Trafalgar students, Julie and Tess, joined Key Media – a global leader in business-to-business media – for three days of intensive on the job learning during March Break.
“I don’t know if I like math or if I like English, so I want to see if there’s something in-between where I can use both,” says Julie, Grade 11, about why she considered an internship in marketing and media. Figuring out her post-secondary education, Julie’s main question going into the internship was whether or not to apply to a field that uses her creative or analytical side of her brain.
Tess, Grade 10, similarly wanted to gain experience to find out her greatest strengths. With a fascination for branding, she was keen to learn from a media company about what jobs in that field could look like.
As the successful applicants, they both got a chance to sit down and discuss what their internship would look like with their host for the program, Raj Kuchibhatla. Raj works for the research division at Key Media and is a parent volunteer at Trafalgar. Raj has been instrumental in setting up the Traf First framework and was excited to help kick off the internship program in its inaugural year.
Raj has a personal motivation behind his involvement with Traf First. His own daughters attend Trafalgar and he would like for them to eventually get internship experience. Even more personally, he wishes this opportunity existed for him years ago. “When I was in high school and trying to figure out what I wanted to be, I was guided to only pursue a narrow option of professions,” Raj explains. “Without having the real-world experience to help figure out the right path, I unfortunately spent many years going down the wrong one. Internship opportunities through Traf First will hopefully help Traf girls make smarter, more efficient, decisions after they leave the Castle.”
Knowing they were both open to exploring and gaining as much knowledge as they could, Raj wanted to give Julie and Tess a general overview of the business-to-business media industry as well as hands–on experiences with various departments.
Raj rallied his colleagues across multiple departments so Julie and Tess got a chance to learn about copywriting (they both researched and wrote a short piece about manufacturing jobs in Ontario), sales, research and event planning (they helped prep and plan a massive conference that Key Media was hosting during their internship).
“We helped set up the table and welcome the conference guests. I found that being an event organizer in a workplace needs to be meticulous. The event preparation team were perfectionists too. They did every step carefully and made sure there were no mistakes,” says Julie.
As both students were exploring what they wanted to pursue in university, Tess found the most valuable piece of advice from one of the sales executives was: “You should get as much education as possible in university instead of just a piece of paper.” “I found it really inspiring because he told me that all the knowledge you gain is going to help you one day and none of it is a waste.”
Their final day was thrown off as it fell just as the COVID-19 pandemic was coming to a head. The girls got to see first-hand how flexible and resilient workplaces and employees need to be during a crisis – a unique experience to say the least!
Overall, this internship was a hugely valuable experience for Tess and Julie. It was also very easy for Raj to set up. “Key Media had never done anything like this before but I just asked a lot of different people to give a little bit of time and it worked out really well,” says Raj. “Everyone felt good being able to mentor students and they were really impressed with their professionalism. I hope this program will become something every student can benefit from.”
If you are interested in hosting an internship or would like more information, please contact Sheila Street, Director of Advancement.