Marketing Intern, This is Milk
Marketing Intern Annina talks about her experience in Cell 8 and what she's learned along the way.
I imagine that anyone's This is Milk story starts with the name.
I was looking through the University of Glasgow's Internship Hub vacancies when I came across a strangely-monikered company looking for a Marketing Intern. After it became clear that this company did not in fact deal in dairy, but rather business improvement, my attention and interest was immediately caught by its emphasis on people, and its drive to stand out from the crowd of grey suits. My background was vastly different from business consultancy, but that did not seem to be a disadvantage at This is Milk. It was different. From what I could glean from the job description and the website, This is Milk seemed like a place where I could make a real contribution, and have fun in the process.
When I was invited for an interview, I became even more convinced. I had been attending a few different interviews for internships at the time, and This is Milk gave me a completely different feeling than any other company I'd interviewed for. They didn't just recite standard questions from a list that were only going to make me repeat what I'd already written in my application. They had an actual conversation with me, asking original questions and chatting with me about what they read in my CV. It felt like they were interested in me as a person. I was in the waiting room for another interview when I received the happy news from the Internship hub that they wanted to offer me the position.
It's now been three months since I received that call and my time at This is Milk has now sadly come to an end. I'm happy to conclude that all of my assumptions were true. This is Milk never loses its people focus, whether that concerns customers or employees. This creates a culture that encourages and inspires everyone in the office while remaining supportive and collaborative should you ever need a hand.
What strikes me the most about This is Milk's approach to client projects is that they ask and find answers to the right questions. Often, these are also the most simple questions. Who are your customers? What do you want them to see from you? It's all so basic, but it's so easy to forget about these questions along the way. This is Milk reminds you of what is really important for your business, and then shows you how to best make use of that insight.
My role at This is Milk was centered around finding answers to the simple (and oh so complicated!) question of "what are the right words for what we want to say here?". If you've been seeing any of This is Milk's content over the past few months, I most likely had something to do with it. I've been writing blogs, social media posts, website content, newsletters, press releases, and a whole lot of emails. Writing has always been what I like to do most, but through this internship, I have learned so much about how to be strategic about the right words at the right time in a business context.
A highlight of my time here was definitely volunteering for and attending the TEDxGlasgow event in early June, which Denis and I talked about in a previous blog post. It was a fantastic experience all around and I can't remember the last time I got to meet so many interesting people in such a short period of time.
I am so happy that I ended up doing my internship in a startup, especially when I compare my experience to that of my peers who ended up making copies and coffee at larger organisations. Startups always need all hands on deck, so you as an intern have a better opportunity to make a real contribution, find out about all aspects of running the business, and get to know people in the office. All of this held true for my time at This is Milk. Being welcomed into a smaller team meant that I quickly forged a strong connection with the company and all the inhabitants of Cell 8. I got the chance to learn about everything that went on with the business, whether they were included in my job description or not.
The next time I find myself across the table from someone glancing down at my CV, I'll be proud to tell them about my three months in the jailhouse with This is Milk. I will be describing my experience here as a key stepping stone of my professional development, certainly in terms of the many practical skills that I have gained or polished in a new context here, but perhaps most importantly in terms of the inspiring and unique environment that I found here. This is Milk is about changing business itself. As a business idea, we're unabashedly ambitious while still keeping a firm grasp of our revolutionary simplicity. What better place could there be for a student intern starting out in their career?
As I'm writing this, I'm a day away from jumping on a plane to new horizons, but I'll be eagerly following the exploits of This is Milk over social media until the day when I might return to a completely changed version of it. A huge thank you to Angela, Nicky, Denis, Stefan, Steven, Mark, and everyone else who taught me so much and made my time with This is Milk so rewarding and memorable!
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(Blog first published 05/07/2016)