By Christine Salinas, Manager of Grants and Communications

Pivotal scholars and brothers, John and Nemi Ngonzo hope to become business and marketing professionals someday. Both have participated consistently in Pivotal summer internships, which help scholars build professional skills and a network that’s critical to career success. Like so many college students, they were concerned these opportunities wouldn’t be available in Summer 2020 due to Covid-19. 

As it turned out, three Pivotal internship partners stepped up to provide John and Nemi with three incredible virtual internship experiences. First, Netskope, a software company headquartered in Santa Clara, eagerly welcomed John back to their marketing department, where he worked in Summer 2019 as a marketing intern. Next, was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up: working together at Silicon Valley Clean Energy, where they partnered and collaborated to create their own marketing project. With John serving as the producer and Nemi handling the creative side, they learned a great deal about brand management and building on each other’s strengths. “John is amazing at big-picture thinking, understanding what the team needs, and selling the marketing concept. He’s also an excellent presenter,” said Nemi. John had similar praise for his brother,, “It was great to see Nemi’s design and technical skills. He’s amazing with Photoshop!”

Once summer was in full swing, the brothers joined forces again, this time at Good Stuff Partners (GSP), the marketing agency that developed the Pivotal brand! John and Nemi collaborated with the company’s Co-founder and Creative Director, Aimee Kilmer, on a new brand campaign for Excite Credit Union. While the agency is located in Sausalito, GSP was able to make the internship virtual, allowing these two scholars to learn from some of the best design minds.  “I loved GSP’s close-knit, collaborative approach to getting work done. Aimee taught us the importance of good communication and really getting to know your clients. We learned things we never could have imagined,” explained John.

John and Nemi are back at school now. John is a Junior at Cal State Monterey Bay, majoring in International Business and Marketing, while Nemi studies graphic design at San Francisco State. Both hope to be hired by one of the five companies they’ve had Pivotal internships with over the last few years. Asked whether they would like to open their own marketing agency someday, they both agreed that would be a fabulous opportunity. Nemi smiled as he commented, “If the universe allows that to happen someday it’d be amazing. In the meantime, we just want to continue being sponges, learning all we can so we can be the best we can be.”