog allowed me to schedule the posts for different clients. I not only get to know so many clients, but also read posts with different styles from different people at the same time. When I was scheduling, I was able to learn some writing advantages that I don’t have from those posts.
Apart from the technical knowledge and working experiences, I have also gained a valuable skill for my whole life: sincerity.
My culture has made me a quiet person, thus I rarely express my emotions. When people were talking or having fun, I was more willing to focus on my job in order to prevent embarrassment when I didn’t understand their jokes or interesting things. I performed in that way when I first arrived at Treefrog, since I thought I was just an intern and nobody would take too much care of me. But I gradually realized that I gave myself too much pressure and isolated myself too far away.
At Treefrog Marketing, every person is tied to each other. They help each other excluding any prejudice and bias; they talk and share every moment in life; they support each other like a family no matter what kind of obstacles they are encountering. Sometimes, I could not control myself to listen to those interesting things. So I tried to overcome my slow and timid personality and participated in their conversation. And they never excluded me.
Being sincere is a process of reciprocity. I could deeply feel every Treefrogger’s sincere acceptance of me in their culture and community. I have become really attached to this place and willing to contribute myself as much as possible. My first internship built up my confidence to face more upcoming challenges in my lifetime. Moreover, sincerity and knowing such a warm group are even more valuable and meaningful things I learned and got during the days at Treefrog Marketing.
Thank you, Treefrog! I will continue my academic life next month, but Treefroggers never say goodbye. In my mother language, Chinese, goodbye is “Zai Jian,” where “Zai” means “again,” and “Jian” means “see you.” Goodbye also means see you again.
Treefrog Marketing is an advertising agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.