Career and Post-Graduate Development

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Michael Anthony

Class Year

2020

Majors

Computer Science

Minor

Psychology

Externship Location

Seer Interactive, Philadelphia, PA

Overview

Over Winter Break, Michael Anthony completed a fun externship at Seer Interactive in Philadelphia, PA with Stephen Harris (’11). He chose to participate in this opportunity because as a Computer Science major, he is interested in all things digital. The junior loved learning about social media marketing, analytical tools, and most importantly, building something from the ground up. Michael had knowledge on Google Analytics, Tag Manager, and marketing. Since Seer Interactive is a digital marketing company that uses both Google Analytics and Tag Manager, he felt the company was a perfect fit for him. Michael also wanted to see what a day in the life of a developer would be like.

Preparation

For the junior, having a solid background in computer science and an internship in the UC Digital Spark Program helped him stand out when it came to applying for his externship. Since Michael already had experience in Google Analytics and digital marketing, he was able to obtain the Seer Interactive externship and boost his confidence for the first day. When it came to deciding on which three externships to select, the junior’s top choice was Seer Interactive. His other two choices were financial and financial technology companies. “I just chose what interested me and what really made me want to learn new things. The biggest motivator was the thrill of being exposed to a career in which I actually have an interest in and would like to see myself in after graduation,” explains Michael. To prepare for his externship, the junior watched videos on YouTube and researched on Google for information about Google Analytics and Tag Manager. He also asked his sponsor to send him relative information on the subject so he could study and learn more about what his sponsor did on a daily basis. Michael’s sponsor provided him with an online course and some blogs to help him prepare for his externship experience.

Experience

On his first day, Stephen Harris, Michael’s extern sponsor, took him and another extern out for breakfast before the workday started. Employees’ dogs running around the office greeted the junior! The environment was laid-back and everyone was very fun and knowledgeable. He observed a board meeting where they discussed client acquisitions, fiscal reporting, and development of ongoing digital campaigns. This was just the first day, the junior was there for two weeks, and every day he learned something new! Michael learned about various topics such as search engine optimization, Google Analytics, and Tag Manager. He went to meetings with other employees and participated in discussions regarding their work on marketing for clients. The junior attended a new meeting or event each day to learn all of the ins and outs of the digital trade. “Some days were remote work days. Since everything is done on a computer and our sponsor was the lead developer, we had about two days a week where we could screen share under his computer from home and watch him code in JavaScript, write up custom tags for Tag Manager, and tweak websites,” adds Michael. Even though the junior did a lot at his externship, his favorite part was the intensive learning experience where every day he was being coached on Google Analytics, marketing strategies, etc. However, the most challenging part was being bombarded with so much new information and meetings every day at a fast pace. For Michael, the greatest reward that came from participating in the Extern Program were the connections he made with people at Seer Interactive!

Networking

The most effective questions the junior asked his sponsor were for tips on how to learn new programming languages. He also talked to the Human Resources department about possible internships. Michael recommends reaching out to your sponsor via phone or email and after your externship is over, the junior suggests emailing your sponsor a thank you letter. He is still in touch with his Extern Sponsor and Michael advises to stay in touch by showing interest in future opportunities with the company. The connections the junior made at Seer Interactive was the most important thing.

Future Implications

Michael’s externship experience greatly impacted his view of the future. He came out with a good sense of what he could do with a Computer Science degree. The junior got a chance to see what life after graduation would be like and it was awesome! After externing at Seer Interactive, Michael learned that everything is a team effort and in the Digital Marketing industry, you must always stay on top of new trends. One thing his sponsor emphasized on his first day was the importance of self-management and time management. The junior is considering Seer Interactive as a potential employer after graduation and will be applying to their summer internship program.

The Coolest Part of the Experience

The coolest part of the experience was the laid back work environment. “You could go to work dressed casually and even bring your dog to work! The days were relaxed, the offices were open desk, there was usually free food, and Seer Interactive valued people who valued themselves. They really help their employees grow and offer a lot of benefits,” says the junior.

Advice

Michael highly advises to prepare beforehand for your externship by learning as much as you can about the company! The junior suggests to pick something you are passionate about and always make it a habit to create good, long-lasting first impressions. He would definitely recommend this externship to anyone majoring in Marketing, Business, Psychology, or Computer Science.