Very fun 2-3 months doing a summer internship at Telonium, a hosted phone systems provider for businesses. Basically, they provide phone systems (e.g. single business phone #, multiple lines coming in, multiple extensions for employees, and features like transferring calls, etc.) using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology rather than typical landline services that a company like AT&T would provide.
I’m just going to plug some of the things that I worked on over the summer for future reference, and…well, I’m in marketing, so for a bit of self-loving SEO as well.
- We worked on this great whiteboard series (titled Telonium Thursdays) throughout the summer. Making videos was probably the most fun part of the internship for me. I was in charge of writing the script, so if Alice or Alex happen to say anything you think is stupid, I’m the one to blame 🙂
- I also worked on a number of blog posts for Telonium. The first was directed toward startups, encouraging them to consider a proper phone number when branding themselves (just like you’d want a domain for your business email rather than using something like Gmail). The second was conjured up from looking at popular searches related to business phone systems. “Forward calls” and “transfer calls” were two particularly popular searches with low competition, so I made a post about features that highlighted call transferring and call forwarding as quintessential.
- I was most proud of my final post though. I originally wanted to write an article about the 4 benefits of Spiderman, but I suspected I wouldn’t be allowed to put that on the Telonium blog. So I just talked about SaaS and its relationship to VoIP instead. [Hehe, in case you don’t click the link and just think I’m weird for making a joke about Spiderman (“What?? It’s a joke??), I titled that blog post “The 4 Benefits of SaaS and Your Friendly Neighborhood VoIP Provider” 😀 ]
- We also started a contest near the end of the summer. The goal was to reach 500 followers on Twitter. If we reached this goal, we’d give away free phone service for 3 months. Unfortunately, we didn’t, but we did have other benefits, including increased attention to our company and visitors on our website.
- Finally, we started a site for startups (this was started at the beginning of summer but I’m lazy to reorganize these bullet points in chronological order so I’m just including this parenthetical description instead) called The Startup Voice. Our goal, in terms of marketing strategy, was to create a community for Telonium, basically a path for people that would benefit from Telonium’s service to find out about the company. But I believe the website is much more than that. I genuinely think it’s useful for startups and I think it has a lot of potential to become something big, the main reason being our section called “Startup Voices.” Often, people get a kind of fictional, unrealistic view of startups from reading websites such as TechCrunch (which is not useless, by the way; I am simply claiming you don’t get the whole picture from them). So this section was created to allow entrepreneurs or really, any employees of startups, to contribute articles discussing their experiences working for a startup company. Whether that be the decisions they’ve made, good or bad, advice they may have for other startups, and/or perhaps their outlook or culture as a young firm. This is great because 1) it’s real, it’s coming from startups themselves, 2) it’s free marketing for startups, who often have to struggle to get themselves out there, and 3) it provides real benefits for aspiring or current entrepreneurs.
There are so many great things about doing an internship for a startup. Many of my friends who had internships before with larger companies have told me that they were either on Facebook all the time chatting with friends, or doing nothing because their boss was gone, etc. etc. The main point of an internship, in my opinion, isn’t to make money. It’s to build skills for yourself and relationships with others. With a startup, you’re going to get both. There was so much to do at Telonium; the other interns and I basically started marketing from the ground up. We got to try plenty of things we hadn’t done before and put on many different hats. We also were constantly around and interacting with the other (awesome) team members of the company (after all, we were all in the same room). I’m not saying you can’t have a good internship at a big company, or you’re definitely going to have a good one at a small one, but in general I think smaller companies (especially startups) are favorable for such experiences.
Conclusion paragraphs are for losers.
P.S. It’s been like three weeks since my last “normal” post, but hopefully I’ll get off my ass and finish up a blog about morality tomorrow (well, more like on my ass, because I’m sitting at a desk with my laptop).