Meet the Mspark 2018 Interns: Part 1
School may be out for the summer, but college students know that the summertime offers opportunity. Sure, the pool is fun, but many students have begun to recognize the importance of using the summer to explore their career path options with an internship, or two, or three.
“A student may decide they want to major in a certain subject, but without spending time in the field, they may not get a real feel for that career,” explains Anna Marie Chapman, Vice President of Human Resources at Mspark. “Through the Mspark Internship Program, we’re happy to offer an opportunity for a student to spend time in their field of choice and learn more about what opportunities that field may offer.”
The Mspark Internship program is open to current college students in a variety of fields. Interested applicants were able to apply through the Careers Section of the Mspark website. This year’s intern class is focused on several departments throughout the building.
The following interview is part one of our two-part blog series. We hope you enjoy getting to know our summer interns as much as we have!
Mspark: Tell me about yourself
I am a marketing major at the University of Alabama originally from Helena. I’m starting my sophomore year at Bama, so I am excited to get into more business and marketing aligned classes at the upper division level. At UA, I’m a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and studying in the Honors College at the Culverhouse College of Business. In my free time, I like to explore new restaurants around downtown Birmingham or Tuscaloosa and visit places with fun live music.
I am a going to be a sophomore in college, as well as going into my second year of being a collegiate athlete for swimming. I love to be outdoors and hang out with my friends, as I feel it is the easiest way to keep yourself busy. I also love to travel, I have yet to go out of the country, but I would love to travel to Australia and one day move there. Not only because of how beautiful it is but also because it has become one of the safest countries as well as one of the healthiest.
I’m a second-year student at the University of Michigan, studying Computer Science. I’m a more indoorsy type, preferring to play video games with friends, listening to music, or keeping active by catching up to a show while on the treadmill. I guess a winter in Ann Arbor, MI, will just get you into a kind of hibernation (laughs). That said, I can enjoy a walk with my dogs or a football game in the Big House without any trouble. I’ve always been interested in computers and technology, having been the go-to person for help from friends and family for help, which led me to want to study CS.Mike Bogich:
I am a student at Grand Valley State University, currently majoring in the school’s general business program. I’ve switched majors a few times because I did not go into college knowing what field of study I wanted to pursue, let alone what career within that field. So, I decided to get a business degree. Business really interests me, and a business degree is applicable to a wide array of potentially lucrative careers. I am very competitive, so I enjoy playing pool, and basketball with friends. I also watch a ton of movies, old stuff, foreign stuff, new stuff, really anything I can find.
MS: So why did you originally decide on a summer internship, in tiny Helena Alabama, at the Mspark corporate office? We are close to Birmingham, which is a fun city, but still…what were you thinking?
MF: This may be a bit of a different situation for me than the others, but since I’m from Helena it was the closeness to home that created my initial interest in this internship. I was also excited to work for such an impressive company so early into my college career because I think that work experience is so valuable when it comes to making decisions about my future job interests. I thought picking a company that had a strong national presence would help me to gain exposure to the advertising industry and understand the big picture concepts. Since this was my first experience in a corporate setting, I wanted somewhere that was small enough to not feel overwhelming and intimidating during my time as an intern. I found that in Mspark for sure.
BC: When I first applied for this internship and I saw this amazing opportunity I thought to myself, this would be something so valuable at an age this young. Not many people get a paid internship until their senior year of college. I have never stepped foot in Alabama, so I thought it was a perfect time to travel and get to know a little bit more about The South and what it truly means to be an Alabama fan.
CM: I had applied for some internships I’d found on LinkedIn over the course of the school year. However, like many other freshmen, I wasn’t really qualified before I’d finished my second semester CS course, which was finished after many internships closed their deadlines. When I heard of this opportunity in May, it was a chance to do something productive rather than sit around bored, working the same job I’d had for 3 years. It was the possibility of seeing a new place, with a very different culture, and the ability to see what I can do with CS in an enterprise setting.
MB: The opportunity to intern at Mspark was very appealing. I didn’t have a job lined up, so any source of income was very appealing, and Mspark pays their interns! But more than that, the prospect of seeing what goes on in the headquarters of a company as large as Mspark was exciting. It seemed like a unique chance to gain some insight. Experiencing Alabama and southern culture (I’m from Michigan) was also a big enticement.
MS: What can you tell us about your first few days interning with us? What surprised you? What didn’t surprise you?
MF: My first two weeks here I was the only intern and I think everyone was still trying to figure out exactly what my role here was going to be. I was originally surprised to see how willing everyone here was to take the time out of their day to teach me something seemingly simple or easy. However, I quickly learned that the people who work here are exactly the kind of people to always give you their full attention when you need it and constantly be willing to offer a helping hand. Once Michael, Britney and Cooper got here, things began to get a little more ironed out and it was easier to settle into a role that seemed to belong within the department.
BC: What didn’t surprise me was a lot of the downtime we had at the beginning because from a lot of internships that I have heard, most people just sit at their desks. What surprised me was how nice everyone was here, I was not used to that at all going to school in New York, it was an extremely nice change. The first couple of days here was just the process of making sure they had all your paperwork and meeting a ton of people that you probably won’t remember their names at first.
CM: For the first couple days, I was still adjusting to things. However, it wasn’t a very difficult process at all and now I feel very much welcome and appreciated here. It’s a fantastic workplace culture, where it’s not high-strung and stress inducing, but at the same time they really push you to get your work done and to do it right. The people here are fantastic and super welcoming, and really try to joke with you or talk to you, something I’m not used to having grown up in New England. As far as what’s surprised me is, it’s got to be the heat. Oh lord, the heat.
MB: The first few days at Mspark were great. What surprised me the most was how quickly I felt comfortable in the office. It didn’t feel like any office I’d been in before; the dress code was relaxed and the people were genuinely friendly. The introductory meetings that basically told us the company’s history and philosophy came as no surprise but were still interesting, as far as those go.