Back to blog: Sharing my summer internship experience!

Time flies like an arrow. It has been quite a long time since my last blog. You could interpret that the MBA program is so busy that students do not have much time to do other things. Well, it might be true in my case but let me tell you that it’s not the case for everyone in the program – you do have choice over your schedule here.

I have a lot of things to share with you about my activities during my first year in the MBA program. It was a truly life changing experience and I have learned a great deal of new things. At this moment, I would like to share you my current experience: a summer fellow at The Columbus Foundation Summer Fellowship program, serving Tech Corps as a Marketing intern.

Tech Corps is a nonprofit organization whose vision is to build “a technologically literate society in which all K-12 students have equal access to the technology skills, programs and recourses that will enrich their education and allow them to successfully compete in the global workforce.” (from Tech Corps organization vision statement). My project at Tech Corps is to increase the organization’s online and offline campaigns to increase visibility with volunteers and supporters. I am at the half way mark of my summer fellowship here and my project is entering the production phase. My first “product” – Tech Corps Brand Identity Manual came out last week, and next I am developing the Annual Report for fiscal year 2010-2011.

Using my newly-learned skills with Photoshop I presented a more well-designed draft of the Brand Identity Manual to the Tech Corps management. I received their alignment on the proposed changes in the communication materials, and program names; which will convey a better awareness about Tech Corps. Some of these changes will require intervention from a professional designer, and I will leave this work aside to move on with my other projects. Tech Corps has not yet used an Annual Report as a marketing tool, so, the need to produce a well-designed and informative Annual Report is part of my plan. For years, people at Tech Corps – board, management, staff, and volunteers, have produced many wonderful programs as they prepare students for the high-tech era. However, one thing they need help with is recording these accomplishments, celebrating their successes and using these stories to promote Tech Corps’ mission. I am excited, but also a little nervous, to work on this task. I will be capturing the efforts of many people from the past and present and I will do my best to present their achievements and accomplishments the best I can. More importantly, I hope that this Annual Report will become standard process for the coming years and people will continue to recognize Tech Corps’ good work.

I believe my fellowship-internship at Tech Corps is providing me with intensive hands-on experience in marketing, much more than what I would have learned if I was working with a for profit organization. As a small organization with limited resources, Tech Corps, like most non-profits, needs help in a more end-to-end manner. The management has given me freedom to pick and choose my projects and they have counted on me to deliver the final product. I am developing multi-skills to perform that end-to-end product and I am learning a new perspective about marketing strategies for non-profit organizations. Summer is a busy time at Tech Corps. I have had to identify a way to fit my work into the current operation. Sometimes I feel guilty of taking away people time for my projects. I also feel difficulty with proposing the most feasible plan for Tech Corps considering their limited resources.

Last week at The Columbus Foundation I learned about Strategic Planning. I am thinking about a “game changing” strategy for engaging more volunteers. I want to bring more help to Tech Corps. This will help with the impact Tech Corps will have on the generations to come.