As a marketing major at NC State, I have accumulated mounds upon mountains of classroom marketing knowledge. In only my first few weeks at VisionPoint I quickly learned that classroom knowledge and industry knowledge are two vastly different types of knowledge. Classroom knowledge is certainly a valuable tool for relating to the real world but my position as project manager intern has taught me that each project and client are different and unique. This is part of what makes marketing such an exciting field. Having an internship where your main task isn’t fetching coffee or making endless copies opens your eyes to the real working world. At VisionPoint, interns are incorporated into the casual, productive, and sometimes quirky business culture. This allows interns, like myself, to learn real world applications to all the classroom knowledge we have acquired.

When I started at VisionPoint, I had no idea what went into building a website much less all the research required to determine what users the site targeted and the information each group of users required. I honestly had never given a website’s audience much thought or even realized that a website needs to be tailored to an audience.  Learning that a website could have multiple audiences really through me for a loop. It didn’t take me long to figure out that marketing is actually quite complicated and full of strategy. Determining target audiences and the information that is valuable to each sector is essential to not only good content but the overall usefulness of the website. If the information visitors are looking for isn’t available, then the website is virtually useless.

Over the course of my internship, I also learned more about social media and the endless opportunities that the marketing medium holds. Social media for a general civilian serves as a tool to rant, rave, praise, and scorn society and as a place to mingle with new and old friends, while social media for higher education bodies is part of the attraction to the institution. Therefore, improper management of social media outlets can be a hindrance to success. The only repercussion of social media I was previously aware of before my internship with VisionPoint was embarrassment due to putting a little too much information on social media, which I certainly know I am guilty of.

VisionPoint’s culture is quite unique. On my first day I was introduced to everyone in the office, an exciting yet overwhelming task. Trying to match faces, jobs, and personalities was quite a challenge but I eventually got the hang of it.  After a week and one Friday lunch out I quickly realized that all these intelligent, crazy people are so much fun! Ashlee is not only my office twin but always brings in the best cupcakes. Dogs are not only a frequent conversation topic (especially beagles) but also a welcome addition to the work environment, instantly making everyone a little happier. Being an intern, my questions are always endless but Carissa never seems to mind. VisionPoint employees also know the best places to eat and who would ever complain about that? 

All of these things amount to a perfectly balanced, fun yet productive, atmosphere. Sometimes being an intern you feel that you are in the office to do the “dirty” work and are constantly intimidated by your superiors. This is not the case at VisionPoint.  Asking questions and having input on all the various projects going on is welcomed. Over the course of my internship I’ve helped with so many different projects I have honestly lost track. While this may seem overwhelming it is actually just the opposite. Having the opportunity to work on so many different projects and gain experience in so many different marketing methods has opened my eyes to the real world of marketing. Having all these experiences under my belt is immensely valuable.

I wasn’t quite sure what my role would be when I accepted VisionPoint’s internship offer; however, now, as my experience draws to a close, I realize that I was a welcome contributor to countless team projects and everything but a “lowly” intern. This is what internships are about, not making copies and making coffee runs. I will leave VisionPoint with much more knowledge than I had before and many, many new memories. There is no thank you large enough to express how grateful I am to Diane, Tony, and the entire staff for the opportunity to be an intern at VisionPoint. Oh, and for putting up with all of my nonsense.