Maeva Riley ’14
Internship Site: LinkedIn - Mountain View, CA
The summer before my sophomore year at Dickinson, I was an Intern at a small executive search firm in California. I really loved the job and I was learning a lot about a small business. They had promised me a job the next summer saying that they really liked the work that I had done. While abroad in the spring, I received an email saying that they no longer had a budget for me. I was devastated. It was mid-February and I had absolutely no backup plan for my summer. I started emailing people from previous jobs and some family friends and nothing seemed to be working. One day, I received an email from one of my father’s old coworkers who had begun working at LinkedIn. He said that he was looking for a marketing intern. I immediately jumped at the opportunity. I had three interviews over Skype while I was in Spain. Two of my interviews were in French because I speak French as well. After the three grueling interviews, I was told that I start May 10.
I am so happy that my previous job didn’t have me come back because I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge about a different kind of company in the business world and I wouldn’t have been a part of one of the fastest growing companies in the hi-tech world at the moment. Sometimes, being let go from something opens doors to opportunities that are much better!
LinkedIn has a strong focus on its brand and getting the word out about the company in a positive light. My main project was to pull lists of people from their database for certain cities for events that they were holding around the world. It was a tedious job that required a lot of long hours staring at a computer screen but I learned a lot about marketing and marketing trends.
My favorite “project” was my week long sales training in San Francisco. I was the youngest one to attend by far and it was basically a week of training for sales people. There were different lessons each day and I learned an immense amount of information about how to be successful in the sales world. It was also a great time to network with people from all around the world and make connections with people that I may be able to contact later for job opportunities. I feel very fortunate to have gone through this training at the beginning of my career path. No matter what field I go into in business, I feel like it is essential to learn and know about all fields in the company.
The most challenging part for me was learning how to interact socially with my coworkers. I consider myself a very serious and professional person while at work. LinkedIn has a culture that is very relaxed compared to past internships of mine and I struggled with finding the balance between too serious and too comfortable. During an offsite with the marketing team, we went rafting and camping for a couple of days. It was hard for me to start conversations with people because they were all older and I didn’t know what to talk about. I didn’t know if I should talk about business or if this was the time to talk about hobbies, etc. I slowly became better and more comfortable in my skin as the internship progressed but I still have a long ways to go. I have learned that all companies are different and that it is a learning process.
I thought about two different classes a lot during my internship. Fundamentals of Business was a course that I am so glad that I took before this. It taught me about business in a global environment, which was relevant to LinkedIn because it is a company that is expanding globally very quickly. This class also laid out the steps of how to be a successful business and I witnessed a lot of what I learned in class, at my internship site, including well-structured management and a defined company culture.
The second class that I thought about while at LinkedIn was my ethics course. Although not always relevant (and much different than my business class), many times I was able to apply what I learned about moral dilemmas to everyday situations in the work world. We are all humans who have our own ethical positions and morals, which are present throughout our lives, including at work. While in meetings, at least two different occasions I witnessed how some people talked about the customers and how careful they were to emphasize the importance of morality in their decisions. I am very interested in the combination of business and ethics and it was great to be able to apply and witness concepts from the two different classes at LinkedIn.
Tips from Maeva:
Considering my internship was with the company who has the main focus of emphasizing the importance of NETWORKING, I would feel neglectful if I didn’t mention this first. Networking is key. People who know you or know you through a friend are much more likely to give you an internship than somebody who is reading your resume online through an application. It is a much more personalized way and companies like this because they trust that their employees will hire people who will do a good job.
Before anything, take advantage of your own network and the network of alumni from Dickinson. Use resources like the Career Center and older students and don’t be afraid to reach out! Internships are such a crucial part of learning about what you want to do after college and I cannot describe how valuable they are. It’s never too early to start!
*To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Just call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.