Summers used to be all about boating, basking in the sun and barbecuing – then college hit and it was all about the internship and building your resume. My passion is to work in university recruitment, which opens up an enormous range of universities and potential internships to gain experience in the field. Over the summer, I wanted to gain more experience in a relevant position while grounding my experience in a firm academic base. The flexibility and rigor of the UNC Business Essentials program allowed me to do just that.
I worked in a marketing and communications internship at the University of Idaho. Through the internship, I gave residential and campus tours for prospective students (between 2-5 daily, with up to 60 people at a school I didn’t go to!), worked on redesigning the content and imagery on their website, and designed various marketing materials and communications. While my work hours were supposed to be 8-5, every intern knows that you go with the position, which means my days varied wildly. The flexibility of an online business certificate allowed me to focus fully on my internship while managing a few hours each week on the program where it fit best.
While educational institutions can operate differently than businesses, the breadth of knowledge in the course helped immensely to guide my relations with students. While I was working with different departments at the university, I learned how to properly communicate electronically to maximize the effectiveness of our conversations. While I was designing materials to attract first-year, transfer and international students, I was also learning key techniques in marketing and the importance of segmentation. And understanding how markets evolve and businesses respond helped me to understand how the university was managing different economic conditions.
UNC Business Essentials provided a strong academic foundation to understand how non-profit institutions function while still promoting a strong customer service orientation. My resume will show that I spent my summer gaining the best experience possible, and I’ll be able to use my knowledge to reach new students and understand how to adapt to new economic climates.
By Devin Walker (UNC ’15)