Making a Difference

7Hey, my name is Jon Erman. I’m a rising senior at Bucknell University, where I’m majoring in Business Management. Over the past few years, I’ve developed a particular interest in pursuing a career in marketing, as this field seems to lend itself to creative and analytical work – both of which appeal to me. Of course, this was mostly speculation. With little previous exposure to marketing in a real-world context, I sought a summer internship that would provide me with a stronger grasp of this area.

In March, I was browsing my school’s online internship database, where I noticed a posting for a “Summer Marketing Intern” with Progressive Business Publications. I was intrigued by the description, which touted the opportunity to perform meaningful work, not the menial tasks that are often associated with these positions. I felt that I would fit well in a company that promoted empowerment and hard work, so I decided to apply. I had never heard of the company; however, that didn’t matter to me. After a thorough interview process, it was clear that a Fortune 500 Company wasn’t the only path to a valuable learning experience for the summer. I accepted my offer and began my new role – working in our Gifts and Incentives division – with an open mind.

Thus far, I can certainly say that this internship has been exactly as advertised. Our CEO advocates taking risks and making mistakes as vehicles for growth, and this has manifested itself in a culture of autonomy here. Even as an intern, you are given guidance – not constant supervision. At the same time, I’ve had multiple opportunities to collaborate with others on projects, and my colleagues have been more than willing to answer my questions and provide feedback on my work.

Specifically, a lot of my time has been dedicated to re-tooling our e-commerce website. I began my summer extensively exploring our competitor sites’ pricing strategies, product selections, and website designs – producing numerous documents detailing my findings. With my newly-acquired knowledge, I’ve taken on a leadership role in creating a vastly improved version of our site. It feels great to know that my manager has enough trust in me to grant me such a huge responsibility. It’s also truly rewarding to know that my work will undoubtedly impact our organization well beyond my brief time here. This task has required a lot of effort, but – much like the rest of my experience with PBP – I’ve enjoyed every second of it, and have learned something new every step of the way!

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