How Connecting With Community Nurtures Growth What is the best way to build new skills? Our BrandLab intern, Ashley, reflects on how her experience at MentorMate has enriched her professional development. Ashley Goodridge Office Assistant Growing up, I’ve always wanted to start my own business. But in what? That was a question I always asked myself until I met my first love. Nail Polish. I discovered that I wanted to create and produce my own nail polish line. But how was I going to make that dream into reality? I could not answer this question until my junior year of highschool, when I signed up for a marketing class and discovered The BrandLab. “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all love of what you are doing or learning to do.” Pelé What is The BrandLab? The BrandLab is a marketing internship program that works with students from various backgrounds to expose them to creative careers. I signed up to take marketing because I wanted to expose myself to different aspects of business, such as entrepreneurship and business management. When I started the class, my teacher explained that we will be having a BrandLab workshop session every week. The workshops taught advertisements, working in a team to create campaigns for companies, and how businesses promote their brands to targeted audiences. Throughout the workshops, I gradually became interested in the marketing industry. Now I had an idea of where in business I wanted to work. Towards the end of the classes, Emily, the Internship Director of The BrandLab, explained to our class the BrandLab internship. As I filled out the application, I realized that this program could help me answer the questions that would begin to turn my dreams into reality. After submitting my application and completing my interview, I was accepted into The BrandLab’s Internship program. It is one of the greatest achievements in my life. After attending orientation and training, I was lucky enough to be placed at MentorMate. Why MentorMate? MentorMate’s involvement with the BrandLab started thanks to MentorMate’s VP of Client Experience, Jay Miller. How can I get involved with my community? That was a question Jay was searching to answer. He had a vision to work with programs that incorporate technology and improve diversity in the marketing community. During his research for the right program he came across The BrandLab’s website. He was captivated by the program’s work in the community. After reading their mission statement, he knew that The BrandLab was the right fit and instantly connected with Brian Gioielli and Ken Lawrence, BrandLab coordinators, to discuss about why he would love for MentorMate to be involved. After their meeting, MentorMate had officially partnered with The BrandLab. Because of Jay Miller I had the opportunity to experience working at MentorMate. How Asking Questions is Essential to Growth When I imagined working at a company, the words corporate, strict, and serious came to mind. So did wearing suits and sitting in a cubicle all day. At MentorMate, the culture is the very opposite of that. On my first day, before I even entered the office, I was greeted with work to do from my supervisor Sarah Rockholt. That is what happens when there is a company event on your first day as an intern! But after getting settled and meeting everyone, I instantly felt welcomed and included. I enjoyed working with the social media team because I had the chance to participate in a Twitter chat called ChatSnap. This taught about how businesses use social media. I worked closely with employees in different roles in marketing and conducted informational interviews with employees from other departments, such as sales, project management, and business management. I also faced challenges. I had a hard time grasping the concept of keyword research when I was creating a blog for MentorMate website. I struggled that week when I did not ask a lot of questions or communicate clearly with one of my co-workers. Eventually, I overcame the challenge and learned that it is always important to ask questions when you do not understand a task. Communication is key to building a relationship with your co-workers and building new skills. What’s the Takeaway? Throughout my time at MentorMate, I learned about different aspects of marketing and overcame challenges. Most importantly I bonded and established a relationship with a wonderful team. But out of my experience at MentorMate I learned overall that it is important to expose yourself to different aspects of a career of interest because it opens your mind to paths you might not have considered otherwise. Image source: MentorMate Tags CultureCompany Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.