From International Intern to Tech-Startup Chief Marketing Officer

It’s been a busy first few weeks at my internship in London!

I commuted to my office building a few minutes before I needed to be in reception to meet my new boss. Unlike most FIE interns, my coworkers aren’t from the United Kingdom, but they share the common work attitude here of not being at the office until the minute they need to be there. Not many employees show up at 8:45 a.m. to camp out with a cup of coffee in reception waiting to be given access into the building.

Lesson 1: adjust your commute to reflect when your coworkers actually show up, rather than when it was suggested you show up.

My boss showed up nearly thirty minutes later, and he realized we’d need to adjust my starting times to save both of us from the morning Tube rush hour. I was told to come in “around 10 a.m.”

Now, I don’t have to wait for a coworker to get through security. My shiny forehead on the photo for my building ID card is a glistening reminder that I can have a big impact on my company during my short time as an intern.

I spent my first, and last three days, as an intern developing a marketing and communications plan for the next eight weeks. I pitched my plan to my boss on Friday afternoon, and I was successfully promoted from international intern to the chief marketing officer of our small startup business.

Of my three other coworkers, I am the only one in the company working on marketing and public relations. My boss joked that I can think of myself as my own boss and the entire marketing department in one.

I am excited by my autonomy in the office, but I occasionally feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities. I haven’t felt overwhelmed by my tasks during my first two weeks at work, but I worry my boss might realize I’m not a CMO or professional marketing consultant. I’m just an intern wanting to do her best and learn as much as possible in a short amount of time.

Lesson 2: During my marketing plan pitch, I learned to clearly communicate boundaries for my prospective tasks at work. I told my boss what I am confident doing, like blog writing and content review, but I also expressed my need for flexibility and consulting on tasks like SEO or in-person sales pitching.

Overall, my first two weeks have gone very well. I started editing and updating our website and social media accounts. I even overcame some of my introverted tendencies by working an event we hosted, and I networked with other London corporate social responsibility professions and charity managers.

I am excited to see what I learn during the rest of my internship.

Lesson 3: Bring a sweater to the office. It gets cold!

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