Big City, Bright Future

person Kyle Taraska

Intern — Ai Media Group

They always say hard work pays off. I don’t really know who “they” are, but I sure as heck hope they are right because I am fully invested in the idea.

They always say hard work pays off. I don’t really know who “they” are, but I sure as heck hope they are right because I am fully invested in the idea. Beginning this past January 2019, I was presented with the awesome opportunity to take on an internship with a digital marketing company called Ai Media Group in Midtown Manhattan. That’s right, the Big Apple!

Ai Media Group is a digital marketing company that specializes in defining, managing, and executing online marketing strategies. Ai is able to track leads for companies online to help guide them toward the greatest return on their investment. In my short tenure here, my mind has been absolutely blown regarding what this company is capable of providing for clients.

I entered this internship with an open mind. I have never had much marketing experience (my background has been management), let alone digital marketing experience. Also, I never considered myself much of a city person. When I decided to take on an internship in the biggest city in the world, I definitely turned some heads. But, that being said, I have always been one to bet on myself. I know what an opportunity like this means in building a resume, and what it could potentially mean for me years down the road.

Jessica is Ai’s Human Resources Representative and Recruiter. Since I have a Human Resources background with Chick-fil-A, she and I felt it would be a good fit to begin my internship learning more of what this work looks like in the corporate world compared to the service industry. I have had the pleasure of working side-by-side with Jessica since January, and it has been a great experience.

Our big project has been incorporating a new and better PTO tracking software for the team. Also, I have introduced a couple of systems that I created at Chick-fil-A to potentially incorporate at Ai.

It has been really good to be able to work with someone with relatable experience. Jessica gives me a lot of encouragement to perform my job at a high level. It is also very comforting to share past-work experiences with each other. It gives me the sense that “hey, I am not the only one,” when talking about some of the stresses of the past—helping build my confidence for the future.

Beyond that, having the opportunity to sit in on meetings, and to be exposed to what Ai is all about and the services it provides, has been an educational experience. It has become very apparent to me how much Ai not only values its clients, but its employees as well. By the way, “Pizza Fridays” in the office is the best!

While the internship continues to evolve in a positive way, it has required some effort. Balancing an internship while still working over 30 hours a week at Chick-fil-A has been a rather grueling task. Of course, I am still attending classes full-time on campus as well. It really is a grind, but I enjoy the challenge.

Right now I am having a hard time containing my excitement for what the next part of 2019 looks like. Racing season is only a month away, wedding planning is in full swing, and I am one semester away from finally earning my Bachelor’s degree at Berkeley College. Yes, hard work always pays off.

(Article originally published on the Berkeley College blog.)