Photo by Elvire Verguet

What My Internship Did for Me

Claire Penhorwood, MCM Candidate, Class of 2015

My internship was more than just a credit towards my Masters degree, or something to do in the summer. It was undoubtedly the first step towards re-entering the professional world, after spending many hours in collaborative classrooms and reading what seemed like never-ending yet very interesting journal articles.

At the company I interned for, Brand Knew, I was valued and treated as one of the team, not as the student who would only be there for three short months. After some time spent getting a grasp on the clients and brands that the company represented, I was very hands-on in the day-to-day work of the office. My main responsibility was to increase visibility of brands through engagement on social media. While this was a routine task, in retrospect, the act of engaging directly with consumers I had been studying (in one way or another) during my two semesters at USC was not lost on me. It was tasks like this one that reiterated the ability to apply what I was studying in my Masters, into a real-world work setting.

The most valuable experience during my internship came when I was asked to helped organize the inaugural Causathon event the company was planning. The event saw developers and marketers come together with non-profit organizations to “Hack for a Cause” during a 24-hour hackathon. The good that this event did goes beyond the event itself, and it was a privilege to work with these organizations and Brand Knew in assisting with a very unique and worthy cause. The company has since expanded their efforts and completed their second annual event, with events in other cities planned.

Ultimately this internship experience was a reassurance for me that the degree I was dedicating my time and money towards, was going to be fruitful and rewarding for me in the long run. Not that I ever doubted that, but an internship is a great way to see your hard work manifest itself, when you are able to impress others and yourself in a professional atmosphere.