Get to Know…The 2019 Vovia Interns
Following a great summer in 2018 with our first interns, we lucked out again this year with Evan and Kiana joining us for the 2019 summer break.
They’re headed back to school now, but before they left they reminisced on their summer with another one of our resident pooches, Jasper. They shared insights on their internships and where they go from here!
Jasper: What is your role at Vovia?
Evan: Digital Marketing Intern
Kiana: Marketing Coordinator Intern
J: What school did you come from?
Both: University of Calgary
J: What are you studying?
J: Describe a typical day in the office for you.
Evan: A typical day usually includes helping out with various Google and Facebook campaigns, doing things like sorting through search terms, compiling keyword forecasts, helping out with new campaign setups, and working in the platforms to ensure campaigns are running smoothly. If I’m not doing that, you can find me working on other projects that team members around the office have requested a hand with or sitting in on different types of meetings.
Kiana: This is hard to answer as each day is a little different and my weeks vary. During reporting weeks, I am compiling specialist commentary and then proofing/editing the commentary from other client reports as well. I attend several meetings ranging from weekly client status & reporting meetings to internal planning and status meetings. In addition to this, I also coordinate various internal office needs. On my lunches and breaks, I like to go for walks. Vovia’s office is in the heart of 17th ave and steps away from some of Calgary’s most historic homes in the Mount Royal area. I love walking through these old neighbourhoods because they are beautiful and surprisingly quiet considering how close they are to the busy 17th Ave! So, like I said, to describe a typical day is a little tough to do as the account manager’s job really changes week to week in an agency!
J: What is your favourite thing about the internship?
Evan: My favourite part of the internship is getting to experience working on a variety of clients and learning about several different industries. I worked with a few different members of the digital team, and that gave me the opportunity to be exposed to a couple of their respective clients and to help out on different types of Google and social campaigns. This was a really great way to be introduced to what the “life of a specialist” entails and gave me an idea of what types of platforms and clients I would like to work on in the future. Of course, there’s also the atmosphere in the office, which is positive, fun, and makes it exciting to come to work.
Kiana: There are too many things so I will list my highlights!
- The people here are amazing which creates a really positive work environment
- The office is open-concept with no personal offices; this is great for easy communication and collaboration.
- The work attire is business casual
- There are 4 office dogs to greet you and to pet when you need a break
- Really fun Team Builders! I was fortunate enough to go axe throwing with the team which I had never done before; somehow I even managed to get myself into the finals at this event
This was my first taste of an “office” job and I got to experience that in the best way. The people here are truly passionate about what they do, and Vovia truly and genuinely appreciates and recognizes the people that populate this office every day. Going forward in my career, I will be always be searching for the dynamic that Vovia has here because frankly, it is one of a kind.
J: Tell me about something you do outside the office!
Evan: I’ve played hockey ever since I was a little kid, and I still play competitively during the winter. In the summer, I love playing golf and have been a member at Country Hills Golf Club for 12 years now.
I have also played guitar since I was very young, and so I naturally developed into a bit of a music lover. Music and the guitar are things that I have always been very passionate about, which has led me to collect way too many guitars over the years (nine, to be exact) which I still love to play every day that I can.
Kiana: As it was summer when I worked at Vovia, so on weekends I tried my best to get out of the city and head out camping near Lake Koocanusa!
Besides that, I like to attend various events and festivals happening in the city, I enjoy trying new food, and along with that, I like to go to new restaurants and breweries!
J: Let’s go back a little bit. When did you first know that you wanted to be an intern?
Evan: In school, I really enjoy the more analytical marketing courses dealing with research and/or working with different types of data. When I discovered the opportunity to be an intern at Vovia and did some research on what the company is all about, I was excited by how closely my interests aligned with the company’s expertise and I knew it would be the perfect place for me to spend the summer. Getting this kind of hands-on experience, especially in a way that is so closely related to my interests, is critical at this stage in my education and was something I couldn’t pass up.
Kiana: Pretty well as soon as I had the minimum amount of Business School experience under my belt, I knew I wanted to be an intern. School definitely prepared me with high-level theory/concepts, and more Excel skills than I’d need, but beyond that, the rest was all new knowledge!
I have heard different variations of this same advice growing up and that is, ultimately school gets you to a door, but what you do beyond that door is up to you. Knowing this, I wanted to get out there in the ‘real world’ as soon as I could to start learning about the industry and what jobs and opportunities exist.
J: We know you’re headed back to school soon – what will you tell your schoolmates about Vovia?
Evan: I will definitely be telling them how great a place Vovia is to work, and how much fun I had over the summer. There’s not only the obvious perks such as office dogs, candy, the patio, and ping pong, but the entire team is so friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help answer any questions that come up or take the time to help me learn something new.
I’ll also be telling them what a great place Vovia is to be an intern at, as I got to work on a variety of interesting and challenging projects over the summer that made a real impact, and I learned a ton in the process.
Kiana: While I don’t chat with the ‘schoolmates’ too often, if I were to inform them all at once, I would first tell them that if they think learning ends after school, they are wildly mistaken. Starting at Vovia was like learning a new language in some ways. I remember in my first week here, I had a running list of the different acronyms and metrics used in 90% of conversations at the office alongside their definitions! After week 3 or so, this google doc was never opened again. Hearing these words used on a daily basis, I eventually was able to stay up to speed in conversations and understand what was being discussed.
The second thing I would tell the ‘mates’ is that you must love what you do. Yes, this sounds cliché, but hold on, I’m looking at it through a different lens! Finishing school is step one; after that, the search and quest only begins for finding that thing that makes you tick (perhaps you have an idea of this already, but I doubt you have it perfectly figured out). Once you start working, this is what you do 5 out of 7 days of the week. The job, and what you do in this role is important, but even more important than that is the people you work for, and with. I’ve said it already, but I have to say it again. The culture at Vovia is really one of a kind and that’s because of the people who work for it. The people here are fun, interesting, and I think most importantly, caring. Having a boss/president/leader that truly cares about each of their employees along with how well everyone knows each other as a team is not something I think many people can say. Vovia prioritizes time for team builders, and other workshops to promote continuous development and enhancement of our relationships with each other. Coming to a place every day where you actually enjoy the people and know things about the lives of the people who sit 4ft away from you is important. You need to like what you do, but you also need to like who you do it with.
J: Finally, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Evan: Over the past couple of years in school, I have become very interested in the world of digital marketing, and that interest has only increased during my time at Vovia this summer. I don’t have a concrete plan for what I want to do post-graduation, but what I know for sure is that I would love to get my foot in the door somewhere working in digital marketing to take my interests further, and to have an opportunity to build upon the skills and knowledge that I obtained this summer.
Kiana: What a fully loaded question right for the end! I have this creative itch in me that doesn’t seem to fade with time, so for me, I am still figuring this one out for myself. I am continuously learning more about what I am, and am not interested in through every opportunity and experience. So for now, continuing to expose myself to everything I can, and to learn from each of these experiences is, I think, just as important as anything else.