This guest blog post is from Jerilyn Stocker, a recent graduate from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Jerilyn is the Project Manager intern at Sundog in Fargo, North Dakota.
As the Project Manager Intern for Sundog—a marketing and technology company in Fargo, North Dakota—I had no idea what to expect going into my summer internship. Would I be stuck as the company gofer (gofer coffee, gofer lunch)? Would I be treated like I was at the bottom of the corporate food-chain? I’m happy to report the answer is: No. In fact, this internship has been even better than I had hoped. Here are the top five reasons why:
1. Environment: At age 22, I’ve had many jobs and positions, but I’ve never actually had my own space—a place to hang pictures and design just for me. That alone has made a huge difference for me! Plus, Sundog has a wine cellar, a gazebo, a fireplace and a gourmet kitchen. But what really makes the biggest difference is the company culture. It’s unmatched by anything else I’ve ever experienced. The people are experts in their fields, not to mention they’re all friendly and extremely helpful, there are so many employee events, and tons of perks like free pop, coffee, apples, string cheese and an unlimited supply of treats in the candy cupboard. I could continue telling you what makes Sundog’s culture so special, but it’ll be easier (and more fun) if you watch this video instead.
2. Creativity: Creativity is HUGE at Sundog. Everyone here is encouraged to think big, to think outside the box and to push creative boundaries. Employees recognize that new faces mean fresh perspectives, so I always know my opinions are valued and my ideas will be explored; it’s a refreshing approach that more companies should explore.
3. Independence: Unlike some of my previous job and internship experiences, I never feel like supervisors are watching my every move only to correct me as soon as I make a mistake. I’m trusted to get my projects done and I always have a team to go to with questions. This internship has given me a comfortable sense of independence and gives me an opportunity to show not only myself but also my supervisors and coworkers what I’m capable of.
4. The “Real World”: Internships are all about gaining experience. But what happens when it’s over, and you have nothing to show for your internship except an empty portfolio and a few funny stories? Sundog understands that life goes on after my internship is over, and that each project should help prepare me for my future jobs. All interns are asked to compile portfolios of their work, which lets me show supervisors what I have been working on, and is an awesome takeaway for future job interviews.
5. Social Media Encouraged: At Sundog, I’m encouraged to use social media often and to keep up with social trends. Facebook at work? Yes, please. I’m also asked to submit a weekly blog sharing what I’ve been working on, which has been a great way for me to reflect on my progress. I should’ve probably known it’d be different here, since I was asked to submit a Pinterest board instead of a resume.
Sundog is the kind of company that offers more than your standard gofer internship. I’ve learned more at my internship in the past two months than I did in two semesters of college. And the only time I gofer coffee, is when I want some myself. And that’s exactly why I love it here. Like, really love it. If you’d like to learn more about our internship program, or want information about upcoming Sundog positions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check us out online.