By Elizabeth Roboz
My internship at Collaboration Business Consulting was an experience that I will never forget. Throughout my three months at the firm, the people at Collaboration devoted their time to educate and provide me with work that was valuable to all of us. My experience gave me critical information about data management and consumer pipelines, and allowed me to make connections and gather valuable advice applicable to the business world that I will forever cherish.
As you begin to prepare for the end of your high school career, you’re often hit with the question, “What’s your plan for the rest of your life?” As a junior in high school, I knew I wanted to do business, but I still felt unsure for my future in that field. However, I was sure that marketing and the procedures of reeling in customers had always been something I was passionate about. Having that in mind, I knew that I wanted to pursue a marketing degree once college came around. While I had signed up for a few intro business classes through my local community college over the summer, I knew real-life experience would be much more valuable. In the midst of my pursuit for experience in the business world, a job fair at my high school gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
In April of my junior year, my English teacher presented our class with a project that initially seemed unnecessary, but later resulted in becoming an immensely valuable experience. Our high school was holding a job fair and we were required to apply to a few businesses. While exploring the list, I felt a lack of connection when seeing retail stores or food chains. It wasn’t until I noticed Collaboration Business Consulting on the list that I was suddenly struck with joy. Upon researching the business prior to the job fair, I concluded that their focus on empowering businesses and making an impact on the community level was something that vastly intrigued me. After interviewing against dozens of other classmates I was delighted to receive an email back a few days later requesting an interview. While visiting the office, I instantly felt a feeling of comfort and joy when being greeted by the remarkably friendly people in the office. The environment was much less intimidating than I expected, and everyone seemed like they were having fun. I immediately knew this was the place where I wanted to spend my summer.
My internship began in the middle of June. My supervisor, Rachell, walked my through how I would be contributing to their marketing process and what my time at Collaboration would be like. I was delighted upon being offered a flexible schedule, immense exposure to the office, and various opportunities to make connections outside of Collaboration. My main project for the summer was then outlined; I would be helping them organize their CRM data. While the task of cleaning up 2300 unaccounted contacts seemed intimidating at first, Rachell and Ryan spent multiple days explaining the value and process of their CRM data management and how I could execute this project as efficiently as possible. To my surprise, this task became the educational opportunity of my dreams. Not only did I get a hands-on approach of learning the importance of data management, but also where it was implemented throughout the process of marketing. After going through and organizing the CRM, I concluded that this was something I’m passionate about, and narrowed my future career choice down to data and statistical analytics in marketing. The information I learned truly provided me with knowledge and inspiration that I will retain for the rest of my career.
While organizing the CRM was my main project, they still helped me gain knowledge about other aspects of business. Throughout my internship, I was given the opportunity to have informational interviews with every member of the Collaboration team. During these interviews, I was struck with valuable information on their careers and how they got to where they are now, as well as authentic advice on anything from how to pick my future college to the proper ways of displaying myself in front of future employers. However, the information I was being taught didn’t stop there. After my newfound desire to enter the statistical analytics field in business, many of the members at Collaboration helped me reach out to people who do that as their careers, and I was able to make various connections with some of the most sensational businessmen/women in SLO County. In addition, Rachell invited me to attend gatherings such as Good Morning SLO and NAWBO, where I was able to attain knowledge on the businesses around me, make new connections, and get real-life exposure and experience on what it’s like to be in the business world.
My three months of interning at Collaboration Business Consulting granted me knowledge and connections that will last a lifetime. Throughout these past three months, I learned things that I would never have been able to pick up in any business class. Being able to spend my summer working with Rachell, Maggie, Jill, Zheila, Erin, Ryan, and Michael is a valuable memory that I will forever retain. Because of this internship, I feel much more connected, educated, and prepared to tackle what’s ahead of me. Not only has this internship boosted my confidence, but made me feel much more prepared for the future that lies ahead of me. I know the members of Collaboration will always be there for me as my career continues to grow, and I am eternally grateful for the experience they gave me.