The following article is Part Two of our two-part blog interview series with our Mspark summer interns. Check out Part 1 here.
Mspark’s internship program is open to current college students or recent grads in a variety of fields. Interested applicants were able to apply through the Careers Section of the Mspark website. This year’s intern class is focused on a few departments throughout the company, but it varies each year.
With summer winding down and school starting back soon, our summer interns are wrapping up their time with us. We wanted to know more about their experience, how their internship impacted their future plans, what advice they have for other college students considering an internship.
Q: Tell me about yourself.
Maegan Royal: My name is Maegan Royal and I’m from Birmingham, AL. This spring I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations. While studying at UAB I was a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honors Society, Public Relations Student Society of America, Her Campus, UAB Athletic Recruiting Hostesses and The Iota Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In my free time I enjoy journaling, going for walks outside and spending time with my family and friends.
Campbell Holley: My name is Campbell Holley. I’m from Birmingham, AL and have lived here my whole life. I currently am enrolled in Tusculum University in Greeneville, TN and am majoring in Accounting with a minor in Coaching. I am going into my senior year there and graduating in the spring of 2020. I play lacrosse at school and my team is my second family. During the summer when I am home, I coach a 10u lacrosse team for the club BLU to try and help grow the game here in Birmingham.
Andrew Waugh: My name is Andrew Waugh and I am from Montgomery, Alabama. I currently attend Troy University as a Communications Major with a minor in Leadership Development. I expect to graduate in December of 2021. I am currently involved as a tour guide for Troy, the recruitment chair for Tau Kappa Epsilon Social Fraternity, and the social media manager for the welcome week committee for incoming freshman at Troy University. I am also a photographer and golfer in my free time.
Joel Sullivan: My name is Joel Sullivan and I am from Hoover, AL. I currently attend Auburn University and I am majoring in Industrial & Systems Engineering. I will be starting my junior year in the fall and hope to graduate in the spring of 2021, but I’m considering staying longer to get my masters. One of my biggest passions is playing drums. I have played since the 4th grade and was a member of the Auburn Drumline this past year.
Q. As you’re wrapping up your Mspark internship, what has been your biggest takeaway?
MR: My biggest takeaway from this internship has been positive reinforcement of the phrase “never judge a book by its cover”. Recipients of Mspark packages only see coupons in their mailboxes but there’s so much more to it.
CH: My biggest takeaway is how great it has been. From the family atmosphere to the constant support and help I’ve had growing my knowledge, to learning there is always a better way to do things. Just knowing there was someone there to ask for help was a huge plus for this whole experience.
AW: Mspark showed me how to work hard and has given me many new skills that I expect to use in my classes and future career.
JS: My biggest takeaway from participating in this internship program would be that gaining experience is extremely valuable. The best way to prepare yourself for your career is to jump in as early as possible. This allows you to figure out what you are good at and what you enjoy doing before you have gotten too far along where it is hard to change your career path.
Q. In what way(s) do you think your internship with Mspark has prepared you?
MR: Mspark provides interns with experience in all areas of the business, which has allowed us to develop professionally, expand our knowledge and be more marketable.
CH: This internship has prepared me in different ways – what to expect in an AP role or even in just accounting. Going through and working with the systems everyday has really helped me to see what is done in the everyday world of accounting.
AW: It has taught me how to become a better salesman. It’s also taught me how to connect with people on more than a business level.
JS: After working at Mspark all summer, I feel like I have been prepared for my career because I was exposed to so many different facets of the business. While I may not be in school for marketing or sales, for example, I found that it is very important to understand what those individuals do so that I can better understand how the work that I do affects them as well as the other way around.
Q. What advice do you have for other college students considering an internship?
MR: I would encourage all college students considering an internship to select a place that aligns with their desired career path, rather than choosing an internship for the sake of college credit.
CH: Always be prepared for and open to advice or suggestions. You are here to get experience while also learning new things, so don’t be afraid to ask for help or if there may be a better way to do the assignment you are working on.
AW: Always take the opportunity to do an internship. It will give you real world experience and the chance to see if you like the specific area you are interning for.
JS: Any college student who is considering an internship position at any point throughout their time in school should take advantage of any opportunity that comes their way! Gaining experience in your field of study prior to graduation furthers your overall knowledge and can only benefit you in your job search post-college.
Q. Have your post-college plans changed and been confirmed based on your experience? If so, how?
MR: Based on my experience this summer, my post-college plans have been confirmed.
CH: My post-college plans are still up in the air at this moment as I haven’t decided about attending grad school yet.
AW: My internship has definitely furthered my interest in advertising and marketing.
JS: I have been able to lock down some of my post-college plans through my experiences here. I’m planning to stay in school long enough to achieve my goal of achieving my master’s degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering as well as in Business. I have gained a lot of interest in the manufacturing world because of my internship. This interest has turned my focus to working with operations and logistical aspects of improving engineering processes.
Q. Last question – what was the most fun/coolest thing you did or saw during your Mspark internship?
MR: The most fun thing I did during my internship with Mspark was ride along with sales reps. I really enjoyed seeing what a full workday looks like for them.
CH: The best thing was the amount of support and effort that went into making Dear Jack Foundation Day possible and fun for the whole company, while still making money for a charitable cause.
AW: The most fun thing I did during my internship was participate in the Dear Jack Foundation Day. It was cool to see everyone band together to raise money for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer and to participate in many different activities like the relay race and lip sync battle.
JS: The coolest thing I experienced over my time here would be the opportunity to travel to all 4 Mspark production facilities. Through these trips I was able to see how different locations each present their own individual challenges to think through and solve. I am thankful for this amazing opportunity and happy to complete this internship knowing that I am better prepared for my future because of it!