College students are told time and time again just how important it is to have an internship while in college. UNCW student Aki Suzuki, a senior Communication Studies major, offered to speak with us about her Marketing internship at Live Oak Bank, a Small Business Association lender here in Wilmington, NC.
Aki: Videography: Helping set up shoots with lighting and camera equipment, taking photos, organizing footage, editing photos and videos, and creating simple title graphics.
Interviewer: What do you want to gain from this experience?
Aki: I hope to gain professional videography skills and the ability to thrive and adapt to an adult work environment. Finally I hope to gain the knowledge to competently function as part of an organization/ corporations marketing team to enhance a brand and use my creative resources to continue advancing it.
Interviewer: What coursework is relevant to your internship?
Aki: As I am interning in the marketing department and helping create promotional materials for Live Oak, the IMC related classes are relevant to my experience. Integrated Marketing theories, as well as course projects and discussions have prepared me to understand how the bank approaches attracting borrowers to each of its verticals. The videography department is responsible for video and photography related products. Videography centered courses like COM 380 have also been instrumental to my understanding of cameras, the elements of lighting and also editing techniques.
Internships are an excellent way for students to engage in applied learning but also a way to get their brand out into the real world. Aki has learned the importance of a consistent brand identity, especially when looking for jobs and internships. Aki demonstrated this during our interview.
Aki: I can offer Live Oak Bank a willing and open mind. Although I do not possess any outstanding skills, as a young and determined student I am engaged in learning and committed to contributing in any way that I can. My youth allows me to maintain a fresh perspective and enthusiastic attitude for any opportunities they allow me.
Interviewer: How does your brand as a Communication Studies major compare with other interns at Live Oak?
Aki: I find that I fit well into my niche in the marketing department because Communication Studies deals overwhelmingly with how to effectively incorporate messages being sent through various channels which is precisely what any company’s marketing department hopes to cover. I do find myself at a slight disadvantage when it comes to understanding the financial ins and outs of the bank; but like any communication studies major I am well versed in being an assertive researcher and curious verbal investigator to understand anything I do not immediately understand.
Aside from some unnecessary modesty, Aki has aligned the stories she communicates about herself, the way she sees herself and reality so closely that there are minimal discrepancies. If you have the opportunity to work with Aki, you would find this statement proves true. Branding is not just for businesses anymore. Every communication you put out into the world will contribute to your personal brand and when your band is as consistent as Aki’s it becomes a holophrasm, expressing your brand in a single nucleus. Aki has achieved such a level of brand coherence that her name now acts as a holophrasm.
What strategies do you use when defining your personal brand?
What are some examples you can share about personal brand coherence?
– Alexis Trimnal, Carey Shetterley, June Wilkinson, and Carey Poniewaz
-Interviewee: Aki Suzuki