Now that my summer is winding down to a halt, there are a couple drastic changes in my life which I need to address. In the weeks during which the sun hastens its retirement to before the 20th hour, I find myself with fewer excuses to leave the house.
The readily available Olympic coverage, abundance of pesky mosquitos, and soul-crushing humidity sure aren’t helping the matter. Neither is my impending departure from Liquid Interactive, the workplace which has wormed its way into my heart.
As part of the sacred intern rites of passage, I am to write a blog post reflecting on my experience working here. As growth is an important aspect of reflection, I sought to observe the master of growth, Mother Nature herself. However, shortly after exiting the front door, I remembered the omnipresent threat of mosquitos, and scurried back inside.
Surely, I thought, there must be some relatable vehicle through which I can convey my bittersweet summertime wisdom. Admittedly, I ended up utilizing not one vehicle, but many. As such, I will reference my past, college career, internship, and heroes to demonstrate what I have learned these recent months.
Discover your love
A couple years ago, I was regaling my mother with food for thought on why I refuse to relegate my iPhone to the confines of a case. My argument was that the mobile device is simply too sleek and sexy; donning some cumbersome Otterbox does not constitute protection, it invites shame. To this, my perceptive parent responded that I belong in marketing.
Despite this, I attended Pitt to pursue a degree in accounting. My accounting grades didn’t adequately reflect my fervor for the subject. Meanwhile, my communication marks provided something to write home about. My advisor urged me to sample another discipline, so I ventured into the vines of the cavernous marketing jungle with an overpriced machete.
Pressing fast forward
This summer, I have expanded more than just my horizons. Besides (or maybe because) I learned to relish new challenges, I landed my first “real” marketing position. On top of that, my taste buds evolved to appreciate the previously exotic flavors of mushroom, seltzer, IPA’s, and tea (which is now nearing extinction in Liquid’s kitchen).
I believe that all of this is possible due to the recognition of my true passion. For the first half of my college career, I followed the path I thought I wanted to take, not the one I actually wanted to take. It’s a good thing I made the transition, otherwise I would be occupying a grey cubicle manning a standard-issue computer. Hey, wait a minute…
In all seriousness, the decision to switch majors was more than a mere line alteration on my transcript – it represented the opening of my mind to the envelopment of new experiences. I believe willingness to change is the beginning of improvement, which brings me to my next point.
Maximize your potential
Resolve to become the best version of yourself. That means throwing yourself into fearful situations and acknowledging chillingly that failure is a very real possibility. This translates directly to my internship, where I performed activities which made my stomach tie itself up in knots even an Eagle Scout couldn’t undo.
My brother Samuel, who is not a Scout but rather a proclaimed self-improvement enthusiast, always harps on about developing transferable skills. This means training to obtain myriad capabilities so that they transcend the categories in which they’re useful.
For instance, lifting weights and the courageous swagger that I leave the gym with has absolutely nothing to do with marketing. It has, however, immeasurably increased my self-confidence, which has motivated me to further my marketing prowess, especially in areas I lack experience.
To me, that’s interviewing six colleagues for half an hour apiece before compiling their thoughts into a comprehensive story. That’s organizing an entire campaign and going door-to-door to hand out posters. That’s conceiving and publishing posts on social media before finally donating a pint of blood.
Strengthen the weak links
To flaunt my collective marketing knowledge as one fabulous piece of bling, I can’t ignore the feeblest, rustiest chain links. Before my internship, I had never broadcasted a single tweet, never liked a single picture on Instagram. As of today, I have polished my links through the trials of attending numerous educational meetings and the tribulations of generating analytics reports.
I now understand the inner workings of multiple social media platforms, enabling me to analyze metrics and produce recommendations. Though they aren’t yet gilded, my links now display signs of glimmering strength. Hell, I may even be able to give 2 Chainz and Flava Flav a run for their money one day.
Speaking of exemplary men, the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed his 6 rules for success in his 2009 USC commencement speech. What stuck out to me most was the final rule, “give back”. His final commandment gave me a startling realization: I’m not very good at giving.
Wrapping the gift
In the spirit of self-improvement, I would like to practice the art of altruism, which I believe ironically begins by recognizing how fortunate I am.
My supervisor Emily Massaro was so attentive in catering to my requests and setting me up to accomplish my goals that she might as well have had four ears. She arranged endless meetings with colleagues to educate me on the foundations of digital marketing infrastructure and provided invaluable feedback on my social posts and reports.
Tying the bow
Thank you for your tenacity in keeping me on track and in check. And thank you everyone else – whom I would name if this post weren’t so frustratingly long already – for making Liquid a second home. I greatly appreciate all of the opportunities you have given me. In return, the least I can do is give you a box of my favorite tea on my way out.
This could be you! Just let us know you’re interested.
About Noah Belman
Noah Belman is a Digital Marketing summer 2016 intern at Liquid. He’s a student at the University of Pittsburgh, working to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.