Intern Diaries – Reginald Askew

This is part of a series where we asked Grady College students to describe their internship experiences during the summer. To see pictures of our Grady students interning, please see our #GradyInternDiaries social media collection.

Other Grady Intern Diary interviews can be viewed here: Nicole Chrzanowski | Jamari Jordan | Mariya Lewter | Kelsey Ann Williams | Kalyn Wilson | Christopher McGee

Name: Reginald Askew

Title of Internship: Digital Strategy Intern

Company: Walmart

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

Describe a typical workday in your internship.

I’m not really sure I had a “typical workday”since I got such a breadth of experience this summer, but I’ll try.

I would wake up in my hotel and get ready to face the Arkansas traffic (yes, there is traffic in Arkansas, who knew?).

I would get to the home office around 8:30 every morning. We had meetings in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Walmart is a company with a lot of meetings!

From there, I’d meet with different members of the digital team and see what was on tap for the day. That team does it all, from publishing to the WalmartToday blog, sending out email blasts to millions of associates or customers and monitoring/publishing on social media.

I had the opportunity to jump around and get a macro-view of the communications strategy. I was able to see how all of the different parts fit together to create the face of Walmart that we all see.

What is the biggest challenge you face at your internship?

The biggest challenge I got at my internship happened the week before I left. For one reason or another, most of the members of the digital team were not coming to work that Friday. The responsibility of managing the social media accounts of the worlds largest company fell in my lap (with support from our agencies that assists us, of course)!

It was intimidating initially because of the sheer amount of tweets and attention the Walmart brand gets on a daily basis. Luckily, it was a quiet Friday and nothing really big happened. I was able to come away unscathed (and still employed). It was still very exciting to have my fingers on the controls of the voice of the world largest company.

What is the most influential experience or most important skill you learned at your internship?

We kick off our internship at Walmart during shareholders week. Everyone told me it would probably be the most intense weekend of the internship and they were right. My first day in the office wasn't even in the office. My bosses, another intern and I spent the day in the Bentonville square, engaging with thousands of international associates. It was my first peek in just how big and impactful Walmart is. I was meeting people from all around the world and the reason that we were all here was Walmart, which I thought was pretty mind-blowing. 

Next was the actual event itself on Friday, which was a huge production. 

It was great. All of the celebrities and talent that they brought in killed it. Mr. Rollback (a Walmart Associate/Superfan) was hilarious. All of the speeches were great. I know, because I was transcribing speech blurbs for tweets, so I heard even second of every speech. It was a great intro into the culture that Walmart thrives on. 

What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?

Utilize jobs fairs! AdPR Connection is one of the best opportunities you will have to score an internship/job.

Keep your resume up to date and utilize the career center and other resources we have here to prepare.

Also, be genuine when you meet people. Look them in the eye, shake their hand and leave them with a business card if you can. Follow-up emails are also crucial to building relationships with people rather than just meeting them once.

What part of your Grady education did you find most valuable during your internship?

Writing was probably the most ubiquitous skill that I used this summer. I know we hear it all the time in Grady, but its true. If your writing is sharp, you have a much better chance of keeping your head above water.

Problem solving skills are also key. Someone isn’t always there to tell you exactly how to do something in a professional setting. You just have to figure it out, because getting it done is still your responsibility. 

Date: September 23, 2015