Please rotate your device
My whole life, I’ve been attracted to dynamic, challenging work — that’s one of the reasons I chose to attend Drexel University. The Philadelphia-based university, where I’m studying finance, boasts a unique co-op program that allows students to spend up to six months at a time immersing themselves in the working world, developing professional skills and gaining technical knowledge that can’t be found in the classroom.
However, after completing my first co-op at a major media company, I was disappointed to discover first-hand that a professional setting doesn’t always translate into professional skill development, especially if you’re not given meaningful work to do. In other words, a big pond can sometimes mean that interns are treated like very, very small fish. So when the time came for my second co-op experience, I suppose I made something of an unexpected choice.
Though I was presented with the chance to work at a big-name bank starting in the fall — ostensibly a finance major’s dream — I instead decided to join Publicis Health Media’s SEO team, jumping into an unfamiliar field with both feet. I was by no means an SEO expert, but I didn’t want a redo of my first co-op — and it seemed like PHM could provide the dynamic work experience I was looking for.
PHM Interns Bring Value, Feel Valued
At my last co-op, I spent more time stuffing envelopes and running errands than I did developing workplace skills or building a professional network. Let me tell you: six months can feel like an eternity when you’re doing work that makes you miserable.
When choosing my second co-op experience, I wanted to ensure that I’d learn new skills, take a meaningful career step in the right direction, and build relationships with inspiring mentors. Fortunately, I’ve been able to do that in PHM’s fast-paced work environment, where every day is different than the last.
One thing’s for sure — you can’t learn this stuff in a classroom. And by “stuff,” I don’t just mean Google Analytics or how to design an optimized sitemap, but also “soft skills” that college courses tend to underemphasize.
For example, the workplace is a very different kind of time management and prioritization from college. In college, you can sleep in until you have a class at 10, then you can come back to your dorm and take a nap if you want to. At work, you have a specific time frame during which you have to get everything done, so I’ve had to train myself to work like that.
I suspect these “soft skills” are exactly what’s going to help me succeed in life and career after college — and, incidentally, they’re exactly what I couldn’t develop at my first co-op. Learning technical skills and applications is one thing, but developing the real talents needed to become a professional requires a workplace that treats you like one from the start.
A Real Part of the Team
The success of interns at any company rests on the investment of its full-time employees, and the PHM team understands that. That’s why, in my experience, full-time members of the team were always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help me learn a new skill or complete a task successfully.
At PHM, if people see that you’re hardworking, willing to learn, and wanting to do a good job, they’ll always be willing to help you. Despite the fact that everyone maintains a pretty full workload, the office’s vibe is collaborative and fun; there’s a sense here that everyone is part of a team. That’s been the best part of working here.
Sachin Patro started at Publicis Health Media in the fall of 2018 as an SEO co-op. He currently works part time on the SEO Team while studying finance and marketing at Drexel University.
Over his PHM tenure, Sachin has gained considerable experience working across a variety of health, wellness, pharmaceutical brands across HCP- and patient-targeted websites. In his free time, Sachin loves to read, dance, play basketball, and learn about investing.
Sachin is passionate about using business as a platform to inspire change and add value to people’s lives. He hopes to channel this passion into eventually starting his own company.
Connect with Sachin on LinkedIn.
Questions? Thoughts? Ideas? Contact us.
POV & Insights