This summer I interned for a Columbus based start-up company named Simple Times cocktail mixers. Simple Times was launched in September of 2017, and most of my internship entailed building brand awareness in the Columbus area. I engaged with customers ranging from every-day shoppers to bar managers and local event planners. My duties focused on marketing and public relations; however, I also was challenged in and gained experience in all aspects of how a business is run.
Before my internship, the only marketing class I had completed was the basic “Introduction to Marketing” course. This internship challenged my view of marketing and prepared me in many ways for the classes I am now enrolled in. I did not realize how technical and detail-oriented marketing is. When it came to collecting content for our social media pages, the wording, lighting, placement of the cocktail, background, and much more were taken into consideration. At first, the pictures I took for our page were criticized and many small details were pointed out for me to be mindful of. Many of them were small details I did not consider would impact how customers viewed our page.
My skillset lies more heavily in the way I communicate with others. Throughout the course of the internship, I was challenged to think more creatively. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and InDesign to create graphics for their social media. While graphics and picture-based content do not come naturally to me, this summer I was challenged to think outside the box and focus more effort into building these skills. These graphics and our social media are used heavily to engage with our customers throughout the week, so it was crucial that the messages we were portraying through pictures and captions maintained the brand image we had built for ourselves.
This summer I worked closely alongside another intern who had previous experience working with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. She challenged me to learn the programs and utilize them within the tasks we were assigned. While she was more creative with pictures and art, I had more experience in writing. We were able to work together and play on our strengths to complete various tasks for the company, while also challenging each other to grow in the areas we lacked in.
Before my internship at Simple Times, I did not have a lot of experience working with marketing or managing a specific brand image. Throughout the summer, I learned about what it takes to build and maintain a brand. One of our biggest markets throughout the summer was selling our mixers at farmers markets. Working various farmers markets allowed me to interact directly with our customers and build a further brand relationship with them. My interactions with them also helped me form a better understanding of how our consumers view our brand, which I utilized in creating content for our social media pages.
My boss also challenged me to use my communication skills in personally interacting with various customer bases. I was tasked with the responsibility of reaching out to wedding and event planners around the Columbus area. My interactions with them included sharing our brand story and inviting them to learn more about Simple Times. Through building this client relationship, our goal was to work closely with the planners to provide cocktail mixers to their clients. To form this relationship, I had to cold-call the various event planners and strategically share who we were and why we wanted to build a relationship with them. From there I learned the importance of following up with the planners and how to cater to their specific needs. While our main products are cocktail mixers, we need to cater them to meet the needs of the various audiences. Throughout this process, I again learned how much strategy marketing requires.
This internship gave me a lot of clarity in what I want to do upon graduation. Interacting with and learning how to market a specific brand was a lot of fun for me. It challenged me to think precisely and strategically. I also loved the ability to work directly with customers and see firsthand the impact our product had on them. It was satisfying knowing how much they appreciated our product and that I had a hand in creating something that impacted them in that way. Throughout my senior year, I also plan on continuing to learn and challenge myself in creating visual and graphic content so that I will be better prepared for a future marketing position.