Payton Ahola ’24

iContainers, Spain

This past summer I was a data analytics and marketing intern for iContainers in Barcelona, Spain. iContainers is a freight shipping company, meaning they provide instant quotes and booking services for international shipping needs for companies or personal use.

I had two large projects that I completed throughout the summer. The first project was a company benchmark. I received a list of the company’s top 15 competitors and had to quote and book services as a “normal user” with each company through their website and observe and record the differences between the websites and the quoting and booking processes and timelines. I then created summary tables and charts of the information to present to our CEO, CMO and the marketing team. Using these summary tables, I also proposed changes and improvements iContainers could implement to make our website and process the most efficient. All of this information was then compiled into a large executive summary for the company’s use and reference.

Payton Ahola at a cafe in Spain.My second project was a benchmark with our competitors, though strictly based on social media. I looked at all 15 companies’ LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages to calculate different averages of engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) and determined the most common topics, tones and formats used in the top 20 posts. I displayed this information in graphs and charts, and then created a list of proposals and improvements for our social media platforms.

My favorite part of my summer was the privilege to experience and live in a foreign country. I became nearly fluent in Spanish, learned so much culturally and logistically about the city of Barcelona, and how to live independently and make friends in a new environment. I think this has helped me gain the courage and confidence to not limit myself and I feel capable of moving to a completely new and different place and starting from scratch and making something amazing from that. Additionally, I enjoyed my internship and working in the marketing realm. One of my takeaways was my love for creating proposals and presenting and offering new ideas. In both of my projects this was my favorite part, so I think moving forward with a career search I want to make sure that whatever job I may take next has an aspect for creativity and developing and proposing new ideas for improvement.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this summer possible. Starting my college career in 2020 posed many challenges for me, including the decision about whether to go abroad next year. This summer I was able to not only travel abroad but have one of the most insightful and career-helpful internships. I learned a lot about what I need and want in a future career and can see myself continuing in the marketing industry.