School is officially out for the summer. For some college students, this means time to take a few summer classes, relax by the pool, visit high school friends, get a summer job or even travel. Many college students recognize that the summertime offers opportunity to explore career paths and gain some real-world experience through internships.
Mspark offers an internship program to do just that. The program is open to current college students or recent grads in a variety of fields. Interested applicants were able to apply through the Careers Section of the Mspark website. This year’s intern class is focused on a few departments throughout the company but it varies each year.
The following interview is part one of our two-part blog series about our interns and their experience at Mspark. We hope you enjoy getting to know our summer interns as much as we have! Stay tuned to learn more about their summers at Mspark.
Q: Tell me about yourself.
Maegan Royal: My name is Maegan Royal and I’m from Birmingham, AL. This spring I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations. While studying at UAB I was a member of Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honors Society, Public Relations Student Society of America, Her Campus, UAB Athletic Recruiting Hostesses and The Iota Phi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In my free time I enjoy journaling, going for walks outside and spending time with my family and friends.
Campbell Holley: My name is Campbell Holley. I’m from Birmingham, AL and have lived here my whole life. I currently am enrolled in Tusculum University in Greeneville, TN and am majoring in Accounting with a minor in Coaching. I am going into my senior year there and graduating in the spring of 2020. I play lacrosse at school and my team is my second family. During the summer when I am home, I coach a 10u lacrosse team for the club BLU to try and help grow the game here in Birmingham.
Andrew Waugh: My name is Andrew Waugh and I am from Montgomery, Alabama. I currently attend Troy University as a Communications Major with a minor in Leadership Development. I expect to graduate in December of 2021. I am currently involved as a tour guide for Troy, the recruitment chair for Tau Kappa Epsilon Social Fraternity, and the social media manager for the welcome week committee for incoming freshman at Troy University. I am also a photographer and golfer in my free time.
Joel Sullivan: My name is Joel Sullivan and I am from Hoover, AL. I currently attend Auburn University and I am majoring in Industrial & Systems Engineering. I will be starting my junior year in the fall and hope to graduate in the spring of 2021, but I’m considering staying longer to get my masters. One of my biggest passions is playing drums. I have played since the 4th grade and was a member of the Auburn Drumline this past year.
Q: What led you to apply to be an Mspark intern? Tell us a little about the area you’re focused in for your internship.
MR: I developed an interest in Mspark after shadowing in the marketing department for a school assignment. While shadowing, I became interested in Mspark’s product and development process. I admired the company culture and the way employees interact with each other. Though I am a sales intern this summer, I’ve gotten an opportunity to spend time with other departments which has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the company and how it functions.
CH: I applied to be an intern here at Mspark after a sit-down meeting with the CFO. I saw this was going to be a great place to learn. In my internship, I’m focused on the accounting department and seeing the day to day operations for the company.
AW: I have always had a fascination with advertising and sales, and have always had summer jobs that involved sales and/or retail, so I wanted to broaden horizons in the advertising realm. I am a sales intern. So far, I have completed the company sales training, shadowed in several areas, and I am getting some phone customer service experience.
JS: Someone told me about the Mspark internship opportunity. I wanted to apply because I have always been intrigued by how things are produced as well as being in fast paced environments, so working in a plant fits me well! I was also really interested in the opportunity to be exposed to many different facets of the business and being able to gain experience across the board. I am currently working in the production area and enjoy focusing on improvement of manufacturing processes and efficiencies.
Q: What can you tell us about your first few days interning with us? What surprised you? What didn’t surprise you?
MR: My first few days here were spent in Start Strong Sales Training. I enjoyed my time in training. It was great having the opportunity to gain skills I can use in my career and everyday life. I was surprised to learn just how much goes into producing one ad. It’s so cool to see how each department works together to produce the packages.
CH: Within the first few days interning, I was still a little nervous about what I would be doing. I was surprised to see how the company is laid back but also still so professional. I wasn’t surprised by the family atmosphere around the company and in each department. Coming from my team at school, that’s what I’ve come to know from team environment.
AW: This company really does care about their employees and want the best for them. A lot of things surprised me…the dress code is a lot more casual than I expected, I also enjoyed getting to meet the CEO of the company and getting to go to dinner with him. A final thing that surprised me was that this isn’t just the company errand boy. You’re doing real life work that can give you experience to hopefully find a career in your specific area. Things that didn’t surprise me were just how nice the employees were and how they want the best for you, and that I would have hands-on work.
JS: Over the first few weeks being here I have slowly gotten used to the flow of things and have really enjoyed getting to know everyone around the company. I was surprised by the laid-back atmosphere and also by how much goes on behind the scenes to get direct mail to people’s mailboxes.
Q: Whether you’re from Birmingham or just getting to know the area for your internship, what are you enjoying most about it? Any favorite restaurants, places to go, entertainment?
MR: I absolutely love Birmingham. My favorite thing about this city is how diverse it has become. Diversity encourages growth in many ways. My favorite restaurant is “Yo Mama’s” in downtown Birmingham. I enjoy the atmosphere and southern home cooking. The chicken and waffles is my favorite dish there!
CH: Being from the area, I’ve grown up learning what’s around and what is new. I would say my favorite place to eat while I’m in town is Jinsei Sushi Bar and Lounge over in Homewood. Now for entertainment I like to go to Topgolf or to a Birmingham Barons game or any of the local breweries or bars.
AW: My favorite restaurant here in Birmingham is Eugene’s Hot Chicken. It’s good southern chicken and sides. For entertainment, I enjoy Topgolf and going to Zydeco to listen to live music.
JS: I grew up in the Birmingham area and have always enjoyed it here. Out of all the things to do, I enjoy going to the Moss Rock Preserve to hike or finding some live music at a restaurant downtown.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series to see what our interns learned this summer and how they can use that knowledge to make decisions about what they want to do after college.