Hi everyone! My name is Aaliyah Quintal and I am a junior English and Communication double major here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Today, I will be walking you all through my journey as a summer 2019 Marketing Communications Intern at Dassault Systèmes under their brand SIMULIA.
What were you doing?
I was very fortunate to be working on a multitude of different projects during my internship. My tasks included various social media work on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter; assisting in developing a future customer rewards program; researching and implementing best practices for social media; researching sustainable news across our various industries for our magazine; interviewing employees and developing that content into social media posts; and much more. I can definitely say that I worked on a broad range of projects that not only challenged me but made me a more well-rounded employee. I had the opportunity to work with many different departments at Dassault Systèmes and even with other interns, which made my experience a very positive and enriching one.
How did you get the opportunity?
Through LinkedIn! I found the job posting and added it to my list of hundreds of applications. I applied sometime in late January and had my interview in early March. I had one phone interview with what would later be my boss, and found out I got the job a week later. As far as the interview process goes, I highly suggest researching the company, even your interviewer if you know who it will be, beforehand to ensure that you know everything you can about the position and the company. It always looks good that you have done your research, and that can truly enhance your interview if you are asked company-specific questions. During this interview, I was asked a specific question about the company’s blog, and I know if I had not done the research beforehand I would have likely not received the job offer.
What did you learn?
What is so unique about my experience is that I not only got to learn about marketing in a corporate setting, but I was also able to gain knowledge about engineering. In this job, I was thrust into a highly technical environment with little to no engineering experience, which was extremely intimidating at first considering I was the only non-engineering intern in the building. As a marketer, it is extremely important that you not only understand your target audience but the content that you are marketing. Considering that the software at the company was mainly for higher-level engineers, those with PhD’s, I knew I had a lot of learning to do if I wanted to be successful. The full-time employees, and especially my fellow interns, were always more than willing to walk me through the basics of engineering, and assist in any of the questions that I had — making the learning process very smooth. This experience gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, and become more adaptable, all while exploring a career I love. I can for sure say that I left with not only stronger marketing skills, but with an understanding of basic engineering I never thought I would have.
Who did you meet?
I was able to meet and engage with high-level individuals in marketing, various engineers, HR representatives, and a number of interns from all over the country and world. I am a firm believer that making strong and genuine connections is essential in a career, and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to do just that in this internship. I had a strong relationship with many of my coworkers, especially my fellow interns, which truly made the experience that much better. Your coworkers can really make or break your job experience, and I am incredibly thankful to say that I had a wonderful group of coworkers that heightened my internship experience.
How are you going to apply this experience to the rest of your education/career goals?
I want to pursue a career in marketing once I complete my degree. This experience will serve as a gateway to kickstarting my desired career path. What I also loved about this opportunity was that I was able to discover my passion for the tech industry, which I would have never known without this experience. The beauty of marketing is that it is in pretty much every industry, something that I admire about the field. I know how much I enjoy the tech industry, so I now have this hunger and curiosity to explore what marketing is like in other industries, which would not have been possible without this experience.
Are there any big impacts (for you or for society) from the work you were involved in?
Absolutely. I think one of the benefits of working in an engineering company is that the work you are doing is improving the functionality of our world, even as a marketer. Dassault Systèmes has twelve industries from High Tech, Transportation & Mobility, Aerospace & Defense, all the way to Home & Lifestyle. The software was being used in so many different areas of life by a numerous companies, so I was able to witness first-hand how engineering is impacting the technological growth of society. It is also really interesting to see how these different companies were utilizing the software in a multitude of different ways on various influential projects. Engineering is not only a booming industry, but it is extremely important to the advancement of our world, and I am incredibly thankful to have been a part of that.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to do something similar?
Do not give up. Applying to internships can be an extremely discouraging process. It may take months to get an initial interview from some companies, and others you may never even hear back from. I know it is easy to want to give up, and just admit defeat — trust me I have been there — but that will not help you in the long run. Have faith in your abilities, and keep applying to more opportunities — even if you are getting rejected. I know it may be difficult to pick yourself back up after rejection, but I can assure you that it will pay off in the long run, and make you a stronger person. I also highly suggest looking into internship opportunities on campus. I had my first internship on campus during my sophomore year and that helped me tremendously when looking for summer internships. Sometimes all it takes is a first step to open doors to bigger possibilities.