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Not Your Typical Internship

Not Your Typical Internship

Just a few months ago I was starting my first internship, completely unaware of what would be in store for me. Being in my third year of university at the Schulich School of Business, I was lucky to have some understanding of what my responsibilities could be, and that I was definitely in for an eventful summer filled with lots of learning. While many of my peers had their eyes set on interning for a big firm or corporation, I had different plans for my summer.

Working for a startup company was similar to what I thought it would be. Due to the nature of a startup business, teams are inherently smaller, and there is much more room to take on responsibilities. Rather than experiencing a "typical" summer internship filled with photo copying, errand running, and excessive coffee making, I was lucky enough to get my hands dirty with the real deal.

For the duration of this summer I was the Marketing and Communications Intern. What does that role entail? It required me to complete various tasks that were related to what I have been studying in university. Over the last three years, I’ve come to the conclusion that my choice of major would be marketing, and if there is anything I would love to do, it would be related to social media. CareGuide gave me the opportunity to make that dream come to life. In addition to that, I was responsible for the Customer Service as well.

I learned social media by doing; my summer was filled with researching and finding content to post, analyzing optimal times to reach the public, posting the content to our social accounts, and analyzing the posts’ performance. While I was comfortable reaching out for some input, the decision to post most of the content was left up to me. Although this made me nervous in the beginning, it eventually became something I was extremely confident in. I was even able to write a couple of blog posts, which was also something I was interested in before starting at CareGuide. I took a great social media course at Schulich; however, it is obvious that actually participating in the social world from a business perspective provided much more positive insight. In my opinion, there is no better teacher than the real world.

Aside from social media, I was responsible for handling all of the customer support emails that came in. This was a learning experience in and of itself. I was pushed to improve my problem solving and people skills, which will certainly come in handy in the future, regardless of which occupation I find myself in.

At the end of the summer, I can confidently say that my time was well spent, and that I learned more than I imagined. I feel privileged to have worked alongside such an incredibly talented group of people who have each contributed to my learning in some way. I’m happy to say that I still have no idea how any of those coffee machines work, and that the only documents I printed were for school or leisure. The CareGuide team is unlike any other; I am grateful to have become a part of the family.