We all know what a great marketing campaign looks like, but for someone new to marketing, they may not know how those campaigns come together in the first place. As a marketing intern, you have a front row seat to the entire process, and while an internship provides a staging ground for young talent to expand their skillsets and learn the ropes of marketing, buzzwords and acronyms included, it's also a great way for companies to harness fresh perspectives from new team members who have their own innovative ideas to share.
In part two of our intern series, digital marketing, and SEO intern Sriya Reddy, and digital analytics intern Stephen Kummetz discuss their own internship journeys, covering how they found a position that was right for them, ways to make valuable contributions as an intern, and what life is like as an intern at Red Door Interactive.
Tell us about yourself
Sriya: Hi, I'm, Sriya Reddy. I'm going to San Diego State University, I'm graduating in December, I'm a marketing major and accounting minor, and I'm currently the SEO intern at Red Door interactive.
Stephen: I'm Stephen Kummetz, hometown from Denver, Colorado. I go to the University of Richmond, and I'm currently in the digital analytics internship position. I'm studying marketing, and then also with a concentration in business analytics.
What qualities did you look for in an internship when searching and applying?
Reid: So that's exciting, we've got interns from our San Diego office and from Denver. That's always a unique experience with people in different communities and relationships. Now, thinking back to when you were looking at different internship opportunities out there, what were some of the things you were looking for in different internships and then ultimately settling in on Red Door? What did you find? Why'd you apply to Red Door?
Sriya: Yeah, so I was initially an accounting major, and I was looking to dive deep into marketing and have a greater understanding of what the field was actually going to have for me and what it could provide. So, I was at professional networking night, which is an SDSU marketing-specific networking event, and I got to meet a bunch of different Red Door employees from a variety of different backgrounds and teams. And it was so lovely to get to know different people, from the BMs and PMs to SEO and paid media. Then I got to have a longer conversation with now the director of paid media. And getting to hear about his experience with the company and how open and collaborative everybody is here, and how kind the company is, that made me really want to be a part of Red Door and learn more about the company. I did more research and learning about the core values of the company and how there is a 100% being jerk free and everything else that's involved in that.
Reid: That's the most popular one.
Sriya: Yeah, so it really enticed me into wanting to apply. And one of the things that many people at Red Door say is the people, and that was definitely something I also felt, that the people were so unbelievably kind, and I wanted to be a part of that.
Reid: Oh, that's lovely. Well, it's awesome to have you here and being a part of it. Stephen, tell us about your experience looking for internships and settling on Red Door.
Stephen: Yeah, definitely. Unfortunately, I didn't have that same experience where I got to meet anybody face to face prior to my application period. But what I really was enticed about Red Door was kind of what Sriya touched on, was obviously like the jerk-free environment. All of the reviews that I saw before applying said specifically how great and wonderful Red Door is a place to work. And that was really enticing for me. I've never been somebody who's been kind of an uptight, suit and tie, kind of worker, something along those lines. And I've really enjoyed, so far, having a more comfortable work environment, and that's something that really drove me to Red Door. But along those lines as well, I wanted a very challenging workplace or challenging work experience, something that would really push me and get me out of my comfort zone. And I felt that this company was the perfect place to do that, where I could really dive into different clients and different client work and experience a whole variety of marketing along with having the comfortability of being able to like reach out to anybody within the company and being able to feel at home when I'm at work.
What was the most rewarding challenge that you’ve overcome in this internship?
Reid: Well, so looking for a challenge, Stephen, now you're four weeks in, what maybe is one of your more rewarding challenges that you've had to overcome in this period of time?
Stephen: Yeah, so I mean, one of the, this actually happened quite recently. One of the more challenging things that I experienced was when my manager went on PTO, and it was a really interesting experience for me seeing how it was the first time when I had that hands off experience, when I was able to really attack problems in a specific way that I wanted to approach them. And the challenge that really came from this was not having that fallback to really ask questions, or when I had those stucks. But what was great about the experience and what I really, really loved about it was, I got to meet a wide variety of new people. Rather than having to fall back to my manager, I was able to really approach other people on the analytics team, other people on the paid media team, who are all really helpful and helped me solve and work through these issues that I experienced while he was off. And I felt that through that experience, I was able to broaden my knowledge of not only the analytics department and the work that I do, but also really what goes along and goes into a lot of different other topics that really combine into the singular report.
Reid: Yeah. Well, that's one of the things that I love about being here at Red Door, too, is that diversity, right? The relationships you have with different skill sets and tactics. And what you're talking about there is people from different departments and that broadened perspective, despite having that focused area of what you do on a day-to-day basis, but how other people contribute to that.
Reid: Sriya now talk about a little bit your experience. Did you have kind of a similar thing where you had to overcome a particular challenge in this period of time?
Sriya: I wouldn't say I overcame a particular challenge. I've been...
Reid: Faced with challenges?
Sriya: Faced with challenges. But I think my favorite thing that has been a challenge between all of our different meetings and client work has been working on this intern podcast. Getting to collaborate with the other interns, even though we're in different teams. Managing our time so that we're making sure that we have enough time to go through the SEO, create the creative brief, make sure that everyone's here and it works at everyone's schedule. So, it's really lovely to step outside of just SEO work and get into collaborating.
Reid: Yeah. Well, so that's for the benefit of our listeners, is every summer with our intern classes, we try to put together a particular project where they can do collaboratively and do end to end the experience. And this is your project here, is we're doing this podcast together, you've brought everyone together, and we're recording this for the benefit of now this audience, and hopefully other future interns who will learn about what your experience is like, how to get the job, that sort of thing.
What advice do you have for future interns?
Reid: That being said is, there's obviously a little bit of promotion about it, is we want other folks to hear about what it would be like and envision themselves doing it. But one of the things I would want to also hear from you is just what advice you do have for some of these future interns looking for a role like this. You went to a particular event, Sriya, and you got a chance to meet some folks, but other things. What else would you do?
Sriya: I would say reach out and get that informational interview. I definitely think that everyone's very responsive and kind and willing to chat with you so that you're able to learn more about what they're actually doing on a day-to-day basis. Maybe they won't tell you what client they're working on, but they'll definitely give you a rundown of what their day work looks like and how they collaborate with different teams so that they're able to create amazing deliverables for their clients and also be an effective team member.
Reid: Yeah. Well, and Stephen, what about you? You were in a different circumstance, you're at University of Richmond, you're a spider as I seem to recall.
Reid: And so, you were coming to back to Denver, and how did you identify Red Door, and ultimately, what advice would you give to people in your particular situation?
Stephen: I would say the main advice that I would give would be, really use all of the tools that you have at your disposal. I mean, how I came across Red Door was I was doing research on Google and pulled up a bunch of different digital marketing agencies, and this one sounded like a great fit, and was very lucky and very happy to end up getting the internship.
Stephen: But along the lines of that, I was also going into my career services department. I was going in, networking with my friends' families, and a lot of different other tools and applications that I was using to actually finally find an internship. And I think it really is just cast a wide net and see where you land, and hopefully, it's the right place for you. But as long as you're really getting that high-quality experience, which Red Door has really provided us, which has been great and such a blessing, that's really what's important. And I think that the struggle of finding the internship is really only half the battle. Like Sriya said, you really have to then be proactive about, "Here's the next step that I have to take. I have to reach out and actually schedule an interview and really start to start the conversation of working at this firm."
How have you broadened your skillset over the past couple of months?
Reid: So now that you're here, because obviously a big part of that was to learn about our industry, learn about the role, that's something you want to do, how have you broadened your skillset over the past couple of months? Stephen, I'll stay with you, and then Sriya, I'm curious about the same thing with you.
Stephen: I think the skillset that I've broadened the most over the past couple months has really been interacting with other people within the organization, and really just broadening my communication skills. A lot of work that I did previously was asynchronous and not in the office, especially during the Covid years, so it was really challenging for me to get the full office vibe and really understanding the inner workings of office relationships and how to really go about an everyday office lifestyle. I think that one of the skill sets that I really developed over the past couple months has been just waking up every day, getting to work, joining those daily huddles, communicating with my fellow coworkers on projects and really gaining that confidence to be able to reach out, ask questions, being able to feel confident in the work that I'm doing too.
Reid: Sriya, what about you?
Sriya: Yeah, no, definitely. Stephen touched on a bunch of great points. I think definitely getting into that office space, especially because the office was just built, and getting to communicate with a bunch of different people on my team, as well as not being afraid to reach out when you have questions and being open to learning and being comfortable with being uncomfortable, and learning how to be in environment when you're shadowing client work or just getting uncomfortable with learning a new topic or new software that is commonly used at Red Door.
How has having a one-on-one 1 relationship with your manager benefited your time throughout your internship?
Reid: So now as you've gone through the process here, having a particular manager as part of your team, talk a little bit about your one-on-one relationship with your manager. How have you benefited from that throughout your internship? Stephen, tell me a little bit about your relationship with your manager.
Stephen: I've really enjoyed working with my manager. Eric has been great so far. I think we have a really good relationship where he trusts me to do the work and he trusts me to get the work done on time. But also really, willing to help me when I need the help. He's not somebody who just throws a task at me and just lets me do it. He works me through it, and then as we progress through or have progressed through this internship, he's been more and more comfortable giving me assignments and things along those lines. I think it's been really beneficial to have that one-on-one relationship with the manager, because it really allows you to not only develop a closer relationship with your superior, but it also allows you to develop a closer relationship with the company. As a lot of times, he'll bring up other information that doesn't necessarily pertain to me or my internship, it's always interesting to hear stories about him working with clients that he's worked with in the past, or working with other people within the company. And I think that the relationship aspect that you build and cultivate throughout this internship one-on-one with your manager is something that is really rare, and something that you will really only come across in very unique internship experiences.
Reid: That's good to hear. Sriya, what about you? Tell me about your relationship with your manager.
Sriya: My relationship with Angie has been really lovely. She has been so kind and put together a wonderful notebook that's allowed me to be step by step through the whole onboarding process, which has allowed me to have a greater understanding of SEO and the fundamentals. That means going through and understanding what SEO and the history of it means, and then going through specific tasks by showing me what SRP testing is and how an SIO works and all these different tasks, and showing me that you can do it this way, and then allowing me to join client work and be an actual part of the team, and not just feel like I'm pigeon-holed into being an intern. And then pushing myself to learn and ask those questions and be a more active person on this team, instead of just being stuck in my little world of being an intern. So, it's been lovely.
Reid: No, and look at you with all the acronyms too. The SRPs and SIO. It's all part of the learning process, right? That really shows that you're getting in knee deep as an accounting major, and now you're talking about SRPs and SIOs. For our audience, tell us, what's an SRP?
Sriya: Oh, search testing results page. So whatever pops up on Google is your SRP.
Reid: And then SIO?
Sriya: Search intent optimization.
Reid: Yeah, there you go. Here you go. Yeah, so again, look at this. We're getting knee deep in acronyms as the part of it. When you get into acronyms, that really shows you're in the industry at this point, right? So that's awesome, and it looks like you've gotten quite a few opportunities to get hands on client work.
Reid: Any in particular work that you've been excited to get your hands on? Are you inspired by the tasks that you have or by the clients? Let's talk a little bit about that. I'm curious what motivates you related to the work that you get on a given day?
Sriya: Yeah, absolutely. I recently just joined one of our medical clients, which has been really lovely getting the breakdown from our BMs and PMs, which are business managers and project managers. It's been really great to understand the background of the company and how they've worked with Red Door, as well as what our role is currently with them and how to properly address their needs and what we need to and what I can help continue for Red Door.
Reid: Yeah. Cool. And Stephen, what about you? Tell me, it's about the clients, about the work, you have particular clients that you've been excited about?
Stephen: Yeah, so I've honestly really been excited about the clients. I work with Cortica Care, Bosch, and Thermador, and what's really interesting to me is how Bosch and Thermador, really are these, they come from the same parent company and they're in the same industry as home appliance, but it's really interesting to see how they navigate the home appliance industry separately and differently, and how they use different marketing tactics, how they also employ us as the analytics retainers differently along those lines as well. So it's been really interesting to work hand in hand with these clients, and I think a great thing along those lines as well is really working with the PMs and BMs to really understand the inner workings of the client relationship with Red Door, and really understanding who you're talking to, who the client is, and what they need, and how you can fulfill their needs.
From your perspective what systems/processes does RDI implement that you see value in/should be implemented in other companies?
Reid: Yeah. And as part of that, there's a lot of systems and processes that go into doing the work on a day-to-day basis that you've gotten exposed to. And I think that there's obviously the experience that you get now that you'll apply into your future, whether it's here or into other places that you may go. But from your perspective, what systems and processes does Red Door implement that you see value in that should be implemented in other companies, regardless of where you go? Sriya, what do you think?
Sriya: I think that Red Door has a great emphasis on templates and the use of examples and referencing previous client work to create effective solutions for future clients, as well as current clients. Being able to reflect on past work has been really great, so that I have a greater understanding of what the team's baseline of work is, so that I'm able to live up to that standard, and that we can continue to do great work at such a collaborative and helpful company.
Reid: Yeah. Well, and analytics, Stephen, there's quite a bit there as well. What about you?
Stephen: Yeah, so I definitely agree with Sriya that SharePoint and templates are all wonderful. They're so efficiency driven. It's great to be able to just hop into a monthly client report and then be able to duplicate the client report, and really, not only analyze what you have to analyze and create the report, but it's so much easier than creating a slide deck from scratch. And I think that the tools that we're given, I work a lot in Google Analytics and Google Ads and Google Dashboard, but also within Adobe Analytics. And these are really wonderful, powerful tools that really help streamline the analytical process and really help dive deep into key performance indicators, for these companies that they're really interested on. And I think along those lines, it's really beneficial to have all of this wide net of tools that are at our fingertips that we can use. And I also think a great thing is the last pass. For this project, I was working on this SEO keyword research, and I didn't have access to any of the SEO tools. And I forget who exactly it was, but very grateful to them, they shared the entire SEO share folder for the passwords. And I was able to work with Sriya on conducting the actual SEO keyword research for this podcast, which was really beneficial. It really allowed me to dive into a subject that I don't currently work with every single day.
How would you describe your internship and this experience to others?
Reid: Yeah, that's fun. And that's part of the project, having a project like this, is get some exposure to different tools and different ways to promote things. So, as we bring this podcast to conclusion here, you guys are going to go back to school here pretty soon. What are you going to tell your friends? They say, "Well, how was your internship? What was it like?" Sriya, what are you going to tell your friends when you get back to school?
Sriya: I would say that you should look for an internship at Red Door. I think that I got to meet so many different types of people and working cross collaboratively and getting to know people from the BMs and PMs, which are business managers and project managers again, to being a part of the SEO team. You get to really be integrated into a team and actually have an effect on client work and get to see how marketing deliverables are actually created is so exciting, and you're not just pigeonholed and asked to get coffee or whatever else interns are typically supposed to. You're actually a part of the team, and you get to learn so much about the subject matter that you came here to learn about, and that's absolutely wonderful.
Reid: It's what you're here for, yeah, absolutely. And Stephen, what about you? What are you going to tell your friends?
Stephen: I totally agree. It's all positives. I think what I'd say to my friends is, "Look at me, I did a lot of client experience."
Stephen: “I had a great experience. I was able to really dive into tools and applications and skillsets that I wanted to work on and develop." And I'm really excited for the future, and knowing that I now have these skillsets in my arsenal and I can not only apply them, but also speak to them, it's really been a wonderful experience so far. And I think that we would both agree that we're very lucky to have wound up here at Red Door.
Sriya: Yes, absolutely.
Reid: Well, we are very lucky to have you here as well. It's been an absolute pleasure, and thank you as well for joining us here on this podcast and sharing your experience with others, because stuff like this, it pays it forward to the next generation, and so hopefully we get a chance, some other future interns, they hear what y'all had to say, hear about the experience, and we continue to grow the program. So, thank you very much, and with that, The Marketing Remix, this particular episode of The Marketing Remix, we are done.