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Taylor Ross

December 20, 2020

Hey there! My name is Taylor Ross and I am working with tbk as their associate marketing 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 I am excited to share my many learning experiences with you!

Week One – Joining the tbk team

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 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”, 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 our of tbk’s content specialists to learn some of the many softwares used at tbk, including Slack, Dropbox, Tettra, Time Harvest, and Asana. They were so helpful and explained each of the softwares in a way that was super easy for me to understand. The content specialist had recently been hired on after being an intern herself, so she knew what it was like to be in my shoes, and gave me some helpful tips!

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 one of tbk’s account coordinators, who offered to help with any software I was struggling with. I was assigned my first task of updating client lists. Next was WordPress training. I was thrilled to be learning WordPress, as it is the most popular content management systems in the world. I was introduced to WordPress’s limitless customizable abilities and how to build a page from scratch. Later in the week, I connected with another account manager, and she tasked me with uploading content into WordPress for the outdoor furniture manufacturer, Maglin Furniture. I felt ready and prepared to take this task on thanks to my excellent training. By the end of my first week at tbk, I felt like a part of the team and ready for new challenges.

Week Two – Putting Theory to Work

My second week at tbk included more shadowing and hands-on tasks that put theory into practice. Tuesday consisted of taking the WordPress skills I learned and uploading content into a WordPress carousel widget for Maglin Furniture. I felt confident in my abilities and enjoyed learning how to use WordPress. Later in the day, I got to meet with and be a part of the Creative Team weekly meeting. At this meeting, Melissa discussed how we could use creative thinking to help our clients and shared work for a logo design project. 

On Wednesday, I completed a task where I was responsible for separating Jiffy Lube’s data into separate location-specific spreadsheets. Later in the day, there was a tbk weekly company performance meeting. Melissa began the meeting with a creative question: if the team was given the opportunity to time travel (forwards or backwards), where would they travel and why. I find that unique questions are great conversation starters. They help strengthen the team, despite everyone working from home.

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

Week Three –  Working on Websites

My third week at tbk brought new and exciting learning opportunities. At the beginning of the week, an account manager briefed me on tbk’s new website. They explained that I would get to write copy to be featured on the new website. In addition to writing copy, I would be making changes to the WordPress website. This was a super exciting project as there are lots of areas for me to help out, and I get to have creative freedom when creating the copy.

On Wednesday, I worked with a different account manager to ensure all media for the new Davis Martindale website had proper alternative text. It is important to make sure each media piece has a specific alt text to pass AODA standards. This meant that 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 vision impairments to follow AODA guidelines. 

By the end of the week, I began a new task of link citation/optimization. My task was to go through Yelp, Apple Maps, and Bing Business listings to make sure each Jiffy Lube® Ontario location had the proper website, address, and hours listed. Ensuring each location had the correct information helps Jiffy Lube’s search engine optimization (SEO) by creating accurate and proper backlinks.

Week Four – Optimization 

It’s hard to believe that I have already been with tbk for four weeks! Each week I find 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. I learned 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, I was tasked with call auditing for Oxford Learning. This involved ensuring that, when a client called an Oxford Learning location, their automated message system delivered the correct script. 

On Wednesday, I worked on separating spreadsheet data for Jiffy Lube Ontario. This process helps the client review data and see what locations are doing well and where others can improve. Wednesday is one of my favourite days of the week because it involves tbk’s weekly company-wide meeting. I am always excited to hear from the team and listen to everyone’s response to Mel’s icebreaker question. Later in the day, I connected with an account manager where we chatted about school and all things technoculture! Studying MIT, it was exciting to have a conversation 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 taught how to reply to Jiffy Lube Google My Business (GMB) 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 Jiffy Lube Google My Business 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.

Week 5 – Lunch and Learning 

Hello, week five at tbk, and hello October! This week sure was a busy one. At the start of the week, I was given a task to summarize new research about the auto service industry. From readings and summarizing this report, I have learned a lot about how COVID has affected the auto service industry and what consumers want in their automotive service centre. 

On Wednesday, I worked on adding new contacts on 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 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 my 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 emails subscriber contest. After this, I assisted Chelsey in adding some content and templates on WordPress for Maglin. After this, I began to give each image featured on the Maglin website alt text.

Week 6 – Customer Service and Relationships

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 reviews. I do this daily to ensure that customers receive a reply and store locations with negative reviews, get notified about the incident. Next, I worked on other weekly commitments, such as building proper links 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 for Maglin. 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 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 clients to excel and enter the formula to randomly select a winner! Toward the end of my day, I finished adding content to tbk’s blog entries for their new website. This task involved adding a reputation bar and call to action button to each blog post. Adding these sections gives the blog post more information for why the reader should hire tbk.

Week 7 – Technology Scholarship Video

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 pictures used on Maglin’s new website. This process is referred to as labelling alt text. While completing this task, I spent a lot of time looking through Maglin products. I can now say that I have designed the coziest patio of my dreams from their PIXEL collection!

Toward the end of the week, I met with tbk’s president to discuss plans for tbk’s Women in Technology scholarship video. Due to social distancing guidelines and the current nature of COVID-19, this year we had to film a video to celebrate the recipient of their scholarship rather than our usual in-person celebration. tbk’s Women in Technology Scholarship pays for the first year tuition of a first-year student at Fanshawe studying Interactive Media Design. This scholarship is designed to help integrate more women in the technology field. I would get to be involved with helping organize this filming project. 

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

Week 8 – Bringing the Video to Life

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

After finishing the Maglin alt text project last week, I had some monthly tasks I needed to prioritize. I began my week by optimizing location listings for Jiffy Lube. 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 like Yelp, Apple Maps, and Google Maps to benefit customers. 

Another task my week focused around was helping coordinate tbk’s Women in Technology scholarship video. I mentioned I was onboarded to help with this project last week, and this week I got to coordinate all contacts that will help make tbk’s video come to life, including Fanshawe administrators and professors, the videographer, and the award recipient herself. I am so excited to see the final product!

In addition to these tasks, I 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 learned how we could improve the Jiffy Lube Monthly Contest Winner email to make it appear less spam-like, and encourage more people to open it.

Week 9 – Picking a Winner and Optimizing Response Rates

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

This week I worked 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 be creative to improve our response rate. 

Next, I worked on links and citations for Jiffy Lube and OE Canada. This is a task I am periodically assigned to ensure that new listings are being properly added and that existing listings stay accurate on popular consumer sites such as Google Maps, Bing Businesses, Yelp etc. This task helps me understand how important it is for companies to have accurate and multiple listings on different map platforms to help their SEO.

Week 10 – Organizing the tbk Website

Hello week ten! At the start of the week, I completed my weekly duties of exporting contacts for Old Oak, and completing links 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. It will be interesting to see if we have speedy results from the contest winner for October with the new changes to the email.

At the end of the week, I worked with an account manager to help organize the 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 details. When the blog and news posts were initially uploaded to the new website they had not been properly labeled on WordPress, so it was my task to go back and sort them accordingly. Completing this task will help website visitors find what they want while browsing for news or blog posts on the new tbk website.

Week 11- Apple Maps and Excel

This week marked the first snowfall in London, Ontario! During week eleven, I continued my skills in Excel and learned how to operate Apple Maps from a business perspective. I completed my weekly tasks of exporting new client contact information from Old Oak Properties, and sorting and uploading it into MailChimp.

I am learning how to use Excel more efficiently as well. 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 me in my career in the future. While working on improving SEO for Jiffy Lube 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 location 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 at all times.

Toward the end of this week, I was assigned a task of comparing two calendar services for Shawn Keeper Real Estate. In this task, I was responsible for looking at Calendly and Accuity 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.

As my time at tbk comes to an end, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be an intern at this agency. I’ve learned so much!