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Meet Beth Grover '09, Intern at eROI
Meet Beth Grover '09, Intern at eROI

Beth Grover is a PSU alum from the class of 2009, graduating from SBA with a double major in Marketing and Advertising. While in school, Beth was on the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team, through which she found her internship with eROI, a digital marketing firm in Portland. After graduating, Beth worked in a variety of roles at digital marketing and public relations firms before she made the big jump to becoming an entrepreneur. Beth and her husband founded Unified Clinical, a recruiting firm specializing in senior living healthcare. Now in its third year of operations, Beth manages all the marketing functions, applying all of her marketing and communications experience to run her thriving business. Beth talked to us about how her ‘why not’ can-do attitude helped her achieve internship success and beyond.

Tell us about your internship experience at eROI.

It was an unpaid, summer internship. A lot of people are afraid to take on unpaid internships because it is hard financially sometimes. But I got so many recommendations from that [experience]. Unpaid internships actually can give you a lot of freedom because you’re not getting paid to do one certain thing. I got to move laterally within that company. I got to go interview people, I got to write content for their newsletters, and I got to learn a lot about email marketing which is what they do.

How did you find this position?

Ryan Buchanan, who owns eROI, had asked one of my professors (Professor Dickenson, now retired) for a recommendation of a student. And this is one of those internships that never get posted. My professor came to me privately and asked me if I’d be interested. I didn’t get paid for it, but I got credit for it.

When you were looking for an internship, were there things you were looking for?

I was looking for any opportunity at that time. I was on every listserv, SBA and PSU career site. I was always checking the boards outside the counseling. I met with [my advisor] a few times before I graduated. I put it out there with all my teachers that I was interested in digital marketing, advertising, specifically digital and social media. I made sure the teachers knew who I was. They have a lot of connections. And PSU is very well known in the business community.

What kinds of projects did you get to work on?

One of my first projects there was to create a program to drive traffic to their website. One of the things I came up with [involved] LinkedIn, which was just getting big. A lot of people were using it, but a lot of people didn’t know what the purpose was. There were these message boards where professionals would ask small business-related questions. So I would go on there and look for questions that aligned with services that eROI offered. And I would say “this, this and this are ideas that you could do, and by the way check out this at eROI.” And you could actually see the traffic. And people would vote my answers as the best, so you could see them bubble up to the top. Not only was I getting traffic to my profile, but we were also driving a measurable amount of traffic to their website. And they loved that, they were totally excited about new ideas.

What did this internship teach you about your work style?

I learned that I was a good leader, and I really enjoy managing people. I got an opportunity to manage other interns as an intern. I was kind of head intern in charge of the other interns. They allowed me to delegate, which was great. But I’m a very democratic leader. I’m not a hard, tough leader.

Was there anything that surprised you about this experience that you didn’t expect?

How willing people were to help you. You think as a student nobody really wants to waste their time, or nobody has time to help me. But the majority of people I’d say were so willing to help, or go have a cup of coffee. People are so willing to take the time to talk to you. It’s such a shame if you miss out on that opportunity. You can’t worry about being rejected. You’re going to be the one missing out, because you’ll never know what could have been. The cost of lost opportunity, as they say. You’ll never know.

How did your work in your major help prepare you after?

I did a lot of the digital media portion [while I was involved with NSAC]. That was around the same time that Twitter had just come out, and one of the only people on Twitter was MC Hammer. I remember sitting in a meeting with the NSAC team showing them Twitter, and they were all confused about what it was, what it would be used for, and what its purpose was. There weren’t a lot of people who were looking at this from a business angle, so that kind of experience made me unique in the skill sets. How to use Linked In, how to use Twitter, creating these strategy plans helped me have something intelligent to speak about when I was in these interviews with the CEO and Director of Strategy. They were asking me questions like ‘why should we choose you?” Well I’m pretty much the authority on the team within the team, within the team. This is how I could help you. So being a little more ahead of the curve and being investigative helped me stand out.

What advice would you give to other students looking for an internship?

Don’t look for your dream job right away. You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life, but I took people up on opportunities. Prepare yourself ahead of time, get a jump on it before everybody else does. A year before I graduated I started preparing. A lot of my peers waited until graduation, and that’s too late.

 

Getting credit for an internship

This series is made possible via reThink PSU grant support.