Q&A with Our Awesome Interns!

We’ve really enjoyed getting to know our interns; sometimes we think we’ve learned just as much from them as they have from us! Here’s a little more about what a TRIO internship is like:

trio solutions
Interns Maryanna and Caitlin

Tell us about your background, where you go to college, your major and your internship placement!

Caitlin: I am from Memphis, Tennessee and I just graduated from the College of Charleston this May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. This fall, I will be joining the MBA program at the Fisher School of Business at Ohio State University. I am currently the marketing agency intern at TRIO. I have previously worked as a special events and fundraising intern at Hollings Cancer Center (such an INCREDIBLE experience), social media marketing intern for the CofC admissions office, product development and marketing intern for a small startup nutrition company called Happy Mondays Cafe and a volunteer for the Red Cross of the Lowcountry’s development office, where I helped with their social media campaigns. Most importantly, I have a 2-year-old husky/boxer/pit mix named Murphy!

Meagan: I am from Wilmington, North Carolina and I currently attend the College of Charleston. I am in the honors college and a marketing major planning to graduate in the spring of 2020. I started pursuing graphic design in high school when I joined the yearbook staff. I became editor-in-chief my senior year and I loved creating something from concept to creation. I was the graphic design intern at Sas-E Ink in 2017 and now I am the graphic design intern at TRIO. 

Margaret: I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I’ll be a senior at the College of Charleston this fall. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. I love gathering ideas and inspiration from current trends in fashion, food, art, business, and more- Instagram is definitely my go-to! My choice to pursue marketing clicked right away for me because I realized I could be creating the content I have always enjoyed viewing. In the summer of 2017, I was a marketing and communications intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and this summer I am the social media intern at TRIO!

Maryanna: I’m from Charleston and currently attend the University of Georgia, where I’m majoring in entertainment and media studies. During the first half of my college career, I pursued film production and spent last summer at the Cannes Film Festival. After I figured out that I wanted to try a slightly different career path, I started the new media certificate program which has helped me develop my passion for web design. When I was searching for a summer internship, I knew I wanted to find an opportunity to expand my web design skills. Now I’m the web production intern at TRIO!

trio charleston
Maryanna, Margaret and Meagan

Why did you choose TRIO?

Caitlin: During my senior year at CofC, I took a social media marketing class and Jessica was my professor. I really admired her extensive knowledge of marketing as a whole. Before TRIO, I had no knowledge of what it was like to work in a marketing agency. I wanted to gain as much knowledge as I could before beginning my MBA, so I emailed Jessica my resume and asked if she had any available internships and here we are! 

Meagan: I was really interested in learning more about the agency side of marketing and TRIO seemed like the perfect opportunity to further my skills in graphic design while also learning a lot about the marketing world. I was sold after my interview at TRIO because the environment was so welcoming and seemed like a place that really facilitated the growth of its employees.

Maryanna: I chose TRIO because I was interested in learning more about a web developer’s role in an agency setting. TRIO was also appealing because of the people. During the interview process, I could see that TRIO truly valued their interns. This internship seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn and gain experience in a welcoming environment. (I really wanted to be able to live at home in Charleston for the summer too!)

Margaret: TRIO piqued my interest at my first glance of their website because the culture appeared so fun, welcoming, and hardworking, which is definitely the truth! I was interested in gaining experience and working with clients in diverse industries and how a marketing agency facilitates its clients’ goals, compared to in-house. I also loved how TRIO participates in CreateAThon! I think it’s a great way to give back to the local community by sharing their professional skills.

What’s the most useful skill(s) you’ve learned from your internship?

Caitlin: I think the most useful skill I have developed is the knowledge of how a small marketing agency works. I have had the opportunity to talk with everyone in the office and see how their job functions interconnect.

Meagan: I have learned a lot about effective communication strategies within the workplace. I have also had the opportunity to attend weekly learning sessions with Laurel, the graphic designer at TRIO, and I have learned so much about designing through these sessions. 

Maryanna: I’ve learned a lot of skills from this internship, but the most useful one I’ve developed is the ability to use my resources to solve a problem. Whether it’s researching a solution on my own or asking for help, I think it’s important to be able to use what I’m given when I’m stuck on an issue. I’m also starting weekly learning sessions with Shaun, the web developer at TRIO, so I’m excited to learn and improve my technical skills.

Margaret: I have learned so much so far at TRIO and I continue to learn something new every day! I think the most useful skill I’ve learned so far is looking at a client is a holistic way. It’s all about research! It’s so important to discuss current happenings with the respective account manager, conduct my own client-specific research and familiarize myself with their industry as a whole. Having a well-rounded understanding is essential for creating quality content.  

What’s something you never knew about your field or an agency until you started working here?

Caitlin: FunctionFox was something that surprised me when I first began. Everyone has such a good understanding of the system, and I have been able to adapt well to it, too. 

Meagan: I had no idea about how agencies tracked/billed their time! Learning FunctionFox was super cool for me since I have never used a program like that and I feel like it is a super efficient way to manage time and tasks. 

Maryanna: I was unfamiliar with how clients were managed in an agency setting, so it’s been interesting observing how projects for those clients are completed. I also didn’t know what a web developer’s day-to-day was like or the different types of tasks they work on in a smaller agency. 

How do you think this internship will help you in your future career? 

Caitlin: This internship has helped me gain experience in an agency setting that I would otherwise not have had. Previously, I had never worked in an environment in which I could see how different departments communicated with each other. 

Meagan: I think this internship will help me in a few ways. The new skills I have learned in graphic design will definitely help me to be a better, more experienced designer. Also, I feel that the real-life workplace experience I gained at TRIO will help me to be much more prepared for what to expect when entering my first job. I will have a better idea of what to look for when searching for a job post-graduation and how to effectively manage my time when I do begin working. I also found that I like the business side of marketing and I think I want to pursue a career in creative marketing rather than solely graphic design after my internship at TRIO.

Maryanna: I think the technical skills I’ve learned and developed during this internship will help me become a better web designer with a more diversified skill set. I also found that I like working in an agency setting, so this internship will help me know what to expect when I pursue a job with a marketing agency after graduation.

Margaret: I wish I could list them all, but we would be here for a while. One of my main takeaways from this internship has definitely been improving my copywriting skills. A large portion of copywriting is being creative in how you phrase or word a message–not just writing it point blank–to keep an audience engaged. I’m definitely still learning and not a master by any means, but I’ve learned some great strategies and received awesome tips since starting at TRIO.

What would your dream job be after you graduate?

Caitlin: This question stresses me out (haha). I hope I will be able to narrow down my ‘dream job’ list within the next year. Currently, I would love to work for a small to medium company as a product or brand manager. My favorite brand is Whole Foods–I love how their brand promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages people to explore local produce and small, local companies. Joining their product management team would be a dream of mine. 

Meagan: My absolute dream would be to work for the marketing department at National Geographic.

Maryanna: After I graduate, my dream job would be to work as a web designer in New York City. I don’t have a specific company in mind yet, but I could definitely see myself working for a marketing agency.

Will you be writing a report for your school about your internship? If so, what kind of things do you plan to include?

Caitlin: I will not, but I did for my internship with the CofC admissions office. I researched and wrote a paper on social media crisis management. In addition, I created a social media crisis management plan for the admissions office and presented it to the office to implement.

Meagan: I already did! In the spring semester, I wrote a report about my internship at TRIO for my marketing internship class. I wrote all about the marketing industry, the positive views I had on TRIO’s workplace environment and employee relationships and how excited I was to continue working and growing with TRIO this summer!

Maryanna: I’m not receiving class credit for this internship, so I most likely won’t have to write a formal report. I’m sure I’ll be asked about it in job interviews, though, and I plan to talk about my experiences learning new technical skills. I would also talk about my improved understanding of how to communicate and collaborate in an agency setting.

Margaret: Yes, I will! I actually already started writing a report on my experience for my marketing internship class. The report includes an overview of the marketing industry as a whole and my overall experience at TRIO, detailing my projects and responsibilities as an intern. I’ll also discuss how and which concepts I’ve learned in my classes have been applied while working in a real-world setting. 

What would you tell interested candidates about TRIO’s internship program?

Caitlin: I would recommend it to anyone interested in pursuing a career in communications or marketing. TRIO offers its interns the chance to get to know and learn from every employee in the office, helping them become more well-rounded in the field of marketing. 

Meagan: It is a great opportunity to gain experience while still in college and grow as a young professional. The internship experience at TRIO is both immersive and educational. I recommend it to anyone who is looking to pursue a career in any form of business. Since TRIO offers so many different services to their clients, there are so many different ways in which TRIO can be beneficial to a business student.

Maryanna: TRIO’s internship program is an amazing opportunity! The interns get to work on projects for clients, learn valuable skills in their respective fields and gain experience in an agency setting. Team TRIO really cares about investing in their interns and providing an environment to grow in a professional setting.

Margaret: TRIO’s internship program is 10/10; I would definitely recommend! If anyone has the slightest interest, I would encourage them to apply. Everyone at TRIO is super accessible and excited to help you learn from this experience. I think this internship has prepared me extremely well because we’re given responsibilities and independence when working on projects for clients, but it’s clear we have the support of everyone at TRIO if we need anything! 

Anything else you want to share with the world?

Meagan: Love all of the pups in the office!

Maryanna: I love the intern lunch bunches! And all of the pups! 

Margaret: Totally agree with Maryanna and Meagan! Who doesn’t love doggos and good food?