As I began my spring semester at Iowa State University, I never imagined finishing up my junior year and finding an internship virtually. I am extremely grateful I had the opportunity to join the team at DIS without ever meeting anyone in person. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been with the DIS crew for over 3 months! It’s a completely different world than I thought it could be. We have learned what virtual communication can do for a business, and it will be fascinating to see where this path of continuous learning and adapting takes us.
Even though I am working remotely and do not have a chance to visit with coworkers in person every day, I’m enjoying this time by expanding my marketing and communication skills and preparing for a career following college graduation next May.
Each day, I am challenged to be more creative and increase my personal portfolio of projects. Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Canva, Hootsuite, Spinternet, Google Analytics, and Mailchimp are the tools I use daily to do so. By using those programs and websites, I have built up my skills to revise and edit blog write-ups, design social media posts, publish blogs and social media posts, monitor and track website and social media analytics, and assemble and disperse the monthly newsletter.
More recently, I have been tackling a project relating to our customer relationship management system through Microsoft Dynamics 365. In addition to reconnecting with past clients, it is important to reach out to new, prospective clients so having an organized, functioning system is necessary. Following the completion of system organization, we will be able to learn about our clients’ experiences and future needs by sending out our newly created client satisfaction surveys.
There have also been days where colleagues have reached out to me to complete new tasks that were not on my schedule for the day. For example, I learned how to navigate the IMPLAN website and record research data found. In addition, I was introduced to the 3D Maps feature in Microsoft Excel and have gained an understanding on how to operate it based on research needs. These unforeseen opportunities indicate my flexibility and willingness to learn, while improving my professional skills as a young adult preparing for the real-world following college.
In my short time at DIS, I have gained lots of new experiences focusing on marketing and communications programs and websites. My past internships focused directly on the dairy industry, so I appreciate the opportunities to expand my horizons and learn more about the different sectors of agriculture through the economic research DIS has completed.