Blog Post by Tanner Nelson
Tanner started interning with Kaplan's Marketing Department in May. During her time at Kaplan, she helped organize photo and video shoots, participated as a model in several of those shoots, created countless emails, wrote blog posts, and much more. We appreciate all of her hard work and dedication! Get to know more about Tanner and what she learned at Kaplan in this behind-the-scenes blog post.
1. Value each opportunity to learn.
The purpose of an internship is to learn. If you don’t take advantage of each opportunity to learn during an internship (or any job for that matter), you’ve sold yourself short. From lunch (and brunch) dates with the team to photo and video shoots to everyday tasks, there were always opportunities to network and learn. Among many other things, I learned the marketing team loves Asian food, how to hold a reflector board so the videographer can get the perfect shot, and how to craft the perfect targeted email.
2. Always ask!
No question is a stupid question at Kaplan Early Learning Company. I always felt like I was asking too many questions, but when I apologized, everyone on the team had the same response: “Keep asking!” I appreciated their help every step of the way to produce the best work possible.
3. Try new things.
Sure, trying new things is intimidating, but how will you ever learn if you always stick to what you know? At Kaplan, I learned to dive in head first on all projects, even those I was most uncertain about. For example, I was given the task of creating an infographic, and, to be honest, at the time I barely even knew what an infographic was. I had also never used Photoshop before, but with a little help and a lot of determination, I did it!
4. Ice cream days are the best days!
One day we spontaneously got an email stating that there would be ice cream in the break room as a sweet treat for all Kaplan employees. Ice cream is kind of my favorite, so this made for a great surprise! We all took goofy pictures and laughed together while eating ice cream and taking a break from the workday.
5. Flexibility is key.
I came to Kaplan in a huge time of transition. The marketing vice president role was in transition and a remodeling project was about to begin. Being present during such large changes in the company forced me to be flexible. To make it easier for myself, I scheduled a meeting with the incoming marketing VP, Anna, to get to know her better. Additionally, after moving to our temporary office location, I quickly learned that sharing an office with my supervisors was pretty fun after all. Being flexible and embracing the change definitely made the experience more enjoyable overall.
6. Be proud of your work but willing to accept helpful criticism.
At Kaplan I learned that it’s important to be proud of your work. If you aren’t confident in your work, who will be? On the other hand, I also learned it’s important to accept helpful criticism. All projects have a review process so that the best work can be produced and shared. Accepting ideas from others is so important because ultimately we are all working together for the same purpose.
7. Writing is everything.
I now know my professors weren’t lying to me when they continuously harped on the fact that you have to know how to write to succeed in this field. During my time at Kaplan, I wrote everything from blog posts and targeted marketing emails to copy for landing pages. Writing every day helped me sharpen my skills, and I definitely feel like I became a better writer through my experiences writing for Kaplan.
8. Work can be fun!
Certainly, work is work. But at Kaplan, I learned work can be fun! I truly enjoyed all of the experiences and projects I was given at Kaplan, and it was nice to feel like I actually had a purpose as an intern (and it wasn’t just shredding papers). One day I was even given an assignment to build with LEGO® bricks, which was awesome! Enjoyable work makes work not seem so bad, and I absolutely enjoyed my work at Kaplan.
9. Kaplan employees care.
This summer I learned through both words and actions that Kaplan employees care. From walking in to flowers on my desk on my first day to receiving an email with a shout out on National Intern Day, I always felt that the employees at Kaplan genuinely cared. Kaplan is a global company with a family feel, and I am thankful to have been able to experience being part of the Kaplan family for the summer!
About the Author: Tanner Nelson is Kaplan Early Learning Company's summer marketing intern. She will be a senior this upcoming year at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Tanner is majoring in communication with a concentration in public relations and minoring in both arts entrepreneurship and psychology. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing at the lake.