Possip Marketing Intern and University of Cincinnati Lindner Honors-PLUS Scholar student, Adelene Somerville, shares a reflection on working with Possip.
Nine months ago, I had never heard of Possip, knew nothing about parent-school communication, and had never held a Marketing position. Now, after completing an 8 month long internship from January to August, I am amazed at the love I have for this company and its people, in addition to the extensive knowledge I gained.
From the start, Possip was different from other internships I had encountered. I was interviewed by CEO and Founder, Shani Dowell, who was interested in my work and thoughts on Possip’s current marketing. I was nervous—one Google search showed me the incredibly accomplished woman who would be interviewing me, a sophomore in college. Shani, however, made me feel welcomed and valued before I was ever offered a position. I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of the Possip team. Plus, how many college students get to say the CEO interviewed them for their internship?
That interview was just the beginning of one of the most meaningful experiences of my college career: working with Possip. I could write a novel on what makes being a Possip intern so special, but I will summarize three key points instead.
1. Creativity and Flexibility in Working with Possip
When I started my internship, there was no set calendar or list of items I had to complete. My supervisor asked me about my marketing interests. He then tailored training and projects to them, so I could help Possip while growing my skills for the future.
Rather than being told what to do, I could tackle a project, such as an Instagram post, and present my design. Members of the team would give me feedback and suggestions, so I was constantly learning as I worked.
Working with Possip allowed me to explore new marketing roles. During Black History Month and Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I was able to write blogs on their history and significance.
My favorite project was the book lists I created for several months, including Black History Month,AAPI Heritage Month, and Pride Month.
2. Coworkers who Feel More like Friends and Family
Another reason I loved being a Possip intern was the community within the team. My very first day was the same day as a team-wide retreat, which is where I got to meet everyone and learn about their working styles.
While working full-time, I joined the daily huddle each morning, where we discussed needs and a “whip-around question” from different staff members. I learned about my coworkers’ childhood memories, favorite seasons and seasonings, what motivated them, and much more. Getting to share my own answers and ask my own questions also helped me feel more a part of the team.
Additionally, my internship was filled with 1-on-1 moments that I will remember beyond my experience. I loved discussing Taylor Swift with Hannah Hall (Sales), and my college experience with Jasmine Blue (Customer Experience and Support). I think it only took a month for me and my coworkers to follow each other on Spotify.
The most impactful interaction was when my supervisor Michael would always ask in our morning whip-around “How is Your Heart?” He created a safe space for me to share deeper thoughts about my work and life beyond the automatic “how are you?” typical virtually. From him and the rest of the staff, I learned how to connect with people even over a screen and to remember the people beyond the job title.
3. All Voices Matter
This may sound obvious for Possip given the company’s mission to elevate parent and family voice. However, I came in thinking that, stereotypically, interns might be wallflowers at meetings. I quickly learned that my teammates wanted to hear my thoughts on new initiatives and projects. I am not a parent or teacher, so my answers were influenced by other sources, including my younger siblings. However, I always felt my coworkers wanted to and valued my input.
I also had the opportunity to lead conversations in meetings. I led a content ideation session during a full team meeting. I was also in charge of presenting Possip’s social media analytics. I never felt like “THE intern.” The Possip team welcomed me as they would any employee. They wanted my experience to be as beneficial for me as it was for them.
Why working with Possip was special
Overall, working with Possip allowed me to grow my professional skills in a start-up environment and a new industry. I completed real work and made a tangible impact on the company’s efforts. I was able to do this AND develop critical skills, such as empathy, collaboration, and work-life balance thanks to the support of the entire Possip team. I knew my experience had been worthwhile when my last day felt less like a “goodbye” and more like a “see you soon.”