Mariana Audeves is studying Marketing and MIS and interned with Vantage West Credit Union this Summer in Tucson, AZ.
Tell us a little bit about how you landed the internship: Last spring semester was my first semester at Eller, and I knew from the beginning of the semester that I had to get an internship over the summer. I attended the Eller Career Showcase where one of my friends introduced me to who was about to become my supervisor at Vantage West, who also happened to be the brother of one of my friends. At the event we chatted about various things, not only about the internship program itself, as we shared common cultural background: being born and raised in Mexico and considered international students in the U.S. This chat with my former supervisor at the career showcase made me realize that when it comes to applying for a job/internship, you should pick a boss rather than a job.
What was a typical day at your internship like? A typical day at Vantage West involved regularly checking the company’s social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I was also responsible for creating content and engaging with their community partners depending on the events going on at the time. Also, I had meetings with co-workers from various departments as I was involved in a project where I had to develop the company’s own management system for its CSR activities. Since this project was the biggest I had during the internship, I had to do a lot of marketing research throughout the day by analyzing the company’s records in CSR activities as well as researching from different companies across the U.S. to find out the best practices on how to develop this CSR management system for Vantage West.
What was your favorite part of the internship? My favorite part was that I got the chance to get involved in different departments. Although I was highly involved with projects within the Marketing department, I had the opportunity to work with people from various departments such as HR and IT because my projects ranged from digital marketing to the layout design of a management database through SharePoint. Also, it was not a typical internship where I had to work from 8AM-5PM all day. I got to star a TV commercial with UA Football coach Rich Rodriguez and experienced a TV commercial production. Additionally, I got the opportunity to attend a press conference where I met the consul of Mexico in Tucson. Because I was also working in projects within the Business Development department, I got the chance to attend various mixers, where I met Tucson professionals and entrepreneurs from both the U.S. and Mexico.
How did Eller prepare you for your internship? I would say BCOM was the class that gave me the necessary tools and skills to stand out from other students who interned at Vantage West. For example, when I had to conduct meeting with the Marketing department, I used to hand out a meeting agenda for all the team. Also, BCOM gave me the confidence to deliver professional presentations, not only to my team, but also to the senior management team of Vantage West to whom I had to prove that my recommendations where the best suited for the company. I think that the professional and leadership skills I have developed since I got to Eller totally paid off during this internship. After my final presentation to the senior management team, I was the only intern invited to present my recommendations to Vantage West’s CEO and the company’s Executive Team. Once I was done with my presentation, Vantage West’s CEO, Robert Ramirez, personally told me to consider Vantage West as the company I would like to work for after graduation as I would be a good asset for the company.