I’m a final year Strategic Brand Communications student at Vega School in Cape Town and joined Electrum’s marketing team as part of the most recent summer internship programme. My goal has always been to get an internship before graduating to apply what I’ve learned at university in a real business setting, so I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to take ownership of projects at Electrum. In this article, I’ll share more about what my internship was like and what my key takeaways are.
The perception of interning is often one whereby the intern is there to do the busy work or help out anyone who needs it. However, Electrum allowed me to gain actual hands-on experience in marketing. I was assigned projects of my own and given creative freedom when it came to how I approached them. I was given four main tasks:
- Creating and executing a new plan for a recruitment campaign
- Improving the website’s SEO
- Conducting a full year’s analytics report, and
- Writing this very article for the blog
I came into the office every day and was set up with my own desk and MacBook Pro in the marketing office. On top of my projects, I was part of all the team’s meetings and asked to help out with ad-hoc jobs, such as writing social media copy and giving design feedback. Getting used to the pace of working life was something new to adjust to but I quickly settled into a routine. Four weeks flew by, and now, as the internship is coming to an end, I’d like to share what stood out to me about the experience.
During my internship, I was assigned my own mentor, who I chatted and worked with daily. I was required to report on my progress for each project and was given feedback from her.
As an intern, having this form of mentorship was like gaining career coaching with each session. It helped me feel supported in the work I was doing and in my internship as a whole.
I was also able to collaborate with the other members of the marketing team, including our content writers, graphic designer, and product marketers. This gave me useful insight into all the different contributions needed to execute marketing tasks and showed me how much each team member’s input affects the progress of a project. It taught me that nothing happens in isolation and how important it is to be able to work well in a team.
An inspiring work environment
From the moment I stepped into the office, I got the sense that I was in a productive and healthy working environment. What stood out to me was the open and friendly culture in the office. All the walls at Electrum are clear glass, which created a sense of transparency and gave me a “my door is always open” feel. By making it easy for people to get involved, I noticed that everyone was willing to jump in and help if they felt like they had something to offer.
The positive atmosphere made me feel more comfortable and motivated to collaborate and do my job.
Let me not forget to mention the infamous coffee machine. Not only do you learn how to use the machine and prepare your own coffee, you are allowed endless cups all day, every day. There is quite honestly anything and everything you need in Electrum’s offices – people have even spoken about wanting to (live or sleep) there for a few nights.
Getting fully immersed in company activities
Even though I interned for a short period of time at Electrum, I didn’t feel as if I was “just an intern” nor was I treated as just temporary. Instead, myself and the software developer interns were given onboarding presentations from each Head of Department so that we could get a complete picture of how Electrum comes together. We were also included in all necessary meetings to help us get a sense of what everyone was busy with and where our work fits in.
This level of trust really made me feel welcomed and like a valuable member of the team.
This was important to me as it made me feel that my role and responsibilities were actually impactful to the team and Electrum as a whole.
Interacting with different people
Electrum believes that interacting on a social level is important to help the team collaborate and do their best work. To encourage bonding, we had daily in-office lunches and the company organised regular social activities, such as dinners, rollerblading and a day at Clay Café. Having the opportunity to interact with the people around me on a level where work wasn’t the focus allowed me to not only get to know my colleagues but also make friends.
This was great as it helped me build a close network that I can leverage as my career journey continues.
I have met some of the most genuine and talented people during my time here at Electrum (I’m talking part-time magicians, karaoke enthusiasts and even child prodigies).
My internship experience at Electrum will without a doubt be one to remember. If you are wanting to apply for the marketing internship at Electrum but feel that you are not familiar enough with the FinTech industry, don’t be hesitant. We are interns and are not expected to be experts or know everything – you learn on the job.