Looking Back: A Semester in the Life of a Marketing Co-op

Well, it looks like fall is winding down, and to my own dismay, it is turning into a full fledged winter season. And with a new season comes change, and one of those changes includes me going back to school and leaving Gaslight behind. At least for now.

I can feel good about saying I have had the best co-op experience to date here at this great company. Not to take away from my past experiences. Those places were great in their own right, but there is something different about working here. Something that makes it stand out. So let’s recap some of the good stuff and some of the bad (e.g., WHY DIDN’T I GO ON A DQ BLIZZARD RUN?!)

At the beginning of this past fall I began my stint as the first-ever marketing intern at the Gaslight HQ. When I first started, I had little clue as what to expect, because after all, I am the first-ever to be in this position. Over the past 15 weeks, I have learned a tremendous amount about the technology consulting world, and at the same time, I was furthering my skills in marketing and communications, as well as market research. And hey, I even learned how to pronounce .gif (allegedly it is pronounced JIF, as in JIF peanut butter?) even though it is still up for debate. Most of all, I got an even broader sense of what it is like to be in the world of business.

The culture here at Gaslight is one that cannot be compared to any traditional co-op that a student at the University of Cincinnati might encounter. Yet it puts on full display the passion and creativity that all of these fine people at Gaslight bring to work each and every day. I mean for goodness sake when you walk in it almost feels like you’re walking into your very own living room, albeit this living room has a dope espresso machine and comfy couches galore, but you get the point.

The positivity everyone has here and the creativity that flows throughout is contagious and makes you not dread coming to work, which from my understanding that is how 99.5 percent of Americans feel. There is no getting coffee for Chris Moore (the CEO) or mailing pieces of mail for Michelle Taute (my boss). Because this is such a small company the work, to me, is more meaningful than if I were at a bigger organization.

From the meetings I attended with Michelle to the 1-on-1 interviews that I had with high level executives at client organizations, everything taught me something new. Hell, even the small social media campaigns I managed taught me how to use new marketing tools. The blog content audit I performed was no cupcake either. Moreover, seeing designers and developers working together this cohesively was something I had never gotten a glimpse of and taught me that cross-functional can and does work.

The most important thing I can say that Gaslight taught me is the fact that you can have fun at work, even while being judged for eating Subway at lunch everyday. Maybe I’ll even be the next Jared? I’m not opposed to it.

Here, as long as your work is getting done, you can play foosball, watch hilarious internet videos and even take naps on couches when you had a little bit too much fun on a Thursday night cough Alex Padgett cough.

I will leave you with three things that I think are pretty cool and should serve as a reminder to whomever may be the next co-op (marketing or not) here at Gaslight:

1. Bosses are hip & cool.

Shout out to Michelle for always helping me with whatever it was I needed help with and teaching me some things along the way. Also shout out to the coolest CEO around town, Chris Moore, for giving me this opportunity. Finally, shout out to all of the Gaslighters for being so welcoming, it is much appreciated and I’ve enjoyed working with all of you (this might not even be the end?).

2. It is okay to be a coffee snob.

At Gaslight, coffee is a way of life, pulling the perfect espresso shot is a competition and latté art is a thing of beauty. From my time here, I have come to appreciate a solid cup of joe just as much as these die hards.

3. No matter what, if you put your mind and time into it, you can learn anything.

I experienced this first hand through the other co-op here at Gaslight, the Monster Energy loving Alex Heflin. She was a designer turned developer and has made steady improvement throughout the semester so much to the point where they put her on a client project.

That’s all I have for you, so until next time…

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