To kick things off, I want to properly introduce myself and give a little background information. My name is Kenia Luna, I am a senior at Curie Metropolitan High School and I am interning here at ActiveCampaign. I get the pleasure of working with the marketing team, but I also get to help out the education team with some projects, if needed.
You may be wondering, “how did this high school student get to a place like ActiveCampaign?” To answer that question—I got this internship through a program called Urban Alliance. I’m going to go a little in depth of what that program does because it’s kind of the whole reason why I’m here at ActiveCampaign.
The goal of Urban Alliance is to help high school students develop professional skills and work experience for their future careers. Urban Alliance works with about 26 high schools across the city and more than 500 students. This program is not just Chicago based. It is offered in Baltimore, Washington D.C, and Northern Virginia. We went through training which is called “pre-work,” where we learned about professionalism, how to dress properly and what to expect. We did this training for over a month and at the end, we had the interview, which would help determine whether we would get the internship or not. Although a majority of the students that started in the program got the internship there were a few that didn’t make the cut.
After the decision process, placement begins. Interns don’t have much of a say in where we get placed. The only thing we can do is tell our program coordinator what we are interested in majoring when we get to college and they base our placement on that. They try their best to place us where they think we fit best. I am really glad that I got placed here at ActiveCampaign. This is actually the first year that Urban Alliance has worked with ActiveCampaign, which makes me one of the first interns here. No pressure. But actually, I’ve been able to settle in pretty quickly. Fortunately, I am not the only high school intern here at ActiveCampaign, there is Demarlo who is working with the Support team. Also, having another intern know what you’re feeling makes things a little easier. Just knowing that Demarlo and I are the very first high school interns was pretty nerve-wracking.
As far as what my day consists of, I’m only here for about 3 hours a day, so there’s only so much I can get done. I still have to attend school in the morning but I leave at noon to come here. Here’s a little rundown of what my must-dos are: I go to my desk, settle in, clock-in, check my emails and/or slack messages. After I complete all of that I make sure I don’t have any Office Hours transcripts that I have to edit and upload. If there is nothing for me to edit, I continue with any ongoing projects that I have. In case I finish my projects or I just don’t have much to do, I check in with my mentor, Lauren, to see if there are any tasks that I can complete. Sometimes I feel like I can get everything done in a day but there are days where I wish I had more time.
For the most part, the projects that I have been assigned are research based. For example, one project I had to do was to look up venues in different cities across the country where ActiveCampaign will be having meetups. I benefit from doing so much research even if it can get a little boring. Ever since I got to ActiveCampaign and started working on projects I feel like I’ve become much more professional.
Now I’m going to talk about how things don’t always go smoothly—there are times where I can feel a little out of place. I am surrounded by people that are older than me and know what they’re doing; I’m still a high school student, figuring things out. Whenever anyone is having a conversation about anything work-related and I’m close by, it’s confusing because I don’t know what they’re talking about. Even if I wanted to be a part of the conversation I wouldn’t know what to say.
Unfortunately, I won’t be here for much longer. I have about 2-3 months left until my internship here is done. I started back in November and I leave towards the end of July. Like I mentioned, I am only here for about three hours but once I graduate from high school I will be here full time starting in June all the way through my last day in July.
Now, “what have I learned from being here for about 6 months?” I’ve definitely strengthened my communication and research skills. I’ve always struggled with being able to communicate with people because I’m shy. But as time goes by I feel like being here at ActiveCampaign has helped me break out of my shell more.
Being here definitely helped me have an idea of what I want to major in when I go to college. Before I was still kind of picking between majors and not too sure what I wanted to study. Ever since I started working with the marketing team and seeing what they get to do for the company, I’ve become really interested in a career in marketing.
To finish off, I just want to say how happy and grateful I am to be able to intern at ActiveCampaign. It’s definitely going to be an experience that I will never forget. So far my favorite part of interning here is learning about how everyone got their start at ActiveCampaign and hearing their stories. I can’t wait to finish hearing about everyone’s story. there’s so much I have yet to learn and am running out of time, so I’m going to make the best out of these next 3 months.
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