What I Learned: The Conclusion of a Summer at SnapApp

What I Learned: The Conclusion of a Summer at SnapApp

In the beginning of the summer, I walked in with a computer and a notebook stuffed into the green L.L. Bean backpack that I have been using since the second grade.

I showed up half an hour early, so I passed the time in the Panera Bread on the first floor of our building in Back Bay. I chewed on a plain bagel and sipped on orange juice in the back of the store with my heart practically in my throat. It was the same feeling I felt at my first day of kindergarten, or my first day of high school, or my first day at Boston College.

The morning of Wednesday, June 1st was the first day of my first real nine-to-five job. While the position was just a temporary internship, for the first time while, I realized – in a very tangible way – that I was growing up.

I went over my entrance plan more times than I’d like to admit – use the right set of elevators, go to the eighth floor, find a “Zach” who would be seated to the right of the entrance.

The entrance ended up going smoothly, and it’s been a turbulence-free ride ever since. So now, with my time as a summer intern at SnapApp coming to a close at the end of this week, I have the opportunity to reflect on the things I learned and the memories I’ll cherish from the past three months.

Whether it came from my buddies, my family, or my co-workers, I got this question a lot: Do you like working at SnapApp?

It seems odd to me that the question gets phrased this way, because I can’t fathom not liking a job but continuing to show up every day. If you don’t like what you do, how can you possibly put out a product that you, your superiors, and your consumers are happy with?

So once I assured them that yes, of course I enjoyed working here, they would ask me why.

And every time I was asked, I gave the exact same answer: For the type of work that I do, there is no better place to work. None.

I am a journalist by trade, and this was my first full-time foray into any form of marketing. While journalism and marketing are closely intertwined, there are focuses in each field that aren’t nearly as emphasized in the other.

Whereas journalistic writing is more proper and professional, content marketing veers into more colloquial territory. That was something I struggled with the first week I was here. I had a tough time perfecting headlines for SEO, as well as speaking confidently about interactive content, something I first learned of during my interview.  

Writing – in all its various shapes and sizes – is inherently a creative endeavor. Thus, a creative environment is obviously more conducive to success in this specific field.

Some people feel like they can be more creative in a quiet, isolated environment where their thoughts are clear. Personally, I don’t work that way. I need noise, I need side conversations that might distract me from work, I need the occasional ping pong match to break up a long afternoon. I need summer parties, and weekly happy hours, and lunch outings to celebrate special days.

 

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More than anything, I need to feel comfortable and valued by everyone in the building every time I walk through the doors in the morning.

And, well, you’d be hard pressed to find a more welcoming environment in which everyone makes meaningful contributions than right here at SnapApp.

From my fellow interns all the way up to CEO Seth Lieberman, each person made significant contributions to improve both the company’s standing and their own standing in life. Despite the fact that I was one of the lowest-ranking people in the office, I was a part of every marketing team meeting. I pitched ways to improve blog subscribers to the leaders of our marketing department.

I chatted about basketball with our SVP of marketing Aaron Dun, played cornhole with the guys from sales, ate lunch most days with Aaron, Jaclyn, and Sammy.

I felt important here – and from what I hear about my friends’ internships, I know that’s not always the case.

I’ll never forget how I was treated at SnapApp – with respect as a person (obviously), but, more surprising to me, with respect as an employee.

In the beginning of the summer, I walked in with a computer and a notebook stuffed into the green L.L. Bean backpack that I have been using since the second grade.

On Friday, I’ll walk out with the same things, but with so much more.

(But I haven’t walked out for the last time – I’ll still be around part-time in the fall!)

 

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