March 6, 2013
It started over a year ago when Indiana State University student Miguel de la Rosa was searching on Google for an internship in Orlando, Fla. The first company that popped up was Your Brand Voice, a digital marketing agency, which "was more than an advertising agency," he said.
"Essentially they were involved with taking an integrated approach to digital online practices when it comes to marketing campaigns, which was huge because a lot of marketing agencies now are catching on to this trend of internet marketing," said de la Rosa, who scored an internship in the company along with friend and fellow Indiana State student Ishaan Vadhera. "This includes anything from social media to email marketing and even text marketing."
Though the client list is impressive - the agency has worked with Disney, Sonic and Marriott- the company was fairly young, giving de la Rosa and Vadhera the chance to help it grow from the ground up. The Indiana State seniors saw it not only "as a challenge but an opportunity to be a catalyst for the company," de la Rosa said.
The Indiana State students quickly impressed Your Brand Voice owner, Bryan Bruce, as de la Rosa and Vadhera "immediately embraced the challenge and took ownership of our brand, our business, our customers," Bruce said.
"They were engaged. They had so much energy and zest to learn that we got energized as a result," Bruce added. "It was a catalyst for our small but growing business and we needed it at that exact time."
The company was based out of Bruce's home for the first year and a half. Then he realized the business needed to grow; once he brought de la Rosa and Vadhera on board, he saw the need for an office.
"Since there was no set direction of what we were going to be doing, we basically were ‘hands on deck' putting every bit of effort we had into the everyday operation," de la Rosa said. "We thought it was really cool because we had the freedom to shape this business into what Bryan had inspired it to be in the future. We even opened up the very first offices for Your Brand Voice."
Since they started from its infancy, the ISU students were more excited because they were helping the business grow.
"To me that was much more than an internship program," de la Rosa said. "It was an experience that taught us how to run a business and the ins and outs of internet marketing."
The company's philosophy is to have fun - which they were told repeatedly. "The funny thing was we took it literally," said Vadhera. "That kind of attitude was fearless in a way, and at the same time promoting quality, because we were enjoying that and we wanted the best enjoyment for everyone.
"The thing I liked most and we did was, apart from being interns, we were being exposed to these clients on a first-hand basis, so we used to take it personally that this is our commitment," said Vadhera.
Vadhera and de la Rosa also had the opportunity to meet and become acquainted with the company's clients, which made them work even harder for the company, Vadhera added.
"This is one of the few things I realized that I wanted to do all the time. I used to like my own Twitter and Facebook accounts. Now I have over 20 different accounts for a whole bunch of clients, and it's fun thinking about new things all the time," he said.
The company has a very integrative approach; de la Rosa and Vadhera learned how it applies to marketing campaigns.
"We are learning as marketing to be the media which it is now. The last 30 years it has always been something like a television ad or billboard. Everybody sees it, but not everyone buys into it," said Vadhera. The roles have been reversed, with people using social media promoting the products through compliments and flattering comments, Vadhera added.
"It was really cool because we came into this experience thinking we were going to be like ‘alright, here is your job description, you are going to stick straight through it,' but it was far from it," de la Rosa said.
The duo work well with each other, and their strengths and weaknesses complement each other well, Bruce said.
"Ishaan was the dreamer, the negotiator and Miguel is the ‘keeping things on track,' the ‘much disciplined' kind of guy. Without each other, things would not have progressed for them individually, or for us as a company, as rapidly as they did," said Bruce.
The business has expanded beyond marketing for businesses, restaurants, hotels and golf courses to events, which is even more appealing to de la Rosa and Vadhera. Their studies at Indiana State have helped prepare them for the challenges they encountered at Your Brand Voice.
"Classes at ISU help me build a foundation, a basic concept of marketing. With marketing it is more than just sales. There are a lot of interactive and digital aspects to it," said de la Rosa.
They still continue to work for Your Brand Voice as social media managers and they are involved with Indiana State's Student Government Association.
"Two of the biggest things I have taken away from my coursework here is the personal connections with the professors and a direction on where I want to go by my interests and skills, and the university focuses a lot of hands on learning instead of just test and quizzes," said de la Rosa.
Though they both are exploring job opportunities after graduation, they have received job offers from Your Brand Voice.
"This internship has completely changed my idea about marketing was about. We are getting to touch base on every aspect of digital marketing. This generation is not newspaper, it's phones," said Vadhera. "It's like just being ahead of the game. That's why I feel like this is what I want to do. This is the field of marketing I want to do."
Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-Fmpmqxf/0/L/i-Fmpmqxf-L.jpg (Submitted illustration)Indiana State University seniors Miguel de la Rosa and Ishaan Vadhera, who interned at Your Brand Voice, a marketing agency in Orlando, Fla. At Your Brand Voice, de la Rosa and Vadhera were able to perform a variety of activities that helped build the young company.
Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-92xRV5f/0/L/i-92xRV5f-L.jpg (Submitted Photo)Indiana State University senior Miguel de la Rosa (left); Bryan Bruce, owner of Your Brand Voice; and Indiana State senior Ishaan Vadhera. Vadhera and de la Rosa interned with Your Brand Voice last summer, learning a variety about social media marketing while building up the young business. They have both received job offers for the company after they graduate in May.
Writer: Beth Pickerill, media relations assistant, Office of Communication & Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-237-3773
Indiana State seniors Miguel de la Rosa and Ishaan Vadhera interned at Your Brand Voice, where they gained experience in the expanding social media marketing world while also helping to build up the still budding company.