The working world might look different in 2020, but summer internships at Filestack went ahead at full speed. My name is Gracen Hoyle, and I was the Filestack intern this summer as part of the Students + Startups (S+S) program. Originally hailing from North Carolina, I’ve called San Antonio home for around two years now. I’ve worked in marketing on campus since my freshman year, doing social media and graphic design for Trinity’s Center for Experiential Learning and Career Success. This and my major in Computer Science help create a mix of experiences and abilities that made me ideally suited to working with Filestack, and today I’m going to share my summer experiences.
Filestack, the company, is a software as a service (SAAS) company that specializes in content delivery. Filestack, the product, is a file upload API that allows users to integrate a file picker into their projects that streamlines and simplifies the upload and delivery of assets and content to the end user. It is a tech company built for tech creators, and as a developer I found their product interesting; as a student and a marketer, their internship was incredibly appealing to me.
I wanted a summer internship to gain practical work experience. Working with startup companies appealed to me because they are always growing and evolving, and always willing to branch out and try many solutions. S+S felt like the perfect stepping stone from college-level work to real-world work experience.
I decided to take on the role of Filestack intern in particular because their internship was an intersection of two of my interests — marketing and software development. While I primarily worked in marketing this summer, the target audience we marketed to was software developers, a group that I understood very well by virtue of being in that group! It allowed me to practice my industry knowledge and jargon while also gaining marketing experience. Everyone at the company was very kind and interested in learning not just why I was applying for the internship, but about me too! I felt very comfortable and welcomed by the whole Filestack team, especially during such a weird time in the world.
What I learned
When I think back on all that I’ve learned this summer, the first thing that comes to my mind are interpersonal skills. The idea of being an intern in an office of professionals can be intimidating, but on my first day I was welcomed and spoken to as just another member of the team instead as “the intern.” It helped to set my mind at ease and gave me confidence to reach out to other staff at Filestack when I needed help or clarification on technical projects.
Another thing I learned a great deal about is search engine optimization (SEO). This surprised me at first; it feels like a very technical area, and one I wouldn’t have associated with marketing. As I learned more about it, it quickly became one of my favorite parts of my internship, and perhaps marketing as a whole. I did SEO improvements on the Filestack blog, which meant I found broken links and photos and repaired them to make the user experience better. In my role as a programmer, I’m very fond of web development and design, so getting this peek behind the curtain of Filestack’s blog and being able to help make it even better was a delight. I also learned a lot about how search engine placement for websites could really make or break a piece of content.
My time as a Filestack intern has given me a new perspective on both marketing and developing. My prior experience in marketing has been marketing to students, without a broader range of audiences. At Filestack, they advertise to both the average user and the development teams of other companies. Seeing these tactics in practice and helping to deploy them myself has helped me gain a greater understanding of how marketing works past my prior experience.
In addition, I worked on some projects that required code and development outside of a programming context, which was new and exciting. It gave me a feel for how development and projects work outside of the classroom.
If you’re a student considering an internship with Filestack: Hi! Thank you for reading my blog sometime in the future. With regards to Filestack, be self-motivated. Be willing to learn, to listen, and to observe, but also don’t be afraid to ask when you need help! Everyone is there to help you succeed. As Sameer — Filestack’s CEO — told me on the first day of my internship, you’re there to learn and to have fun. Take a breath and ride the startup wave. Let the days come one at a time, and enjoy the experience!
I deeply value all of the practical experience I gained this summer. I learn best by doing, and I did a lot this summer. I feel like I’ve emerged from the other end of summer renewed, a better marketer and developer; but first and foremost, I feel like a better learner. Startup culture and academia are very similar in some ways — you’re always learning, always evolving, with a support team around you that wants to see you succeed. Filestack helped me learn and grow during a very uncertain time in our lives, and I’m very grateful to them for continuing with my internship despite the state of the world. I refuse to let myself become stagnant, and they were instrumental in allowing me to use this summer to better myself. I’ll miss everyone here at Filestack — and hopefully, once we can all meet face to face again, we can look back together on this wonderfully weird summer.
Interested in working with startups in San Antonio for a summer? Visit Students + Startups to learn more about the summer internship program.
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