“We’re Not A Regular Tech Startup, We’re a Cool Tech Startup!”

How can I describe my first week as a marketing intern at FERMÀT? Well, you remember the plot of the millennial cult classic film Mean Girls, where Cady Heron moves from a tribal village in Africa to a suburban town in the eastern United States to attend a public school? Well, it was basically that, but also not at all in the slightest. Does that make sense? My apologies, let me backtrack a little bit.

Before coming to this company, I had held managerial positions in retail, in addition to administrative positions at an established law firm. So the idea of joining a tech startup felt both intimidating and exhilarating, much like Cady’s experience in Mean Girls, except we don’t wear pink on Wednesdays…yet?

After reflecting on my experiences this past week, I felt it would be beneficial to document some lessons I’ve taken away from my short time thus far with the company. Oh, and don’t worry we’re not trying to make “fetch” happen.

Oh My God I Love Her! She’s Like A Martian

It can be really easy when entering any new place with new people to get caught up in the “new kid” mindset.

“Am I doing this like everyone else? Do they like me? Do I look the part? Should I introduce myself first? What if I don’t fit in?” These are all questions I’ve thought to myself entering many different and new positions in my career and that doesn’t change for a startup.

However, after reading the new hire handbook I was gifted on my first day I noticed one of the first things asked of me was to schedule 1:1 meetings with all of the people I’d be reporting to and working with. Although daunting at first, these conversations with my bosses and peers allowed me to feel comfortable with my team, and not be preoccupied with the self doubt I had initially felt when I logged on first thing in the morning.

How Many Hats Will You Wear? The Limit Does Not Exist

If there is anything to expect entering a startup environment it is knowing that you will be asked to do a variety of tasks and projects. Some of which you may not have the first clue how to accomplish. Albeit a tad stressful and scary, the payoff is exponentially greater than only doing things you are familiar with.

In the week I’ve been here I’ve multiplied my skill set I had acquired coming into this position, which cannot be said of stagnant positions that only allow you to participate in projects where you are so familiar with the task you could do it with your eyes closed.

In this way, although I am a marketing intern I am also a producer, co-producer, content writer, copy editor, social media coordinator, PR consultant, email marketing coordinator, and that’s just in the first week! Before coming to FERMÀT my collection of hats consisted of a snapback, baseball cap, and a knitted beanie. I can say with confidence now that my collection of headgear has expanded to the point where if you need a berét, fedora, fez, turban, top or even bowler, I’ve got you covered.

That’s Why Her Hair’s so Big, It’s Full of Innovative Content

Working at a startup forces you to not only think on your toes and be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice, but also think creatively and innovate wherever possible. Specifically in my position in the marketing department, I am involved in weekly content centered meetings where my team and I come up with anywhere from 5–15 original ideas for social media content across several platforms.

These types of brainstorming sessions can leave many feeling drained and bereft of inspiration. Considering the landscape of social media these days, it is increasingly hard to create original content that will stimulate viewership, or keep their attention for longer than a couple seconds. It is for this reason that I have learned to not snuff out your flame so quickly by trying to keep up!

What do I mean by this? Well, there are millions, even billions of content creators out on the apps now pumping out content all the time, so there is no possible way to create something that is going to reach all of them successfully. So the best course of action to not completely drain yourself is to create content that adheres to a couple guidelines.

Any content you create should mesh well with your brand personality, speak to your audience, speak to you, and most importantly, BE FUN!

Now this may seem like it just applies to social media content creation but I’m confident that there are plenty of ways these guidelines can be applied to a variety of different positions and tasks in several different industries.

You Go, Glen Coco

In my time with FERMÀT, I’ve learned from my colleagues that if you have an idea or thought that feels like it could make a difference, speak it out. In the week I have been here, I have been encouraged to speak my piece, hold fast to original thoughts and embrace my own spark. These are all things that I have never really been able to do in previous jobs, and that has been the greatest joy of working with my team here.

There are countless projects in the works that I will be assisting with in the coming months that I can’t disclose quite yet (how cool is that?). Being a part of this team has felt like the glow up I’ve been waiting for in my professional life. I cannot wait to see how this journey continues and can’t wait to bring some of our holiday projects through the finish line. I can almost feel the candy cane grams being thrown at me while Damien yells, “You go Glen Coco!”. And you what, I am feeling pretty damn Glen Coco right now.