Lauren Crist ’20

Prose Media, New York, NY

This summer I interned at Prose Media in Manhattan. I worked as a content marketing intern, which entailed researching, pitching, composing, and editing digital content for a diverse array of national brands. I drafted blog posts for companies that specialized in everything from microchip storage to luxury baby clothes. I also produced website copy and email marketing campaigns. One of my largest projects was for a company that sold mass-produced email campaign content to small businesses. I gathered links, edited blog posts, and wrote copy to produce cohesive content in topics ranging from health and wellness to property and casualty insurance. Beyond these larger projects, I was tasked with many research assignments. I learned about rifles, mortgages, and more—all in order to pitch topics to clients for social and marketing content. All of these experiences taught me about efficient workflow, and forced me to produce creatively within the confines of practical structure.

Prose Media consisted of seven employees: the founder, a business development manager, two editors, and three interns. While small, the output was large, and everyone carried a great deal of responsibility. I felt as though I was incorporated into the fabric of the company, and tasked with important projects. We all worked within the same office space in a WeWork in SoHo, which allowed us great opportunity to share workload and progress with one another. I was able to interact with everyone, which gave me great insight into the structure of the whole company. I learned about everything from lead generation and business development to the nuances of editing with an eye toward client particularities. I also learned about the mechanics of a start-up, and the importance of competent personnel. Everyone was very welcoming, and went out of their way to onboard the other interns and me onto new projects. They trusted us with real tasks, and followed through with feedback. I also got to listen in on client calls where my work was evaluated.

Additionally, one of my supervisors set up meetings for me with two of his former coworkers: one worked as a journalist and business manager at Bloomberg, and the other as an editorial manager at Audible. In speaking with them I learned more about marketing, journalism, and publishing as career paths. I asked them about their entry level positions and how they followed their passions to rise to their current positions. We spoke about their experiences with graduate school, and what they learned by taking different positions within the same sector. I learned that it’s important to explore different opportunities and challenge myself in order to ultimately find a position that fits me the best.

Within WeWork, I had the opportunity to be part of a larger community. WeWork held speakers, discussions, and events for all of the small companies to gather both professionally and socially. There were intern events as well as opportunities to network and learn more about marketing. I spoke with individuals who had very interesting insights into small business development and professional pathfinding; and it was productive to learn how to communicate and learn within a professional environment.

In my role at Prose Media, I learned about the broader sector of marketing and its power in the marketplace. Specifically, I was intrigued by my work with search engine optimization. Search engine optimization harnesses consumer interaction in such a way that it is able to manipulate the marketplace and promote certain products and ideals. Prose makes a point to do work for companies that it agrees with ethically. This made my job a lot easier. I believe that if I had been tasked with creating persuasive content for a company that I did not believe in, I would have had a difficult experience. I appreciated that every client I worked on was socially and professionally conscientious. In the future, I want to work for companies that share the same values. This experience also made me more interested in seeking a career in corporate responsibility to more directly impact causes in which I believe from a platform of market power.

Webster the dog, my favorite coworker!

My time at Prose Media also gave me great insight into what careers would potentially make me happy. I believe that I would do best in a larger environment where I would have more opportunity to collaborate in a team. My best work product resulted from interactions with people, and I am happiest when I am not in front of a computer all day. As I mentioned earlier, I also want to work for a company that I agree with ethically. It is important that I can be proud of the company at which I work. Finally, I learned that, if I choose to pursue marketing, I will likely look more at positions within a brand rather than at an agency. While I enjoy the fast pace and diversity of work that I have experienced in agency roles, I want to really get to know a single brand or product and follow it through its entire development. It was initially difficult to create quality content for a sector with which I was not familiar. I have had the opportunity to work at two agencies over the last few summers, and I am excited by the opportunity to explore marketing from a slightly different perspective.

As an English and economics double major, marketing makes sense as a career path. It combines the 
data analysis of economics with the creativity of English. I enjoy this convenient juxtaposition. Furthermore, 
working in a start-up boosted my entrepreneurial spirit. I learned that it requires not only intense effort and passion, but also intuition and managerial skills. While I will need to continue to build skills for quite some time, I would be very interested in starting my own company at some point in my career.

I had a great summer at Prose Media. I learned a lot about digital marketing as well as my own professional ambitions. I had the opportunity to meet great mentors that will continue to support me as I enter the workforce. I look forward to keeping in contact and continuing to build a relationship with the company. I would like to express great gratitude to David Pesikoff ’90, and the ASIP program for this opportunity, as it would not have been feasible without this generous support. Thank you!