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Taylor Ross

Curious to hear what an internship experience is like at tbk? Read Fall 2020 Associatee Intern, Taylor Ross’s, journal for an inside scoop of what a four-month internship at tbk can look like.

Hey there! My name is Taylor Ross and I worked with tbk as their Associate intern from September to December 2020. To share a little more about me, I am a fourth-year student at Western University studying Media Information and Technoculture with a certificate in Digital Communications. I hope you enjoy reading my Internship Journal and hearing more about my learning experiences throughout the internship at tbk.

September

Week One

At the beginning of the week, I was feeling both super excited and a little bit nervous about my first day with tbk. Due to the world’s current situation of living through a global pandemic, I knew my internship role would look a little different and a lot more virtual, but still, nonetheless, I was super excited to be a part of the tbk team! 

My first day started with a Google Meet call with Melissa McInerney, Co-Founder & CEO of tbk. Melissa gave me a warm welcome, as well as outlined the goals and values of tbk. My chat with Melissa was nothing short of inspiring and she reminded me of the company’s vision of, “Creating a world where companies and people realize the potential they never knew they had.” As the day progressed, I was introduced in the “Daily Standup” on Google Meet, where I was formally acquainted with the entire team! Everyone was so welcoming and easy to talk to. Later in the day I met with Aitana Robinson, Jr. Content Specialist, to learn some of the many software products used at tbk including, Slack, Dropbox, Tettra, Time Harvest and Asana.  Aitana was so helpful and explained each of the software in a way that was super easy for me to gauge and understand. Aitana had recently been hired on and was once an intern herself, so she knew what it was like to be in my shoes and gave me some helpful tips!

Following the first day, my first week at tbk consisted of reading over manuals and policies as well as continuing the internship onboarding process. In addition to this I met with Kayla Vanstone, Account Coordinator, who offered to help with any software I was struggling with and assigned my first task of updating client lists. Next, I was in a training with Aitana where she showed me the ropes on all things WordPress. I was thrilled to be learning WordPress, as it’s the most popular content management systems in the world! Aitana introduced me to WordPress’s limitless customizable abilities and how to build a page from scratch. Later in the week, I connected with Chelsey Wheeler, Account Manager, and she tasked me with uploading content into WordPress for a website project tbk had underway for Maglin Site Furniture. This was the perfect task as I felt ready and prepared from Aitana’s excellent training. By the end of my first week at tbk, I felt a part of the team and ready to take on new challenges!

Screenshot of Maglin Furniture

Maglin’s Products

Week Two

My second week at tbk included more task-shadowing as well as hands-on tasks and assignments to put the theory to work! Tuesday consisted of taking the WordPress skills I learned from Aitana last week to upload content into a carousel widget using WordPress for Maglin. I felt confident in my abilities and enjoyed learning how to use WordPress. Later in the day, I got to meet with and be apart of the Creative Team’s weekly meeting consisting of Aitana, Simon Dunford, Associate Graphic Designer, and Melissa. At this meeting, Melissa discussed how we can use creative thinking to help our clients. Later in the meeting, Simon shared his work on logo designs. This was super interesting to see his work and design process as well as critiques and ideas from the rest of the team.

On Wednesday I completed a task assigned to me by Kayla, where I was responsible for separating Jiffy Lube Ontario’s (60 stores) location data into separate location-specific spreadsheets. Later in the day there was a tbk Weekly Company Performance Meeting where Melissa began the meeting with a creative question asking the tbk team, “If you were given the opportunity to time travel, forwards or backwards, to any period in time where would you travel and why?” I find that unique questions are great conversation points and give this weekly corporate meeting as strong a team feel as it would be in an office, despite everyone currently working remotely.

On Thursday, I completed another task from Kayla which involved updating client contact sheets. At the beginning of the week, I was feeling a bit intimidated with Excel, as I hadn’t used it much since high school, but with practice, and completing my two tasks from Kayla, I felt confident in my abilities. Overall, my second week at tbk was another great week filled with a plethora of learning experiences.

Google Meet Icon

Week Three

My third week at tbk brought new and exciting learning opportunities. At the beginning of the week I met with Aitana where she briefed me on tbk’s new website. Aitana explained that I would get to help create copy to be featured on the new website. In addition to writing copy, Aitana demonstrated how, using WordPress, I would be making changes to the website. This was a super exciting project as there are lots of areas for me to help out, and I get to have some creative liberty when creating the copy.

On Wednesday, I worked with Chelsey to ensure sure all media for the upcoming Davis Martindale website had proper alternative text. It is important to make sure each image has specific text associated to it which is good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but also required under the WCAG 2.0 Level guidelines (i.e., guidelines, that when implemented, have a web property be accessible for people with physical disabilities). This meant I had to label and give a short description for every picture featured on the Davis Martindale website. This is a tedious but important job because all websites must be accessible for people with visual impairments and to follow the requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

By the end of the week I began a new task with Kayla. Through a training session, Kayla walked me through the process of link citation/optimization. My task was to go through Yelp, Apple Maps, and Bing Business listings to make sure each Jiffy Lube location in Ontario had the proper website, address, and hours listed. Ensuring each location had the correct information helps Jiffy Lube’s SEO as Google looks at this information as a signal for its search engine rankings.

Jiffy Lube Locations Near London Ontario

Jiffy Lube locations on Google Maps

Week Four

It was hard to believe that I had already been with tbk for four weeks! Each week I found myself developing new skills and gaining a better understanding of online platforms. On Tuesday, I had several virtual meetings to ensure I was up to speed on my assigned tasks for the week. First, Kayla taught me how to complete off-site SEO best practices, specifically by ensuring proper data was listed on Yelp, Bing Places, Google and more. After this training session, Kylie tasked me with auditing the phone numbers for the 100+ national Oxford Learning locations for accuracy.

On Wednesday, I worked on separating spreadsheet data for Jiffy Lube. This process helps the client review data and see what locations are generating what customers sourced from the web. Wednesday is one of my favourite days of the week because it involves the tbk Company Performance Meeting. I am always excited to hear from the team and listen to everyone’s response to Melissa’s icebreaker question. Later in the day, I connected with Dana Buxcey, Account Manager, where we chatted about school and all things technoculture! Studying MIT, it was exciting to have a conversation with Dana about the future of technology, augmented reality and its positive possibilities for the future.

Thursday was a mix of completing tasks I had not finished throughout the week. In the morning, I was instructed by Aitana on how to reply to Jiffy Lube’s Google My Business (GMB) customer reviews. This is a new task I am excited to take on and will be responding to comments every morning of my internship. Later in the day, I completed coupon expiry updates for all the Jiffy Lube GMB listings. This task allowed me to explore different functions of GMB and feel more confident in my abilities. All in all, this was another great week in the books with tbk!

GMB Reviews for Jiffy Lube Ontario Locations

Sample Jiffy Lube reviews on one of their GMB pages.

October

“whenever you do something for the first time, you’re bound to make mistakes, take it and learn”.

Week Five

Hello, Week Five at tbk, and Hello October! This week sure was a busy one.

At the start of the week, I was assigned a task from Kylie to summarize new research about the auto service industry. From readings and summarizing this report, I have learned a lot about how COVID-19 has affected the auto service sector and what consumers want in their automotive service centre.

On Wednesday, I worked on adding new contacts to the email marketing software, MailChimp, for Jiffy Lube and Old Oak. Before my internship, I had not used Mailchimp. This assignment gave me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of this important marketing platform. Later in the day, I attended my first Lunch and Learn event with tbk. The team had the option to order in their lunch so I ordered veggie dumplings and they were delicious. The Lunch and Learn, led by Melissa, focused on the importance of the business concept of the “value chain”. Melissa stressed the importance of verifying and clarifying information throughout the workplace to ensure proper communication amongst the team. My first Lunch and Learn reminded me that I should never be ashamed of getting clarification or asking questions. During this session Melissa said, “Whenever you do something for the first time, you’re bound to make mistakes, take it and learn.” This statement resonated with me because, as an intern, I’m going to run into things I do not know how to do. That is okay because once I solve the problem, I will grow and learn from it for the future!

Towards the end of the week, I met with Kayla for training on how to pull a winner for Jiffy Lube’s monthly email subscriber contest. After this, I assisted Chelsey in adding some content and templates on WordPress for Maglin. And following this, I began giving each image featured on the Magli website alternative text (again, good for SEO and web accessibility).

Mintel Automotive Research

Week Six

I kicked off Week Six by completing a multitude of different tasks throughout the workday. On Tuesday, I started my day responding to Jiffy Lube’s reviews. I do this daily to ensure that customers receive a prompt reply and if any information needs to get a location it’s done so quickly. Next, I worked on other weekly commitments, such as building high-quality backlinks and citations for OE Canada. This process helps OE Canada in search results as well as ensures all online citations have up to date information.  

On Wednesday, I continued to work on adding alt. text to image for Maglin’s new website. This is a large task, so I have been continually working on this task to ensure I have adequate time to give each image featured on the website a proper description. Later in the morning, we had our Weekly Company Performance Meeting. In this meeting, we played the “Truth or Lie” game, where I got to know a little fun fact about each team member!

On Thursday, I got to randomly select a winner for Jiffy Lube’s monthly contest. I liked learning how to export the list of applicants to Excel and enter the formula to randomly select a winner! Towards the end of the day, I finished porting current blog articles to tbk’s upcoming new website. This task involved adding a reputation bar and call-to-action button to each blog article. Adding these sections gives the post more information for why the reader should engage tbk for services.

Jiffy Lube Ontario Advantage Banner

Week Seven

In Week Seven, I spent the majority of my time finishing up projects from prior weeks. One of the biggest projects I worked on this week was finishing labelling all the images on Maglin’s new website. While completing this task, I spent a lot of time looking through Maglin’s products. I can now say that I have designed the coziest patio of my dreams from their PIXEL Collection! This project improved my organizational and time management skills. This project was budgeted at 15 hour’s worth of work, so I was able to integrate and prioritize all tasks I had assigned to me in order to complete the alt text in time for the website launch!

Towards the end of the week, I met with one of tbk’s Co-Founders and a Principal, Andrew Schiestel, to discuss his plans for the tbk Women in Tech Scholarship Video. Each year the tbk Women in Tech Scholarship pays for the first-year tuition of a woman entering Fanshawe College’s Interactive Media Design program. Due to physical distancing guidelines and the current nature of COVID-19, Andrew told me that this year they would be filming a video to celebrate the recipient of their scholarship rather than their usual in-person ceremony. This scholarship is designed to encourage more women to choose software development as a career path. In this project, I was in charge of coordinating shoot times for all the individual parties that were to be part of the video. Being included in this project was super exciting. I have always loved planning and organizing personal events so I found it valuable to learn how to coordinate in a professional setting.

This week was another busy one and I am looking forward to the next!

Maglin Pixel Furniture Items

Maglin Pixel Collection

Week Eight

Wow! Another week has flew by at tbk! Here’s what I have been up to:

After finishing the Maglin’s alt. text insertions for images last week, I had some monthly tasks I needed to prioritize. I began my week by optimizing location listings for Jiffy Lube on Yelp. In this process, I make sure location listings have the correct address, up-to-date hours, and website information. This helps to ensure accurate information is listed on websites where customers would go to look up their preferred Jiffy Lube location including websites and apps such as Yelp, Apple Maps, Google Maps, etc.

Another task that my week was focused around was helping Andrew with coordinating the tbk’s Women in Tech Scholarship video. I mentioned I was onboarded to help with this project the week prior and this week I was able to help coordinate all contacts that will help make tbk’s video come to life, including Fanshawe College administrators and professors, the videographer, and the award recipient, Victoria Windle of Walkerton, ON., herself! In this task, I kept in contact with all parties and told them what the agenda looked like for their shooting location. I was so excited to see the final product of the project!

During this week I also kept up with other ongoing projects for Old Oak and Jiffy Lube. For Old Oak, I updated their property contact list with new subscribers using Mailchimp. For Jiffy Lube, I discussed with Kylie and Kayla how we can improve the Jiffy Lube monthly contest-winning email including ideas to encourage more people to open it.

November

Week Nine

Happy Reading Week! Week Nine at tbk meant I was officially more than halfway through my internship. This week I worked from my family home in Woodstock, ON. A perk of working online is you can virtually do it anywhere, without having to worry about commuting.

This week I worked with Kylie to finalize the edits made to the Jiffy Lube contest winner email. I randomly selected the new winner and sent them the freshly updated winner’s email. Hopefully, this will ultimately result in the winner of the contest replying within the given five business days to claim their $500 prize with ease! This task allowed me to brainstorm possible responses to help create with Kayla and Kylie to improve our response rate.

Next, I worked on high-quality backlinks and citations for Jiffy Lube and OE Canada. This is a task I am periodically assigned to ensure that all listings have the correct hours, phone numbers, etc. on third-party websites. These websites include Google Maps, Bing Businesses, Yelp, and more, which are important to keep accurate. This task helps me understand how important it is for companies to have accurate and multiple listings on different directory platforms to help their SEO.

Jiffy Lube Locations on Apple Maps

Jiffy Lube® locations on Apple Maps (administration side)

Week Ten

Hello Week Ten!

Here’s what I’ve been up to at tbk! At the start of the week, I completed my weekly duties of exporting lead contacts for Old Oak and completing high-quality backlinks and citations for Jiffy Lube and OE Canada. 

Later in the week, I got to pull the October winner for Jiffy Lube’s monthly advantage contest. After having success with Kylie’s last changes to the email to warrant a response from the winner, I was interested in seeing if we’d have the same speedy response as the October draw.

At the end of the week, I worked with Aitana to help organize some items on the upcoming tbk website. In this task, I was responsible for categorizing and separating news and blog posts using WordPress. This task reminded me of the importance of paying attention to minor details. When the blog and news articles were initially uploaded to the website in development, they had not yet been labelled as such in WordPress, so it was my task to go back and sort them accordingly. Completing this task will help consumers find what they want while browsing for news or blog posts on the new tbk website.

Some blog article listings within tbk’s WordPress website.

Week Eleven 

During Week Eleven, I continued my skills in Excel and learned how to operate Apple Maps from a business perspective. By completing my weekly tasks of exporting new client contact information for a client, sorting and uploading the data to MailChimp, I am learning how to use Excel more efficiently. In my schooling at Western, we did not use Excel, so I am grateful for these opportunities to learn more about the program to help in my career in the future. While working on improving SEO for Jiffy Lube’s locations, I was able to log into the business side of Apple Maps. In this task, I was responsible for ensuring that all Jiffy Lube locations on Apple Maps were up to date. During the pandemic, many of the Jiffy Lube locations have changed their hours to suit their customers better. This means that it is vital to update the listing locations to ensure accurate information is listed at all times.

Towards the end of this week, Aitana assigned me a task comparing two calendar services for Shawn Keeper Real Estate. In this task, I was responsible for looking at two softwares: Calendly and Acuity, and comparing them in terms of features and price points. This task helped further my researching skills and my ability to condense ideas into clear, concise points.

Comparison between Calendly and Accuity

A screenshot of some of my notes comparing Calendly and Acuity scheduling softwares.

Week Twelve & Thirteen

My last two weeks at tbk primarily consisted of putting together this very journal that you’re reading using WordPress! Not only is WordPress the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, many iconic websites have been created on it such as Forbes, Rolling Stones, Vogue, and MTV News! Throughout my internship, and in building my own custom webpage, I learned the ins and out of this platform. I am grateful I was able to learn to operate this CMS and feel confident using it in the future.

The end of my final week was bittersweet. Before starting at tbk, I was nervous about what an internship would look like in the midst of a global pandemic. However, tbk made my time extraordinarily worthwhile. Despite the distance and working remotely I still felt a part of the team, learned lots of valuable digital marketing skills, and exposed myself to a potential career path that I am highly interested in exploring.

Creating this page using WordPress!

Key Takeaways

After my time at tbk, I am excited to finish my undergrad at Western University and see where my post-graduate program takes me. Currently, I have applied to five digital marketing post-graduate programs due to my exposure and interest in digital marketing. I am going to miss the weekly company performance meetings, lunch and learns, and inclusive team environment that tbk fosters. I would like to thank everyone at tbk: Andrew and Melissa for their great career and life advice, Aitana and Kayla’s patience and for helping me through the onboarding process and Kylie for helping me through the internship process. I feel that during my time here at tbk I have done a lot of professional and personal development and learned skills I will put to use in the future!

My tips for future interns are to take on every task with an open mind ready to learn! Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never done something before if you make mistakes the team is always there to help and never be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Last but not least, enjoy your time here! It goes quickly!

  • Taylor Ross, tbk

    My four months as an associate intern with tbk has been nothing short of amazing. I have had so many opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people, and realize my potential. Even with the state of the pandemic, and remote work, I felt a part of the team, and super motivated to take on new challenges. My internship with tbk has allowed me to build my skillset in digital marketing and flourish the confidence in myself. I can only see great things for the future of tbk and all of its future interns.