Summer intern turns Inkdoc author and Rubik’s Cube Coach

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When I think back to my two summer internships, I have several distinct memories.

Year one:

Locked away in the back room of a law firm in downtown Chicago, every day was more or less the same. Some guy, who wasn’t big on conversation and never bothered to introduce himself, would roll in a cart packed with legal reference books and park it next to my Xerox machine.

Each book was filled with multiple sticky notes indicating the page ranges I needed to copy and staple together. After I conquered everything that cart had to dish out, I would wander the hallways with my 300+ pages of photocopies, looking for their rightful owners. When I got back to my “copy cave,” another fully-loaded cart would await me. This cycle repeated itself three times a day.

Year two:

Well, let’s just say this internship wasn’t nearly as glamorous, fulfilling, or meaningful as my first. My immersive corporate learning experience involved a bond funds department at a now-defunct brokerage firm in New York City, a manager who liked his liquid lunches, and a microfiche machine. Yes, microfiche.

Two internships, two takeaways: (1) paper jams happen, and (2) chewing gum can’t hide the smell of a three-martini lunch.

Luckily, not all internships are created equal. The good ones are designed to provide a mutually beneficial experience for intern and employer alike. At Inkling, our interns are considered valued team members. We rely on their skills and insights to support our mission on a day-to-day basis.

In turn, our interns gain exposure to the people, operations, and real-world challenges that take hard and soft skills to the next level—and, quite possibly, influence their plans for the future.

Meet Edward Kim, Inkling Marketing Intern (Summer 2019)

As the end of his freshman year at Vanderbilt University approached, Edward Kim set his sights on returning home to California and finding a summer job. When asked about his job hunt, Edward states, “While I’m majoring in economics and minoring in business at school, I was casting a really wide net. More than anything, I wanted to see what it was like to work in an office environment—at a software company, if possible. When I heard through a friend that Inkling was looking for a Marketing Intern, I decided to apply.”

The Inkling interview and hiring process for Edward was similar to that of full-time candidates. After two phone interviews while in Nashville, Edward was invited to Inkling’s headquarters in downtown San Francisco for a series of face-to-face meetings.

“I was nervous,” Edward explains, laughing now in hindsight. “I didn’t know that much about marketing going into the interviews, and I had to meet with the Head of Marketing, the Marketing Operations Manager, the Field Marketing and Events Associate, and the Customer Marketing Manager.”

When asked how the interviews went, Edward laughs again. “While I felt intimidated going in, the team was really nice and made me feel at home. They spent a lot of time explaining what they did individually, how they worked together, and the kinds of things they needed help with.”

Inkling Design Review: Jacob McAdam (left), Front End Designer, Inkling Creative Services works with Edward Kim (right) to optimize his Solving a Rubik’s Cube Inkdoc design.

No Groundhog’s Day experience. No monotonous tasks.

Unlike yours truly, Edward never found himself assigned mind-numbing busy work devoid of variety. His experience was quite the opposite: no day was ever the same.

From marketing operations to event and customer marketing, Edward assisted every team member with mission-critical programs and tasks. Software solutions that were once foreign, like Salesforce and Marketo, became tools he used every day. And (for better or worse) Edward assimilated terms like demand gen, retention, scoring, and MQLs into his vocabulary.

Whether asked to pull reports, flip contacts, scrub lists, or sync program data, the marketing team members agree that Edward approached his responsibilities and new challenges with a can-do attitude.

Katie Arsenio, Inkling Field Marketing and Events Associate, states, “Edward is super flexible and easy to work with, and I was always impressed by his willingness to tackle our all-hands-on-deck last-minute projects with a positive attitude, which is essential when working on our lean marketing team.”

Referencing one particular out-of-the-box project Edward took ownership of, Katie recalls, “Ultimately, he accomplished things to help out in ways we never imagined—like writing a digital how-to guide!”

From marketing operations to puzzle master and Inkdoc author

What Katie is referencing is one of Edward’s most unique (and impressive, IMHO) accomplishments of the summer: creating an Inkdoc called Solving a Rubik’s Cube.

To showcase an Inkdoc’s capabilities for sales prospects, Edward learned how to use Inkling’s authoring tool called Habitat. As Edward puts it, “Creating the content wasn’t the hard part. Habitat’s drag-and-drop functionality and design elements made that part easy. The hardest part was learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and outlining step-by-step instructions.”

After Edward drafted his Inkdoc (the mobile-responsive, easy-to-search documents created in Habitat), he had a design review with Jacob McAdam, Front End Designer on the Inkling Creative Services Team. “That was a real eye-opener,” Edward explains.

“I saw my work through the eyes of a professional designer, and Jacob taught me digital design best practices and showed me ways to reinforce learning. It was really cool to get a taste of the actual training and support Inkling customers have access to during the implementation process.”

Top three takeaways

I sat down with Edward on the last day of his internship to talk about his experience at Inkling. In addition to the hard skills and authoring accomplishments, Edward expressed gratitude that he was able to practice soft skills like time management, task prioritization, and expectation setting on a daily basis. He also shared his top three takeaways for the summer:

  1. His boss Neha Sharma demonstrated how a good leader can be transparent while providing enough information to succeed, sufficient space to make mistakes, and ample time for feedback.
  2. His marketing operations mentor Matt Cronk showed him that it is possible to approach every situation and challenge with a smile on your face.
  3. In the future, he might want to explore the analytics side of the marketing business!

Needless to say, the team misses Edward a lot, but we’re happy that the hard work he did this summer was meaningful for him. We also know that his efforts will continue to have a positive impact on our marketing programs this year.