Internship Recap Article
This past summer I transitioned from Menlo student-athlete to marketing and sales intern at Cidersoft, a software development firm. I worked directly with Menlo alum and CEO, Ilya Lipovich.
Lipovich and I connected on Linkedin around a conversation about one of the businesses I started. When Menlo’s internship program began, I asked Lipovich if Cidersoft was hiring interns.
Following a series of interviews with every team member, I was finally offered the role. I gained college credit, career experience, and workplace exposure because of the alum networking.
During my time at Cidersoft, I worked in a family-oriented environment where team members were both literally and metaphorically family. I collaborated with the CEO’s wife, Tanya, on marketing tasks.
In my three months at the firm, I learned how Cidersoft builds software projects with fully managed teams, following the Agile development method. Those teams included experts like project managers, highly-vetted developers, and designers.
My Preconceptions Vs. Reality
I had major preconceptions before I began my internship. I thought I’d perform monotonous sales calls and write social media posts on software trends, for three long months at Cidersoft. Or, maybe, I’d have strict deadlines with big repercussions if I missed one. From what I’d heard, the software industry is pretty cut-throat. Or, the onboarding process would be highly formal training and role requirements. I was also worried about being micromanaged on my projects.
In reality, all my higher-ups encouraged me to speak up and proactively manage my internship and workload. I wrote a high-level content script for an audio course for a top-rated iPhone/Android app. I also drafted and delivered social media posts, blog posts, and online magazine articles.
In my first meeting with our CEO, he stated that I should advocate for my role requirements. This way, I’d maximize my internship as a career-building experience at Cidersoft. In essence, take the bullet train to propel my career path in product marketing or content writing.
So, that’s what I did. I oriented my internship into a project-driven role. This focused my efforts to build and execute only four main projects at Cidersoft.
The rebranding content work I completed at Cidersoft built up my career portfolio. This included an audiobook course for an innovative mobile app company, Knowable. Also, I built out Cidersoft’s social media content, articles for the online magazine, Forbes, and blog posts.
Even the content side of software was also fast-paced and quality-driven. I saw the sales pipeline begin with client pitch meetings. Next, if a client is willing to thoroughly scope and accepts Cidersoft’s final bid, that final bid becomes a “live” project.
Then, that very project forms into a marketable product: an app, website, or software integration. I worked all summer to paint that picture and build a consistent Cidersoft brand image.
As an intern, another invaluable experience I had was “leveling up” my management skills. I stuck to the schedules that I developed to keep myself and my projects completed on time.
I sharpened my “managing up” skills by working with Cidersoft’s senior team members like my manager who was Cidersoft’s VP of Sales Ops, and the CEO. I directed them on exactly how or what to edit for my projects, and when they needed to meet with me.
I also created editorial schedules and shifted the senior team’s calendars to minimize them directing me. My goal was to make their job as my manager or editor as easy as possible, so they could answer comments and provide feedback. This minimized potential bottlenecks since I received formal feedback to build better projects.
Instead of my supervisors drafting instructions, I supported them by laying out directions. This way I ensured all the Cidersoft projects were finished before the end of my internship.
For most of my internship, Metz supervised and supported me. He was very helpful and knowledgeable as my chief editor. I truly appreciated all the guidance he provided me day in and day out.
Funny enough, I wasn’t only an intern but also my manager’s health monitor. I offered health advice because of my collegiate student-athlete and personal trainer background. For example, Metz and I would review his workout routines and recommend new exercises. I’d even ask about his water and protein intake during the days we were at the office together. According to his scale, Adam lost about a pound every week throughout my internship. I enjoyed using knowledge beyond my required intern role to ensure a team member achieve his health goals.
While working on the social media project, I managed and collaborated with our graphic designer Huzaifa Khan. He delivered high-quality work for the entire project and all rebranding efforts.
I also worked with Tanya, Cidersoft’s marketing lead, to develop the marketing calendar I based my internship. This included all social media posts, graphics, blogs, and articles. She provided feedback on the social media direction for Cidersoft.
I worked directly with Cidersoft’s CEO to build the Knowable course, Cidersoft’s most extensive and rich marketing work product. Throughout my three months of the project, we spent hours doing interviews, edits, and weekly check-in meetings.
What Cidersoft Got By Me Working There
I was at Cidersoft to build out their marketing plan and support their recent rebranding. Cidersoft received much-written content and marketing direction before I left.
I wrote the Knowable project script with heavy input from both Metz and Lipovich, Cidersoft’s CEO, to ensure this piece was clear and truly captured the CEO’s voice. I also created the social media project’s direction and layout with my editorial calendar to keep Cidersoft’s content “on-brand”.
The Recap’s Recap
The intense and enjoyable days at Cidersoft taught me marketing in software and grew my understanding of business writing.
Also, I learned how to be a supportive member and leader within the team environment. I appreciate everyone at Cidersoft’s feedback, daily conversations, and hanging at the office. Thank you for the wonderful and life-changing summer.