Strong Culture and Daily Innovation — My Aware Internship
I never knew how beneficial a fast-paced, energetic environment could be for learning until I started at Aware. That this was my first internship position, and I didn’t come with any frame of reference for what an internship “should” look like. The flexibility and daily innovation at Aware gave me learning that I would never experience sitting in a classroom. From one-off meetings to constant new projects to the amazing new coworkers, each day was different from the next throughout my internship.
I started my journey as a Business Development Intern with the Sales team. I assisted in aiding our sales representatives by preparing them for key calls and conducting research on their behalf, leveraging the various software at my disposal at Aware. Everyone on the team put my learning experience at high importance and would explain the process, as well as answer any questions I had. Throughout my time in the sales role, the team often came together to align on goals and offer greater visibility into the various initiatives or potential customers each person owned. This showed me how important they hold collaboration amongst employees and working cross-functionally.
I also worked on a video project throughout my time with the sales team. This included thorough planning in terms of what message to convey and what key leader at Aware could help express our story each week when filming. On the backend it involved editing sessions to make these videos best suited on LinkedIn and key phrasing ultimately aiding in brand awareness and an inside spin on company culture and initiatives. This allowed me to dive into marketing elements while still aiding the sales team.
Near the end of the summer, Aware gave me the flexibility to shift my focus to marketing, which aligns with my major. Throughout the school year, I worked with the team to conduct competitive landscape research, market analysis, develop social media content, and craft blogs and other messaging. The amount of hands-on experience, as well as trial-and-error, that I gained from this internship will set me up for success in my future experiences.
Furthermore, working on a team where everyone knows your name and can articulate what they like or dislike led me to feel comfortable and set me up for success. The marketing team taught me how to immerse myself into a task, take feedback and adjust my work to create the best outcome.
Aside from the vast amount of learning I achieved, I also experienced what a good culture looks like at an organization. I had the opportunity to talk with executives, when I walked into a room everyone knew my name, and I felt welcomed and part of the team. You’re lucky to get that at your university, let alone in a work experience. Even though I was an intern, I felt as if I was a full-time employee. What better experience is there than that to prepare yourself for a career?
Ultimately, Aware afforded me the opportunity to better understand my career and personal development goals in the workplace. I enjoy thinking outside of the box and working hard and interning at a startup like Aware amid massive growth was truly motivating and a great experience that I’m grateful to carry with me in the next phase of my professional journey.
What advice would you give someone who is looking for an internship with their career?
Utilize many peers or professionals at your university and see what they recommend or where to best look. Discover what works best for you; do you thrive in a smaller, close environment or do you prefer larger corporations? Also put yourself out there and always look for more learning opportunities.
What advice would you give someone who is looking for an internship at Aware?
Anyone who you talk to or meet at Aware will be very inviting and place your learning first so take advantage of that and you will really gain the most from this experience. Connect and reach out through LinkedIn, anyone would be happy to give an informational call or dive into what they do on a daily basis. I was able to find Aware through the Rev1Ventures website where they highlight a ton of startups in Columbus.
Peyton Spychalski is a second-year student at The Ohio State University, studying marketing and economics at the Fisher College of Business. She will continue her learning experience with an internship at Bread Financial. Peyton is highly interested in media, digital marketing and leveraging technology, which is why Aware was a perfect career experience for her.