Corporate Life Internship

After spending most of my winter break and spring semester stressing about my summer plans, I was ecstatic to be offered the position of Marketing Communications Intern at PolyOne Corporation. PolyOne is a large provider of specialized polymer materials, as well as distribution and testing services (this means a lot of plastics, screen printing inks, vinyl materials and color compounds, among other things). While I was overwhelmed by the vast expanse of PolyOne’s capabilities at first, I embraced every new opportunity and dove right into my very first internship.

I got WAY too excited about having my own big-girl desk.desk

While the specific details of my work are somewhat confidential, I can openly say that I have learned so much during my time at PolyOne thus far. The project I am most heavily involved in spans the entire company, so naturally there are lots of people involved. Staying on top of the latest updates has taught me the value of clear and consistent communication. In a project with lots of detail, it is pivotal that nothing is overlooked. Luckily, as strat comm’ers, communication skills are in our blood! However, I’ve found that it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of eyes when reviewing something, and there is almost always a coworker willing to help.

Lots of employees at PolyOne come from an engineering background, but rather than letting this intimidate me, I took full advantage! Every single person I’ve met is so kind and willing to help with whatever I might need. Not to mention that they are all extremely intelligent. Working with individuals like this pushes me to do my best everyday.

I mean, seriously. Look at how cute my lamp is!

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Finally, being with a corporate department has taught me a great deal about this side of the business. One of my favorite parts about my job has been learning and adapting to the unique culture of the company. A lot of my work has focused on the PolyOne brand and how they position themselves towards current and potential customers. Branding is a topic that has always drawn my attention, so to get hands-on experience with this is fantastic. As we know, it is so important to write with your audience in mind. For a company as complex as PolyOne, this can pose some challenges – it’s easy to get very technical with our information, so I’ve had to adapt to molding information to a form that will grab people’s attention.

Going into this summer with an open mind (and an empty notepad!) was the best decision I made. As far as I’m concerned, a great attitude and a willingness to learn are some of the greatest ways to have a successful and rewarding internship. I know that I’ve come a long way since the summer started, and I’m excited to see where the next few weeks will take me. And if you ever need someone to spout off some science terms that will leave your J-school friends with their jaws dropped, I’m your girl. Here’s a few for good measure: thermoplastic elastomers, vinyl rigid extrusion compounds, static dissipative and conductive compounds, and – wait for it – acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 1.59.52 PMEmily Barber is a Junior studying Strategic Communications with a Marketing minor and Social Media Certificate follow her on Twitter @emilybarbershop.

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