By Sarai Mateo, Pivotal Scholar and Summer 2020 Intern

About three years ago, I was introduced to Pivotal while studying at Gavilan College in Gilroy. Right now, I am majoring in Digital Media and planning to transfer to San Jose State University next fall. My goal after graduating is to work in digital design for a Bay Area company or as an animator for a company like Pixar. I was counting on a 2020 summer internship to build my graphic design work experience, and Covid-19 almost changed that. But Pivotal came through for me like they have so many times and offered me a summer marketing internship.

Before I knew it, I was studying the Pivotal brand, attending conference calls, creating newsletters, and conducting marketing analysis. Contributing to the agency that continues to support me in determining my own path was an amazing feeling. I was part of the team. The new experience of a virtual internship had its pros and cons though. I loved being able to work from home and choose my own workspace for the day. For an introvert like me, you could also say that not being dragged into water-cooler small talk was a huge plus too! On the other hand, working remotely can be noisy and it’s easy to get distracted. I would have loved to work side-by-side with the Pivotal team, rather than through a computer screen.

Despite the difficulty in adjusting to the isolation of a virtual internship, the internship experience was one of my favorites to date. In just a few short months, I gained much-needed confidence and created engaging marketing pieces that scored high open rates by donors. While we learn many hard skills in school, receiving direct guidance from career professionals was an amazing experience!

If I could leave my foster youth peers with some words of encouragement, I’d tell them: If you ever get the chance to do an internship, DO IT. You will gain work experience, improve your professional communication, and develop personal connections that can help you in the future. You might not find that important right now, but it’s never too early to develop yourself. Oh, and try to make friends if you can, you can learn so much from the individuals at your internships!

Check out just a few of the engaging marketing assets Sarai created for Pivotal during her internship.