CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities?
Meghan: During my first month I helped with photoshoots (and modeled in some of the photo shoots!), researched for posts, and sourced images for inspiration for future photoshoots. Slowly I expressed to my coworkers what it is that I do: I work with numbers and perform data analysis, and I actually *enjoy* it. When I explained that I am a Numbers Person, they were rather confused, because they all self-described as “Creative Types.” Then one day they asked me to work on a detailed spreadsheet, and in this spreadsheet EVERYTHING was entered manually, and it hurt my data science heart. I asked my boss if I could automate the spreadsheet, and she said “you can do that?” Once I did automate the spreadsheet, they realized what I could do and started utilizing me as an analysis intern and asked me to automate other spreadsheets and write monthly reports analyzing the performance of the content they created for different companies’ social media campaigns.
CCD: Tell us something you learned at the internship.
Meghan: My general approach to life is to be a “yes girl,” so whenever someone asked me to help in the office I always said yes. Once I started getting more substantial projects, I was no longer available to help all of the time, but people still asked me to help them. One particular day, I was extremely busing trying to write code to automate a few functions in a spreadsheet, and everyone in the office kept asking me to help them with other things. They did not realize that coding takes a while and that I need to sit and stare at my computer for a few hours to get it to work. I became so overwhelmed that I went home that day thinking I had made a mistake agreeing to the internship. But the next day, I talked with one of my coworkers and explained to her that I was feeling overwhelmed and that I needed a few hours of people not talking to me so I could write code, and she told me to just tell the office how I was feeling and that I needed some time before I could help with other tasks. I followed her advice, and the office was really receptive to my request. I then finished the code that day, and resumed my pattern of helping out around the office. In the end, my worst day became my greatest triumph at the office, because I realized that I could talk to my coworkers as equals and admit to them that I was overwhelmed and had work to do, and I wouldn’t lose their respect because of it.
CCD: Has this experience changed your future plans?
Meghan: I applied for a semester abroad in Auckland, New Zealand to participate in their computer science internship program. I want to learn more about what it means to work with “real world” data and I want to enhance my skills in working with data (I just really love data). At the end of my internship, I was offered the opportunity to return to the company if I wanted, and I can definitely foresee myself returning to L&A Social Media sometime in the future. I loved working with them; I was in a place where I simultaneously felt like I belonged and felt like I had found an entire group of role models.