Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics gain valuable professional-level exposure through internships. This year, young scholars were able to traverse the complications of COVID-19 by pursuing an array of internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. Each profile of this series will detail a Lerner student’s experiences working remotely on business-oriented projects.
Carly Cooper, a Class of 2022 marketing and management double major with a minor in professional selling and sales management, spent her summer working remotely as a client engagement associate for Graham Media Partners (GMP), a marketing agency in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
Q: How did you find out about and choose this internship?
Cooper: I found this internship through my network. I ultimately chose this internship because the firm is a small company (only 11 employees) and they conveyed a team-oriented and friendly work environment. I felt that in this environment, I would gain so much knowledge about the marketing world and have amazing mentors to guide me along the way.
Q: How did the coronavirus response impact your internship search and working experience?
Cooper: The coronavirus chaos led to my internship being mostly remote. It was tough to start my first internship online but my team made me feel so comfortable and helped me every step of the way. I do have the privilege of going into the office once a week where my boss and I sit socially distanced and work together on various projects and brainstorming sessions.
Q: What did you learn through this internship that you don’t think you would have learned anywhere else?
Cooper: It is not until you experience marketing in the real world that you truly get a sense of all the work and hours that go into a company’s strategic plan. Working at GMP has provided me with extensive knowledge of the marketing industry that I would not have gotten anywhere else. I have sat in on meetings, learned how to create messaging documents, learned the ins and outs of social media marketing and even managed my own small accounts!
Q: What is the most exciting project or task that you have undertaken in your role?
Cooper: The most exciting project I have undertaken as a client engagement associate has definitely been creating pitch decks for potential clients. My co-workers first tasked me with doing research on financial firms in the area in need of marketing help. Once I compiled this list, they had me create a pitch deck for each client. There I was able to name their strengths, weaknesses and competitors along with takeaways and recommendations on how we can help them improve their reach to potential clients through digital marketing strategies. So far we have had meetings with two potential new clients discussing the next steps!
Q: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at Lerner to your role?
Cooper: In my business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, I hold the position of the social media chair. Being in this position has taught me how to use social media as a tool to reach more potential members or, as a company would say, clients. Having this experience has allowed me to get my foot in the door and excel at generating content for the firms that we work with at GMP.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you with your professional goals?
Cooper: This internship has opened my eyes to the extensive world of marketing. GMP has taught me everything there is to know about digital marketing; messaging and positioning, strategy research and analysis, campaign development and execution, email marketing, content creation, website design, social media marketing and the list goes on. More importantly, GMP has taught me how important it is to love where you work. Company culture is such an important factor when choosing a place of work. I am so grateful to be part of such a talented, cohesive and welcoming team, and now I know that this is the culture I work best with.
Q: What are your plans or next steps in your career once this internship is over?
Cooper: I plan on continuing this internship virtually throughout the semester. Once the internship concludes, I hope to expand my reach to larger marketing firms and, in the summer of 2021, use what I have learned at GMP at another internship that will further my knowledge in the marketing industry.