Intern Reflection: Hieu Nguyen
by Hieu Nguyen
It is really hard to sit down and start writing my intern reflection, harder than any social media posts or blogs I have written for KSA. My experience as an intern at KSA for the past three months is definitely hard to put into words. However, I do want to share what I have learned over the course of my internship as a reminder of how far I have come.
As an international student from Vietnam, KSA is the first American business firm I have ever worked for. I was nervous as I did not know what to expect. On my way to work on the first day, I started thinking about the things I might do. I thought about how I would be getting coffee for everyone and do photocopy/printing work, because that is what I saw on American movies/TV shows all the time.
I was wrong, big time! There was no running errands; instead, I got assigned tactical projects to work on in the first week. At first, it felt a bit overwhelming because I did not know where to start but I was always encouraged to speak up and ask questions if I need help. After all, internship is the time for you to learn and to learn is to ask questions.
After working at KSA, I realized the importance of networking. Rhode Island is a small state so staying connected with local businesses and marketers is really crucial. I had the chance to go to an AMP-RI event and I was shocked at the fact everybody knows everybody. However, going to events like that taught me how to network and create meaningful business connections at big events.
One thing I noticed at KSA is that while the working environment is very relaxed, no one is slacking or wasting their valuable time doing their personal business. Everyone works hard to meet their deadline and you do not want to be the only one that is not. Unlike school where you will get a deduction in your grade if you turn in your assignment late, everything happens in real time at KSA. If you miss your deadline, it will set the whole schedule back and affect other parts of the project. You can take a break and joke around with everyone in the office every now and then, but make sure your part is done and done well. This is what I admire about KSA staff, they are dedicated to the work so once they start, they will put their best effort in and produce the best quality work possible.
Teamwork at KSA is also very different from school group work. There is a reason why it is called “Team KSA” and I was lucky enough to be a part of it, even if it was only for three months. If school group work for me was communicating through text, team meeting once/week for 30 minutes, KSA group work is an entirely different experience. Everyone has each other’s back and works closely with each other in every project. If you work at KSA, no matter if you are an intern or a full-time employee, you are part of the team, so do not hesitate to ask for help. After all, teamwork makes the dream work!
As an intern at KSA, I was mostly given the task of creating social media content for KSA and some other clients. Through this, I learned how to tailor the language, creating visuals, and choose the right content for the right client. It is a hard job because sometimes, you get content block (like writers block) and cannot produce any posts. That is when you need to think outside of the box and start looking for inspiration from the things around you. Sometimes, even the simplest thing could produce quality content. I also did research for some KSA clients and I have learned to appreciate the effort put into researching before carrying out any marketing campaign. All the research I did had to be detailed and easy to follow as the company and clients will use the information as the basis for their decision of selecting which direction to move forward.
As an intern at KSA, I never once felt like I was inferior. My ideas and inputs were always taken seriously and I was held to the same standard as everyone else. Everybody was really helpful and nice to me and I learned so much from the senior staff. I am grateful for everyone’s effort to help me and see me as part of the team. The past three months have been amazing and I would not trade it for anything else, even if it is the chance to go back home for the summer. I feel like I am a part of the KSA family. One piece of advice to anyone who wants to apply for KSA internship: if you are passionate about marketing and not afraid of hard work, KSA welcomes you. Thank you KSA Marketing, you all will forever be the marketing heroes that I look up to.