5 Things I Learned as a Fuel Intern
By Nate Brodsky
With the fall semester starting, I’ll be having one conversation over and over: what I did this summer. My name is Nate Brodsky, I am a sophomore at Penn State University (We Are!) with an intended major in finance, and I like to say that my summer was a whirlwind.
From taking classes to get ahead, to going to one of the NBA Finals games, you could say I was occupied — but the bulk of my summer was spent working as a sales and marketing consulting intern for Fuel. This was my first internship, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I wanted to gain an understanding of the workplace and operating professionally, to learn skills a consultant (my field of interest) would need, and to know what it’s like to be in the routine of having a job in business. At Fuel Consulting, my expectations weren’t just met; they were exceeded. Here are my five biggest takeaways from my experience as a Fuel intern.
1. My Mentor
I can 100% guarantee that if you also intern with Fuel you will have the best mentor throughout your whole experience. When I consider my thought process at the start of my internship, I realize how much my mentor, Lisa, challenged my thoughts and helped me build my critical-thinking skills. She encouraged me to think about things from all perspectives and to evaluate all sides of an argument, specifically the pros and cons of a business decision. Having my mentor by my side allowed me to feel more comfortable, knowing that if I hit a difficult scenario she would be there to guide me through it. I tell my friends back in Happy Valley that I feel like personally I’ve matured throughout my internship — and for that, I give all credit to my mentor.
2. The Freedom
During my time as a Fuel intern, my mentor, Lisa, gave me the freedom to work on projects however I wanted to. That’s what I mean by “freedom.” Lisa gave me a task and let me organize and design my own road to completion. For example, she told me that by the time I finished my internship I needed to know how to create videos. I had no idea where to start, so she told me to talk to one of my coworkers and work with him. This put me in a position where I had to work with someone else on a project and learn proper teamwork skills in the workplace. I also had to do my own research and plan how I was going to find out how to create videos.
3. Directly Helping Clients
My favorite part about my internship was working with my assigned client: Vricon. Vricon was where I would go for work on a daily basis. I worked on my projects in the same room as Vricon executives, and being able to communicate with them regularly and freely contributed to how much fun I had being a Fuel intern. They have an excellent culture at Vricon. It is a relatively new company with an extremely productive work environment from everybody working as a team to get things done, but it is very laid back as well. To me, this demonstrated how much everybody loved working there. I always echo that “if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life,” and that was obvious about the employees at Vricon. From playing ping pong to Fika Friday, it was a fantastic experience working at Vricon, directly helping this client.
4. Real-Life Experience
The flexibility of the job made me feel like I was experiencing real life, as if I were 30, which was pretty cool and one of the best parts of my internship. If there was a day of work where I knew I would just be putting information into SalesForce or spreadsheets, I had the flexibility to work from home. But also and more importantly, I didn’t have the traditional internship where I’d be getting everyone coffee and making copies. Instead, it was productive, and I kept busy with various projects to work on, in my own design. I think this part of the experience also helped me in maturing as a person, keeping me productive and accountable. People relied on me.
I think a really cool part about being a Fuel intern was being given projects where I needed to reach out to other companies about their products and how they can help Vricon. One project involved finding the best marketing automation tool to integrate into Vricon’s SalesForce to help generate more leads and website traffic. I had to reach out to companies that offered a product tailored to our needs and compare apples to apples for all of them. This also gave me experience of what it’s like to be in business meetings, organizing and being professional.
My whirlwind summer with Fuel and Vricon helped me grow as a person and as a business professional. What did you do this summer?
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