When I began my internship search, I had difficulty determining what exactly I was looking for. I was set to graduate with my bachelor’s in Management and continue my education by pursuing a master’s degree in Public Relations. This scenario provided me a wide range of possibilities. Marketing proved to be a perfect middle point between my business degree and future communications degree. I looked at internship programs and researched each of the companies to see if I would fit. Company values and work culture were always something I was taught to consider when doing a company analysis in class. Of course, I wanted to work at a company that was successful, but I also wanted to work with people that would challenge me and help me grow. I found exactly that when I started working as a Marketing Intern at Andesa.
Throughout the interview process, I could tell that the people at Andesa were welcoming and valued my input. From my first day, I was included in important Marketing conversations where they not only encouraged me to participate but really respected my opinions.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to a meeting discussing rebranding efforts on my first day. What stood out to me was Mark Wilkin, CFO, asking me for my opinion on different aspects of the presentation. I did not feel like an intern observing. I immediately felt like I was already a part of the team. In fact, I realized how rare my internship experience was about two weeks in when a few of my college friends began theirs. Many were stuck at their computer watching training videos for days while waiting around for anyone to give them tasks. Meanwhile, I was a part of every conversation, meeting, and project that my manager, Kerianne Geist, thought could benefit me. My biggest project was helping our team set up a virtual platform for Andesa’s Client Forum. It has been a challenge turning the event virtual, but also very rewarding to see our progress. I also had the opportunity to work in-office with Tammy Staudt, among others, who really helped me understand what it means to be an Employee-Owner at Andesa.
One thing that I think Andesa could improve on is how they present their culture and values.
When I was researching the company prior to interviews, I had no idea how important their values were. It’s a special thing when a company truly does focus on and embody their values in every aspect of their business. This became apparent when I started reading books authored by Andesa’s Founder John Walker and current CEO Ron Scheese. I discovered how Andesa started from a core set of values and evolved into the business it is today by keeping those values alive. With more recent projects, I have seen how much more impactful marketing materials can be when they are displaying these values and culture to current and potential partners and employees.
With every project that I finished and shared, I was greeted with constructive feedback and validation.
Everyone that I worked with wanted to give me any opportunity they could find to help me grow. In just a few months, I have gained so much confidence in my work and my opinions because of the amount of trust and respect my team showed me.
I am grateful for my time at Andesa and even more excited to have my internship extended while I return to college. I’ve learned so much during my time here and met a lot of amazing people who helped me along the way. I’m very proud of the work I’ve accomplished and can’t wait to see what else the Marketing team has in the works.