A chance encounter…or fate?
On the bustling streets of San Francisco, I overheard the sound of home. As an international student studying in the U.S., I was surprised and thrilled to hear my first language Turkish in front of a coffee shop. Within seconds, I struck up a conversation with someone who would soon open the door for a turning point in my career (albeit, as a college student my professional life was relatively young).
My coffee run on that day led me to meet a fellow Turkey native, Netomi’s VP of Marketing Can Ozdoruk. Following a few interviews with the leadership team, I became the company’s first-ever marketing intern! Although COVID-19 led many companies to suspend their internship programs, Netomi allowed me to gain hands-on experience at a fast-growing AI startup, even if all of my meetings occurred over Zoom.
At the time I joined, Netomi was in hyper-growth mode regardless of the COVID-19-induced market uncertainty. The ballooning client base and employee count was incredibly promising and exciting.
Even though I wasn’t able to be present in an office setting, the leadership team made me feel welcome on the first day. I was able to meet, virtually, with the executive bench. The more I learned about the company, the more invested I got in our team and product. Netomi was on a mission to transform customer service with AI. Like every customer, I was intimately familiar with all of the delays and frustration that occurred when I had to reach out to a company with a question or issue. My team had a groundbreaking solution.
Just like the company’s platform, this wasn’t an ordinary internship. I was an integral part of the small, but mighty, marketing team. I wasn’t doing mindless busy work, I was contributing in a meaningful way. The marketing team respected my input and appreciated my contributions.
During my three months at Netomi, I spearheaded two research reports, led the social media, and tackled data-driven marketing initiatives. As an intern, it was motivating to help with projects that have a tangible impact on the company’s bottom line and brand reputation. Our Customer Service Benchmark Reports, for example, were featured in key media outlets, including Forbes. Similarly, we saw all-time spikes in Netomi’s website traffic as our social media posts gained traction. This is what I loved about marketing – the results were directly visible to me, and the rest of the company!
From day one, my marketing colleagues put faith in me and trusted me to manage high-stake projects. Whenever I was interested in exploring different tasks, they created opportunities for me. Most importantly, they were understanding when I got stuck. During a global pandemic, it was reassuring to see the empathy that is embedded in the team’s DNA.
As Netomi’s first-ever marketing intern, I had the privilege of interacting with a world-class leadership team, working autonomously, and learning from continuous feedback. In our quarterly all-hands meeting, our CEO Puneet Mehta said that the company’s true differentiator is not the product but the people. This summer, I experienced this first hand. I also learned many valuable skills and witnessed the exponential growth of a Silicon Valley startup.
While I previously thought my professional trajectory was with larger, established corporations, the feeling of being part of a fast-growing company and seeing my work make a real impact motivates me to work for a start-up. After all, wearing many hats and getting pulled in a million directions is exciting. You never know that the day is going to bring.
I am so grateful for the connections that I have built and the growth that I experienced over my 3 months at Netomi.