All my life people have told me that experience and knowledge in an industry can’t be obtained through school, but I didn’t understand the degree to which they were right until after this summer.
Over the past three months I spent my time as a marketing campaign intern at a construction management software company called Procore. Their mission, “Building the software that builds the world”, was present everywhere within the company. Though we had talked about it during orientation, I hadn’t realized how firmly the leaders of the company believed in it.
Unfortunately, I can’t share in-depth details about the tasks I worked on, but I can share what I learned and how I got the internship in the first place.
I spent all of my sophomore year researching and applying to different internships within the marketing realm. I remember having one interview, but it was an online video chat, and I didn’t move forward in the process afterwards. I got rejected so many times that I eventually thought I would end up working at a clothing store, which I’ve done in the past. But this year, I was determined to take advantage of my summer and learn something new.
My odds of securing an internship were looking bleak until the American Marketing Association chapter at UCSB announced that there was going to be a tour of Procore HQ in Carpinteria for members who worked the most hours during the year. For some background, “working hours” means promoting the club by tabling, going to general and committee specific meetings, working on projects, etc. I was happy and proud to be included in that list.
Out of all the members invited, only five of us went. It was the perfect size group for a tour. Our guide was a man named Tyler Goff. He was incredibly confident, kind, and funny, giving us an eye-opening tour that changed my summer.
Procore has one of the coolest offices I have ever seen. It is located on cliffs along the Pacific Ocean in Carpinteria, CA. This landscape promotes a healthy and fun company culture that keeps moods high and work less stressful––in my opinion, anyway.
We were fortunate enough to not only get a tour but also hear a small panel of employees speak to us. We listened to employees from marketing, sales, engineering, and the people team (their version of HR). They talked about their jobs and answered all of our questions. It was an illuminating experience that left me feeling inspired.
After that tourI decided I wanted to intern at Procore over the summer. Aside from the fact that I had no other options, it seemed like an amazing place to work.
The day after the tour I contacted Tyler via email and LinkedIn. I told him I had applied for an internship within the marketing department and asked if he could put in a good word for me. He responded very promptly and sent me the intern recruiter’s email.
I emailed the recruiter who happily asked what time would work best to set an interview and discuss my options. He told me about two available internships and asked which one I was most interested in (marketing campaign intern or field marketing intern).
I chose the the marketing campaign internship and set an interview with the Head of the team I would be assigned to. My first two interviews were about 30 minutes long and over the phone. I found it nerve racking to not be able to see my interviewer’s facial expressions, but I also found it calming because I could wear comfortable clothes and have my resume handy.
I was very excited when Procore invited me to move forward in the application process. I was soon scheduled to have an in-person interview at Procore’s HQ with two members of the team. Now, this may seem like it was a smooth process and that everything happened easily, but it wasn’t so simple. The week following my second phone interview, I heard nothing and even cancelled my flight home to New York after finals in case they asked me to come in for an interview the following week. I felt stressed and didn’t know what to do because all I could do was wait. The summer had officially started, and for a few days I assumed I wasn’t going to get another interview and wind up working in retail again.
Fortunately, I eventually received an email asking me what time would work best for an interview in Carpinteria. I was so relieved and couldn’t wait to go in and see the office again. I was originally scheduled to speak to two people on the team but ended up speaking with three, which I preferred because I got to meet more people and learn about their various jobs. I was nervous but tried to remain confident and calm.
I left the interview feeling positive and immediately drove home to pack for my flight to New York that same night. Once I arrived in New York, I saw my friends and family but waited anxiously for a phone call. I was told that I would hear from someone in about a week if I had gotten the position. Little did I know that the day after I got home they would call me and offer me the internship. I think I had an anxiety attack––in a good way. I spoke calmly on the phone so the recruiter wouldn’t know I was secretly freaking out. It was one of the best moments of my life. I felt excited, accomplished, nervous, and a whole bunch of other feelings at the same time.
Interning at Procore ended up being fun and also very educational. I learned things that I hadn’t learned in my classes, and probably never will. I gained important hands-on experience that I can use in future interviews and jobs. I learned about myself both professionally and personally and was happy the summer turned out so well.
I think the biggest item to take away from this article is that connections and making good impressions can get you a long way. Be confident during interviews and practice discussing projects you’ve worked on, classes you’ve taken, and other work experience you’ve had. The three weeks I devoted to getting an internship at Procore completely changed the course of my summer because I took the time and energy to do research and contact my connections. This internship was something I really wanted, and I wasn’t going to let it get away from me.
If you guys have any comments/questions feel free to reach out to me through email!