(Originally published on "Sodexo Careers Blog")
Internships! I’ve been there - paid, unpaid, even ones that require me to pay. As a result, I’ve worked in offices, food services, long-term care facilities, hospitals. You’d think I’d be done with internships for the rest of my life.
However, an internship remains to be the best start for a new chapter of a career. Rumor says an average person makes five to seven career changes in his or her lifetime. While I can’t validate how accurate that is with my own professional life, I’m certain that Sodexo is playing a key role to help me make my first career transition.
In May 2015, when many of my superstar friends started to enter supervisory roles, I pressed the restart button for my professional life and went back to school for a full-time MBA program with a focus on marketing management. Being trained as a dietitian for the past five years certainly did not prepare me for a career in marketing. So my goal this summer was to build up as many marketing skills and new professional networks as possible, and I found a perfect fit at Sodexo in their Talent Acquisition department.
You may be wondering why talent acquisition would need a marketing team. Different from manufacturing companies that sell products, Sodexo sells Quality of Life services. We all know that good services require good sales people, so the ability to find motivated and talented employees is golden. The marketing team at talent acquisition, therefore, markets a career experience so that Sodexo can attract the best managers possible.
This task is not easy. Different from a particular service or product, a company image can be dynamic and intangible. I felt lucky to be involved with our exceptionally driven Employment Branding team.
From using social media posts, blogs, videos, photos, websites and stories to build Sodexo’s employer brand, to managing a social media community, conducting business analysis to decide on new tools and evaluating partnerships and measuring success, it has opened my eyes to a fascinating world of recruitment marketing and brand building. These experiences have forced me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to think critically as a real marketer, which is exactly what I asked for.
How much you learn is completely dependent on how much you’re open to try. This internship has surely given me opportunities to build a worldwide professional network. Once getting used to meet-and-greets over the phone and web conferencing, the world had unfolded thousands of times in front of me. Adapting to a virtual workplace was a challenge, given that my past work centered with face-to-face conversations. I was lucky to have many people around me who offered help, especially my internship mentor, who gave me many great suggestions along the way.
All in all, Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition team has given me a great start for my new marketing career. I am grateful for what I have learned during my Future Leaders Internship, and couldn’t ask for a more fitting role!
By Lucy Liu, Sodexo Branding Intern- Summer 2016 and Ohio State University MBA 2017