#NDSUintern Advice

Austin Sandmeyer
Major: Marketing
Graduation Date: May 2017
Company: Beekeeper
Position: Marketing Intern
Location: San Francisco, CA

Why did you choose to work for Beekeeper?

I chose to work with Beekeeper for many different reasons. Each having a special place in my career and life goals. Beekeeper is at the forefront of this massive wave and change in technology and the way all businesses are structured and collaborate called the Future of Work. Beekeeper itself is a relatively small company that is just beginning to grow its North American division, which was exciting to me because I had the opportunity to join a massive growth company at an early stage and be instrumental in many of its decisions that not only were influential in North America, where I was located but also impacted our entire company around the world. When you combine those two aspects, plus the amazing opportunity to work for a Switzerland founded company and live in San Francisco for the Summer it’s hard to beat Beekeeper.

How did you find your internship?

That’s actually a funny story. I found Beekeeper through one of my favorite news sources, TechCrunch. TechCrunch is one homepage that the startup/internet, and tech-based world rely on for news and updates on key companies. TechCrunch ran an article about Beekeeper raising one of their rounds of funding amounting to $5 Million dollars. The article also talked about its place in the market and its leverage and strategic priorities. From reading that article and finding real value in what Beekeeper was doing and connecting companies that had previously relied on incredibly unreliable ways to communicate I knew I had to learn more. So, I visited their homepage and careers site and sadly didn’t find any internship positions. Then came the “dirty” work (Which I love doing) of finding key people at Beekeeper that would take a call or email from me. I used LinkedIn and a couple other sources primarily but after that was all said and done and I had a couple of meetings their company decided to create an internship position for me. Honestly, it was nerve-wracking and a significant amount of juggling of emails was necessary but extremely worth it in the end. Nerve-wracking is half the fun.

TECHCRUNCH LINK: https://techcrunch.com/2016/04/15/beekeeper/

How many internships did you apply to before you were hired?

Hmm… A bunch. I don’t think I will say the hard number because it could be daunting, but for sure double-digits. Something to always think about is that there is always a way.

Did you register for credits through the Career Center’s Internship Program? If so, why was it beneficial for you to register?

I did not register for any internship program credits, as my major doesn’t need them and I was already sitting well with my credit count.

Do you have any advice for students who haven’t had an internship yet or are in the process of applying to internships?

I highly recommend anybody that hasn’t had an internship, go out and get one. No matter what your major or area of expertise is, go out and find one. I’ve had the privilege to have multiple internships to date and each one has allowed me to explore a new area of my career field and let me learn what I love to do, and what I don’t love doing. Remember that you can always start small, but have an ideal role in mind and constantly work towards it. If you are in the process of applying, KEEP DOING IT! I’m not kidding. Are you in the interview phase with one company, keep applying. Are you submitting your application to a couple companies, keep applying! Keep working multiple angles and always keep working towards your goal.

What is an average day like for you on the job?

Great Question! My day, as I’m sure many say, is constantly changing. An average day at my job can mean meetings/activities at any time or day. Beekeeper is Co-Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland and San Francisco, CA so the time change is something I work with daily. I tend to start my day’s quite early, it’s something I love. But usually, I have a few meetings early in the morning that mean connecting with either the team in Zurich or if they were out at an event finding them wherever they landed, that could mean from London, Paris, Berlin, honestly anywhere. From that, I meet with the North America Sales and Customer Success teams to ensure they have all the necessary resources and tools to provide the best experience to our current and potential customers. Then I may meet with the VP of North America about strategic goals or bring him up to speed on any changes in the landscape. At some point, we grab lunch, sometimes delivered to the office, other times we would go out and explore a new restaurant in the town. After that, I would work on some of our marketing campaigns we have running and ensure everything is up-to-par. I would also collaborate with the product team at some point during the day. That’s what a typical day can look like, but it could involve anything from a deep-dive into a new product feature, feedback on a recurring issue, developing PR initiatives, and so much more. But the main thing it is was always changing and completely immersive. An average day at Beekeeper is anything but average.

What is the most challenging part of your job? How do you overcome these obstacles?

The most challenging part of the job at Beekeeper is syncing time up with the global team. It took some skill and a solid plan in place. The Marketing team which I was on, was primarily in Switzerland, that meant their working time and time-off was nearly completely opposite of mine. The core way we worked around this was developing a really good understanding of what is high-priority and what is low-priority and using the correct form of communication to connect and collaborate on. If a topic was low-priority and I completely hit a roadblock or needed certain approvals, I would email the team and get a response as needed. On the flip-side, if that was a high-priority item Beekeeper Chat would instantly send them a push notification and allow them to quickly respond and take an action necessary. Clear lines of communication and a distinction in priority was necessary.

How has your internship shaped your ideas for your career? Has it changed your career path?

I’ve had the privilege to have multiple internships and each one has provided a truly incredible opportunity to understand what I like, and what I don’t like. These ideas and topics are incredibly important because I would have never known that previously and may have taken a roll that included them fresh out of college, had I not known. My internships have completely shaped my ideas and career goals while at the same time allowing me to learn and explore completely new career paths that I previously would have never known, or even thought about prior. Internships open your eyes to your career.

Would you recommend having an internship?

Yes! Completely. My passion for internships is massive. I believe everybody should have some form of an internship, preferably multiple, by the time they graduate! The nice thing is it’s never too late because each new opportunity allows you to learn something completely new.

Did your internship help you get a job after graduation?

Oh, my goodness yes! My internships have opened so many doors that I’m extremely excited to embrace as I graduate in May 2017. All internships help you get a job, period. Experience is an experience.

For more information on the Career Center’s Internship Program and the benefits of registering for credits, see https://career.ndsu.edu/internship-program/.

By Emma Stupke
Emma Stupke Graduate Assistant Emma Stupke