Monday, September 19, 2011

My Priceless Summer @MasterCard

I have received a number of questions about my summer as an intern working for MasterCard Worldwide, I love the conversations that have happened around this topic and I am always willing to talk more about it! I thought it would also be a good idea to complement any future and past conversations with a blog about the summer, some of my tasks, the great people I worked with, and the great fun I had working as a corporate marketer!
This summer has been one that I will never forget, I am going to be as sentimental as one can be about a job by saying that it was eye-opening and impactful. The friends I made, the things I experienced, and the brand I worked with all came together with great synergy - providing me with what has been one of the best experiences I have had in a corporate setting. 
As a student/marketer, being able to work with a brand such as MasterCard was indeed ‘Priceless’. It is not very often that marketing students find themselves in the position I was in, and I was definitely grateful for every second spent working, learning, and enjoying!

A bit more about what I did..

As I continue to tell people that ask, my main project for the summer was working on the MasterCard website. To give you a taste of what I was responsible for helping to improve, you can take a look at this screenshot of the current (but soon to be brand-spankin’-new) homepage - or you can explore if for yourself:

The website was getting old and I was happy to play a role in its replacement – that is all I will say about it... (haha). I was privileged to work with some of the leading agencies in digital advertising and working so closely with them was, not only a great pleasure but also, an amazing learning opportunity. This project even entitled me to a trip to NYC where I was able to work hand-in-hand with our digital agency that was responsible for all of the technicalities of the new website (I will try not to brag about the perks of this job any more than that... I promise.)
Although this was my ‘baby’ as some of my co-workers put it, I was also involved in a few other projects which gave me an incredibly well-rounded learning experience. Other projects were deeply rooted in dealing with consumer metrics and Marketing ROIs, social media competitive landscape / strategy, consumer behaviour with financial products, competitive analysis, some dabbling in corporate sponsorship, and strategy formulation for MC Canada.

Like I said…well-rounded…as heck.

If you want to hear more in depth about any of the projects, feel free to ask!

Now as much as I LOVE talking about marketing and the ‘corporate’ experiences I had working for MC, I must give mention to the other interns that I had the pleasure of being cooped up in a corner office/conference room (which was quickly dubbed the “Intern Party Palace” or “IPP”) with for 3 and a half months along with the amazing people at MC.

A picture tells a thousand words, and this one pretty much sums up the relationship that myself and the other interns had by the end of the summer. With a mix of business minds from U of Guelph, McMaster, Queen's, and U of T - the IPP was usually a place of great intellect and hard work (along with a great deal of laughter that left us feeling bad for our incredibly gracious office-neighbor). As for the folks at MC, I can safely say that a more energetic team of professionals who do top-quality work (and have lots of fun while doing it), is VERY hard to find – and for the record – I am not sucking up... I don’t think.

(When I say they have ‘lots of fun while doing it’ the ‘fun’ includes inter-office mini-putt tournaments once in a while…)

I will tell you right now: internships like this are very rare to find in any other field than marketing so I urge any marketing students to get out there and apply! Summer jobs like this will leave you with great resume experience, incredible career-experience, and even more incredible memories. Marketing is EXCITING so get out there and INTERN!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

what's an 'internet'? introducing myself to the blog world

hello. my name is anthony

To introduce myself to the world of blogging, i am going to ask anyone who reads this to visit one of the following 2 pages or both: work / life ! These pages should give you (at least) a snapshot of what i am about. I love the idea of a 'work-life balance' but i feel that, attached to this phrase, there is an element of deceit – to me it sounds like 50% of your time should be spent working and the rest spent enjoying life outside of work. I believe that what you enjoy in 'life' plays a huge role in what you choose to do at 'work' and i want to clarify now that these pages are meant to be complementary and not mutually exclusive. It can be easy for people to create a disconnect between work and outside-of-work activities, emerging with what could be considered 2 personalities (disclaimer: i do recommend certain behaviours for professional settings, so don't go to work in Hawaiian shirts and Birkenstocks every day of the week, but don't become a totally different person every time you walk into the office!). I have started down this road with one personality that i love. I have maintained a professional approach to work while also making sure not to take myself too seriously. I plan to keep it that way whether i am in an office building, camping in the middle of a forest, or 'gettin' educated' at the University of Toronto where i am a commerce student.
I am the kind of guy that doesn’t like to fit into one definitive statement / activity / lifestyle/ etc. I enjoy new experiences, learning, exploring, and having a good time while I’m at it. I want this blog to be a reflection of that so don’t come here expecting only to read about my take on the newest and coolest marketing campaigns by American Express or Coke or to hear only about my adventures into the great outdoors. There will be a mix of everything on here and I assure you that i do not plan to write about mediocre or boring experiences (this blog will not be restricted to text either! Images and videos will be embraced too). I want to let you in on some of the things in my life and the world around me that i think are worth talking about and i hope you will enjoy hearing about them as much as I enjoy experiencing them – maybe in the near future we can experience some of these things together!