This internship is not about marketing or technology; it’s about you.
By Andrew Ong, Digital Marketing Intern
NUS Business School and University Scholars Programme
To quote from the movie Doctor Strange, “forget everything you think you know”. That phrase summarized my experience in this internship.
Experiencing new things and learning about myself has always been my focus. I came to Design Prodigy with the intention to learn more about marketing technologies and execution tactics. Instead, what I experienced has totally shifted the way I think about marketing, and how I think about myself.
the only constant is change.
I have learnt that the world of marketing is so vast and is constantly evolving. Any prior knowledge or tool mastery one has will soon be irrelevant as technology changes so rapidly. The tools are merely a manifestation of your thought process and what you plan to achieve. The manifestation of thought into tactics is not as important as the clarity of that thought itself. And that clarity of thought, that perspective, that insight, will guide and frame the way you perceive things for years to come. That’s something no one can take away from you, something that the most advanced AI or software can never replace – that ingenuity of thought of the human mind. That is what I have come to realize. The realization that the future of the world is the evolution of humans and the way we perceive ourselves. Robots will rapidly replace the need for humans, and what humans need to stay relevant is simply: being human.
Think systems, not tools.
Previously, marketing to me was ads and landing pages, sales funnels, and opt-in forms. But how do some people perform so well with the “same” structures while others fail? I learnt that though the output might look similar, the thought and insights that went into developing and moulding that output could be directly responsible for why it performs so well and connects with people so well. Marketing is not a single silo of domain knowledge, or a few marketing stack technologies. It encompasses psychology, art, logic – and at its core, the understanding of human nature. This has changed my view drastically on the way I view marketing. It’s not just something to drive sales and launch a few fancy creatives, but to really understand and create a connection with your audience, with people.
complex tasks require a prepared mind.
Most importantly, this experience has taught me about myself. As we were given the full responsibility of directing our own projects, exercising our views, and owning the results, there was tension and stress. But through that tension and stress, the mental leaps in understanding and thought were immense. This experience has given me the rare opportunity to do self-evaluation and reflection. How do I work when I am faced with a complex task with no baseline information? How do I face a challenge when I have no prior experience? How do I work with others and converge different opinions? From this experience, I have strengthened my belief that no task is insurmountable. For us to achieve what we did in the short amount of time we had was no easy role. But we did it. And that adds a new level of self-understanding and awareness of one’s capacity and strengths. Undoubtedly, there were also many areas I saw that I could explore and improve on as well, and that was valuable too.
I experienced so many different roles, from consumer researcher to psychology tactician, to market orchestrator, that the title digital marketing intern in hindsight appears to deeply undermine the amount of lessons I have learnt, and the breadth of knowledge that we have covered. This experience will definitely affect the way I think for years to come.
more than a digital agency
Design Prodigy is not just another digital marketing agency, but an agent of change in espousing human excellence and ingenuity in a world where humans are getting ever less relevant. I have been fortunate enough to experience this transformation, and I look forward to what the future holds for Design Prodigy and its team.
To future interns: If you complete this internship without a mental shift, heightened awareness, or an elevated level of maturity, then it would have failed. This internship is not about marketing or psychology or technology; it’s about you – how far can you go?
Andrew Ong (NUS University Scholars Programme) was a December 2017 intern at Design Prodigy. Read more Design Prodigy interns’ reflections: from Xin Lin and Andy.
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