What happens when you put a twenty-something woman and a thirty-something man together in the wilderness of ThreeSixtyEight? In December of 2016, Hailey Johnson and Dusty Cooper embarked on their internships with nothing but their skills and some pretty great mentors as guides. After two months, they finally tell their story:
Hailey: What was your first day like at ThreeSixtyEight?
Dusty: My first experience with ThreeSixtyEight was after I was hired but before I actually started the job. They were having the company Thanksgiving party and Kenny invited me to join them. The lunch was potluck, so I made sure to bring a dish. I wanted to set the tone that I could contribute to the team. It was a great introduction to everyone and to the culture, which is a lot like a family. I felt like a long-lost cousin. Now, I’m more like the older brother.
Hailey: You’re very much like an older brother, but the one who shows the younger siblings how to have fun!
How does it compare to your first day of high school?
D: That was so long ago I can’t remember, honestly. Even though I’d been going to school with the same kids for years, I’m sure I felt more like a new kid on that day than I did on my first day with ThreeSixtyEight.
What were you like in high school?
H: I was the overachiever. Student Council president, Drama Club, 4-H state officer, dance team member, National Honors Society. I was extremely involved and graduated at the top of my class.
D: That has obviously transferred to your college experience. But overachiever has a negative connotation. I think of you as an Achiever. You get things done. I’ve seen it in the office, and that’s why the team is lucky to have you.
H: Well thank you!
What is your favorite thing about being a ThreeSixtyEight intern/team member?
D: My favorite thing is that I get to use my creativity as an accomplished writer and photographer. But a lot of the hobbies I’ve dabbled in have become assets for being a marketing director, too. It’s good practice for anyone interested in marketing to have working experience with writing, design programs, and even video. However, it’s good to know your strengths. The designers are the go to for the real work, but being able to give them a more visual representation of the direction I’m going makes the workflow smoother.
Oh, right. Short answer: Being creative every day is my favorite thing about working here. The people are cool, too.
H: I know you are also a college instructor. How does working at ThreeSixtyEight differ?
D: Working in marketing is a challenge, but a rewarding challenge. I became a teacher because I truly care about writing and the students, but teaching writing is a challenge in that it is repetitive, and once you finally see results, you get a new batch of students and have to start over.
H: I don’t know about you, but since starting here I wouldn’t consider anything I do repetitive. There is always something new to do or create!
D: Absolutely. You have to be flexible and adapt to different aesthetics with every project. My job is a little easier because I’m only working with one company’s brand, ThreeSixtyEight’s, but you have to consider each individual company’s story. I’m sure we both have our daily challenges.
Is there anything you learned in earning your degree that is completely wrong when applying it to the real world?
H: One of the first things I learned was not to use the Oxford comma (according to AP style). Working in the field has shown me that there is nothing more inaccurate in marketing and public relations. Most people in the real world still use the Oxford comma so I’ve had to readjust to using it when writing. I remember my first task at my first marketing internship was to edit the copywriter’s blog post and I removed all the Oxford commas. Then, I turn it back in, look up to the right, and there was a sign in the office that said “We believe in the Oxford comma.” It was a definite “oops” moment.
D: That’s one of the few grammar rules I am adamant about teaching my students. I’d like to kick the newspapers for trying to kill the Oxford comma just to save nano-increments of space.
*Interview paused for some drinks*
*And we’re back!*
D: What inspires you?
H: I’m inspired by music. I used to be very active in musical theatre and a talented voice program and I always found inspiration in songs. Whether it was good lyrics or a killer guitar solo, music speaks and I always use that energy as inspiration for both my work and my personal life.
D: That’s great. I was a dancer, but I have no musical talent. I like to sing, but only in private.
H: Let’s start a group. I sing, you be my backup dancer.
D: We’ve already got a name: The ThreeSixtyEights
H: Covering the best songs from the 90’s to now. Speaking of, what is your favorite 90s jam?
D: “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan. You know it’s a real party when that song comes on. “Tip up your cup and throw your hands up.” That’s really difficult to accomplish at the same time. But I think the song I associate with the 90s the most is “When I Come Around” by Green Day. It encompasses the attitude of the grunge scene, but for all its cynicism, it’s an upbeat song.
H: My favorite thing about Green Day is that they transcend just the grunge audience. Like who doesn’t get emotional when listening to “Good Riddance?”
D: Alright, back to the serious stuff. What do you think helped you land the internship at TSE?
H: According to my supervisor, Tara, it’s my charismatic personality. I like to think it’s the follow up. A sincere thank you card after an interview always makes a good impression!
D: That’s something you don’t learn in school. Who knew you should thank someone for an interview after it’s over? It is a good practice and it definitely helps make an impression.
H: Now that two months have passed, what is something you know you will take away from your experience with TSE?
D: There’s so much. Kenny and the team really took a chance on me. I have a lot of experience in writing and I’ve worked in the design and fashion industries, but I had zero experience in marketing. I’ve learned so much about branding and how to capture a company’s culture, and I continue to learn. I don’t think marketing is something anyone can master because the industry, especially with social media, is always changing,
What about you?
H: I learned so much just in my first month that this question is particularly hard. I think for me the biggest take away is the confidence I have gained from this experience. My mentors at ThreeSixtyEight put so much trust and confidence in me and my skills. At the beginning of the internship, I doubted myself. The support I’ve received has pushed me to believe that I can achieve anything!
D: In one sentence, explain what it’s like to work for ThreeSixtyEight.
H: One second I’m writing content for a one-of-a-kind industry website, the next I’m writing a comedy script over a glass of wine.
D: That’s a pretty apt description.
Our internships with ThreeSixtyEight have been challenging, exciting, and rewarding. What we’ve learned in just a short time we will carry with us through our careers, and we aren’t even halfway done with the internships. We have been incredibly lucky to work with such a supportive team.
The most important lesson we’ve learned is that an internship is what you make of it. The experience can be an adventure or a nightmare depending on what you decide is your contribution to the company. Having confidence in your strengths while being open to learning from everyone around you is the best way to gain the most from any internship, and really any profession.
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