Summer Internship Series: Business in the Bay-Area

Khalig Howard ’19

Magnolia Prime, San Francisco, California

Khalig howard '19 tabling for magnolia prime

My name is Khalig Howard, and I am 3rd year student at Denison University. At Denison, I am a Global Commerce Major, a German Minor, a member of the Black Student Union, a player on the Varsity Lacrosse team, and a volunteer with the local Big Brothers & Big Sisters Lunch Buddies program.

This past summer I worked in San Francisco for a tech start-up called Magnolia Prime. This was my first time being in San Francisco, and I had the summer of my life learning and working in the Bay Area. At Magnolia Prime, I worked with a small team based in the Silicon Valley to develop and market SaaS Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services to Home Care Facilities, Senior Living Communities, and Small Medical Practice providers. My duties included, but were not limited to, disseminating news through Constant Contact, creating market competition reports, and working in tandem with the Vice President of Business Development to identify and pursue perspective clients.

In addition to working for Magnolia Prime, I coached a U15 lacrosse team based in San Francisco called the NorCal Braves. This was a real pleasure for me, and provided a much needed break in my work week. My formal title was “Summer Marketing and Business Development Intern”. I learned a lot about the procurement process, and managed the social media platforms of the company. I spent a large majority of my time working with the Vice President of Business Development to identify, pursue, and engage prospective clients for our SaaS based IVR software. I was able to increase our website’s web traffic two-fold in the time I spent working with the company this summer, and I even made my way onto the front page! (https://www.magnoliaprime.com/)

A typical work day for me involved waking up a 6:30 am to take the 1BX from my apartment in San Francisco to the Cal-Train station, where I would then train down to Redwood City (where the company headquarters is located). The whole journey took me about 3.5 hours daily! I would meet with the CEO, Karen Routt, in the mornings and she would brief on my tasks for the day. Additionally, she would inform me of times she planned on phone conferencing current and potential investors so that I had the opportunity to sit in on the meetings. Once a week, I met with Marketing Director, Stacey, to plan our social media posts for the upcoming week. We would discuss frequency of posts, content, and website analytics. Stacey and I would also review items such as Elevator Pitches, Pitch Decks, and 1-page information sheets to ensure that our content was always fresh and engaging when we presented it to investors and client prospects.

My experience in San Francisco this past summer showed me that I am very fond of small-team work environments. I had the opportunity to learn from, and work closely with, each department that comprises Magnolia Prime.  Also, since our team was so small, I was able to get personalized attention from each department head whenever I had any questions about my work. I also grew to love San Francisco, and although quite expensive, it is an amazing city and I hope to have the opportunity to work there in the future.

My Internship was unique in the fact that I am still an employee for Magnolia Prime. I signed a contract to do outside consulting work for the company part-time throughout the course of this Fall. I will be working with the CEO, Karen Routt, in formulating ideas to secure funding from potential investors, as well as, researching and creating market competition reports, to ensure that Magnolia Prime is always on its ‘A’ game.

I want to give a special thanks to the Knowlton Center Staff and Denison, for helping me make this Internship possible!

Summer Internship Series: A Summer at Shriners Hospital

Thiele Schroeder ’18

Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boston, Massachusetts 

My name is Thiele Schroeder and I am a senior Communication major and Psychology minor. This past summer, I worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston in the Development Department.

Shriners Hospitals are non-profit organizations. Each hospital specializes in specific pediatric treatments. They pay for every patient’s medical care regardless of the family’s ability to pay. As a result, the Development Department is extremely important in order to fund the expensive medical procedures that come with treating severe medical conditions. The Boston location treats mostly burn patients.

Throughout the summer I was helping plan the organizations 50th Anniversary events. I utilized my corporate event planning skills that I learned during the summer of 2016 and learned new skills pertaining to fundraising and creating relationships with corporations through grant writing. I was in charge of finding venues for the 50th Anniversary Gala, accompanying the Director of Development on site visits, creating mailing lists of possible donors, and developing pre-event material for donors and corporations in the area.

I was the only intern in the office and consequently was assigned major projects and built a strong relationship with my mentor. While I was working mainly for the Director of Development, I worked in a small office so I worked collaboratively and completed projects for the other two permanent positions in the office, as well. All three women in the office genuinely wanted me to learn skills that would be applicable through my career path. Without their desire for me to learn, I would not have been challenged to attempt projects that I had no previous experience in. Although I was encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone more than I expected to be, those instances of discomfort made me produce my best work and enforced skills that I will utilize across my future professions. It was an invaluable summer.

After this internship, I have adjusted my aspirations for my career path. Although I would still love to end up coordinating and planning corporate events, I realized that I have a strong passion for non-profits with a mission that aligns with my personal values. Because of this, I realized that I would love to work to improve communication between corporations and non-profits in their respective area in order to enhance community relations and outreach.

I would like to thank everyone in the Development Office at Shriners Hospital – Boston for an incredible summer and for allowing me to experience a new field of work.

Summer Internship Series: The Summer of Steve (Carousel Productions)

Francesca Mouery ’19
Development Intern, Carousel Productions, Los Angeles, California

Summer internship series: the summer of steve (carousel productions) - screen-shot-2017-09-08-at-2.15.38-pm-1.png image #0Many people may daydream about what it would be like to work for Michael Scott, the lovable, but ridiculous character from the acclaimed show, The Office. But looking back… I quite literally did. And here’s how it all played out.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of my summer internship story, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Francesca Mouery, a current Junior, Theatre Major, and Creative Writing Minor at Denison University. This past summer I had the incredible opportunity of interning at Carousel Productions, which is more widely known as Steve Carell’s television/film production company. My official title was a Development Intern and I specifically helped out substantially with writing coverage for potential television and film pilots being submitted to the Carousel office for potential development. Though coverage was a big part of my daily grind, I also helped out with a variety of other tasks within the production company and got the time to learn worthwhile skills that I could utilize, as I plan to plunge head-first into the Los Angeles entertainment industry after graduating from our “Fair College on The Hill”.As an intern, one may get the impression of the ever-present intern stereotype spread widely among all career paths and areas of work. Interns are:

                • There to make the coffee. Or to faithfully pick up the very specific, not-at-all-hard- to-remember drink orders from the local Starbucks on the corner
                • There to clean the office space; the thought that interns are like little Wall-E robots that clean up everything in sight to keep the community kitchen spick and span.
                • There to be treated unfairly or bossed around doing things. How mean!

Though I did encounter the occasional “intern moment”, overall, my internship experience could not be further from the stereotype. At Carousel, I was encouraged to ask questions, come up with new and exciting ways to approach my work, and to learn the ropes of the wonderful, but sometimes cut-throat world of entertainment. And with all the moments, the ups and downs and all arounds… I loved every moment.

From day one, my wonderful and inspiring supervisor, Kiran Subramaniam, and production company higher-ups, Campbell Smith and Kate Zabinsky, treated me as a professional equal, valuing my work from the very beginning. For that, and so much more, I am thankful for their guidance, respect, and the experience. I learned that being an intern does not have to mean being bossed around or rudely chastised for trying to learn. Instead, my experience at the production company was very educational. Everything I didn’t know, I asked about and was told happily. Everything I knew was built up to be even better than I originally brought forth. Though not all entertainment companies are this straightforwardly educational and Carousel was still very professionally serious, my process to integrate myself into the entertainment world was welcomed rather than being drowned out by competitive nature and a need to put others down.

Summer internship series: the summer of steve (carousel productions) - screen-shot-2017-09-08-at-2.16.19-pm-150x150.png image #1As an actress and a creative writer, I got to grow in every facet of my creative self. A typical day at work would include me picking up an onion bagel and a matcha latte from the next door Whole Foods (which was actually 50 steps away from my office), coming in early to clean the kitchen and prep the office space (out of choice, not because I had to), and to read the daily entertainment trades online to find relevant articles for the company. Then, I specifically had to read scripts all day, write comprehensive summaries and reviews of them, and had to give my God-honest opinions. It was a lot of time and effort at work, but the opportunity to read other working writer’s work and to even envision myself playing roles in the scripts I read was worthwhile to learn what I saw as inspiring creative work and to come to the realization that there are so many stories to be told that never get picked up by production companies. It’s a harsh reality. I learned that precision, development, and creativity comes into play full force when trying to get a television show or film picked up by a production company. But, once a script strikes a chord with a group of people… then you’ve got something.

Let me also tell a very important story about connections. You know how President Weinberg always says, so thoughtfully and often, that “Relationships run deep here at Denison”? Well, let me tell you… He could not be more on point about the sentiment. I had discovered Denison University after looking up where my favorite actors/actresses went for their college experiences. Lo and behold, Steve Carell went to Denison. Though skeptical, and really thinking I was dead-set on going to a conservatory acting program, I visited Denison on the sheer whim that Steve Carell went there (and the campus looked devastatingly beautiful). After visiting the campus, I knew it was the place for me. How could you resist the Fall leaves and the Denison Deer and chipmunks?

Flash forward to the near-end of my Sophomore year. I was starting late to look for a summer internship though I had wanted one desperately. The rest of my year had been taken up by writing, producing, and directing my very first full-length show and slew of health issues… So stress was in full bloom. One of my sorority sisters, the very talented Erin Dunlap (’17), ended up meeting with me to talk about her experience interning in L.A, which happened to be at Carousel. Though I was looking for guidance and for stories that would solidify my yearning to work in Los Angeles, I ended up making a contact with one of my very good friends that ultimately ended up leading to applying for Carousel Productions. I am forever thankful for getting the opportunity to work at such an amazing place and for getting to work alongside The Man, The Myth, The Michael Scott himself, Steve Carell. I even got to meet him in all his glory; a sweet and down-to-earth Denisonian. I feel like my Denison journey came full circle in an unexpected, but meaningful way in the regard.

My connections continued throughout my internship, as I was interning alongside 8 other people, all different ages, and at different points in their careers. My internship taught me teamwork and compromise, especially when we all decided to work on our final film project, filming, acting, and producing our very own “Spaghetti Western” film at Paramount Ranch (and old Hollywood Wild West set, turned park in Malibu). One of my friends loved cinematography. Another friend just wanted to be a part of the entertainment industry in any way she could. I have made friendships and connections with these people on a deep level that I will take with me after I leave Denison.

I have to thank everybody at Carousel Productions who made my summer the best one yet. Kiran Subramaniam, Campbell Smith, and Kate Zabinsky (and her dog, Tuck), are amazing human beings who work so hard in an industry that most often does not highlight women’s writing and work. Of course, I must thank Steve Carell, for letting me intern at his wonderful company. He is very talented in so many ways, not just being “that funny guy on The Office” or “the robber guy from Despicable Me”. I also have to thank everybody who shared the office with me (as well as the other interns): The Queen Sugar cast, the writers for potential development, etc. You guys made this summer the most magical and let me run with my passions full force.
 
So… the takeaways of my experience interning? Always take the extra steps to know that you care during your internship. Come in early. Offer help even when you aren’t asked. Search early for internships. Though I ended up landing my dream internship, I almost lucked out. The early bird gets the worm. Relationships do run deep at Denison. Cherish them and nurture them. Make those connections that mean the most to you, personally and professionally. And finally, find a career path that makes your heart happy and your mind at ease. Find your passions and your interests and run with that.