Learning on the Job—an Intern’s Point of View
We make mistakes and we fall, but we also learn and rise as we work. Read Lamia Hossain’s experience of learning on the job at SHL as an intern.
Before coming to SHL as a Marketing Intern, I had this vision in my head of what the marketing field would be like. I had this glamorous image of fun activities and great creative ideas that I would come up with. However, my imagination was shattered. With COVID - 19 still working its way out of the world and the hybrid working space, a lot has changed and become relevant in the advertising space. Coming from absolutely zero experience and the plight of unemployment, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I brought with me were dreams and visions for myself.
Working from home is such a privilege and it is an experience that one can learn so much from, but at the same time, it can be very challenging. I remember, coming home the first day, opening my laptop, and staring at the screen for hours flipping through apps, not knowing what my next step is going to be. The world of marketing had changed from what I expected it to be.
So, I started asking questions, and I mean a lot of questions! I am pretty sure my seniors and mentors were tired of hearing from me by the end of it! I researched, thoroughly, and I jotted down notes, it felt like I was studying all over again and I have not stopped since. I am always persisting and always learning new things. It has been roughly 5 months since I joined SHL, which seems too early to say how much I have learned. However, I can tell you that I have already learned a boatload and I have so much more to go.
An eye-opening experience
Being behind a marketing plan, one does not realize how much goes into the process. Figuring out who your target audience is, making sure it is the correct tactic for each region, briefing your internal team, making sure it is aligned to their product or solution, and then only externally launching your product or solution to clients or customers. Thereafter, create graphics, marketing material, emails, and targeted emails.
People generally misunderstood marketing and look at it as a sales tactic or something that is just posted through social media. The amount of work that takes place to get there is so surreal. I did not know how broad marketing was before I came into SHL despite being a graduate in the field. I was so surprised to find out that there is an EMEA region.
I had always assumed we were all advertising the same thing, so we were all one big group, internationally and locally. Each region has a hierarchical team of its own. I was in awe when I looked at the apps, we use to create targeted audiences, emails, links, and links to PDFs, I mean I can embed a link behind a button on a website! It is these little things that made me excited. I felt energized and almost hungry to take all these new facts and new learnings in.
People generally misunderstood marketing and look at it as a sales tactic or something that is just posted through social media.
However, at some point, it became overwhelming. Coming into something completely unknown always is. My education was extremely helpful, but I was not prepared enough for the world of work. Having an idea in your head and then it not working out, is very daunting. I remember being at meetings and having no idea how to contribute because I had such less knowledge. I still stumble along the way and sometimes it feels like I never get it right, but I have never given up. That is the key to learning anything that is unknown to you, even when it feels like nothing is working in your favour, you push through it.
Learning on the job at SHL
I am so thankful that I have gotten experience here at SHL where I experience the hybrid working space as well as working with people out of South Africa, both at the same time. Given the fact that I am an intern and yet, I am given tasks that make me take the lead and create something of my own—and that is very rare. My knowledge and skills have grown exponentially at SHL.
Given the fact that I am an intern and yet, I am given tasks that make me take the lead and create something of my own—and that is very rare.
If there is one thing, I can take away from being an intern and learning on the job, it is that we should never back down from knowledge. We should always have the passion to succeed in the field that we want, and it will always pay off. I have a long way to go, I make mistakes, I fall, but I pick myself up and restart because getting an opportunity in doing what I love is something I will never throw away.
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