|Chelsea Harvey, ABJ 2015|
Chelsea Harvey was a Marketing Communications Intern for the Pain Management Department at Kimberly Clark during summer 2014. She is a fourth year studying advertising and minoring in history.
Describe the process of applying for and ultimately receiving the Kimberly Clark internship. What was your official title?
I first heard about the Kimberly Clark Health Care co-op opportunity when my brother participated in the program as a biomedical engineering student at Georgia Tech in 2010. Basically, KCHC offers 10-week to 6-month internship and co-op rotations to college students majoring in engineering, marketing, or business. After hearing him praise the program and seeing how it promoted his career development (he is now an Industrial Engineer for Abbott Vascular in Menlo Park, CA), I kept Kimberly Clark in mind when I began looking for internships as a college junior in 2014. I applied for an internship in April of 2014 and interviewed with the Marketing team a few weeks later. Because Kimberly Clark Health Care typically seeks students of engineering schools, and because my team had not taken on an intern in a few years, the on-boarding process was fairly informal; they met me, liked my resumé, and asked me to start in June.
As Marketing Communications Intern for the Pain Management Department, I worked as part of the Marketing department and specifically within the Pain Management platform, on the Coolief* Cooled RF device. Other platforms within Kimberly Clark Health Care include Respiratory Health, Digestive Health, Surgical Solutions, and Protection & Infection Prevention.
What drew you to this internship specifically?
Honestly, it was the personal connection of having seen family members work with Kimberly Clark. My brother participated in the co-op program in 2010 and 2011 and my aunt is Director of National Accounts within Kimberly Clark Health Care. Kimberly Clark is different from most corporations in that they promote something called "work-life balance": the company wants employees to feel comfortable, healthy, and happy enough to do the best work they can. As an employee, you determine your hours and dress code, allowing a flexibility that creates exceptional results. I trusted that an internship at Kimberly Clark would be educational, but also that the company itself would be a good personal fit. I was right!
What are you hoping to gain from the internship? What will you bring back to Grady College? Favorite part/lesson from the internship?
I went into my internship partially expecting to be a fly on the wall who also delivered coffee, but by the end of the experience, I learned so much that I felt I couldn't have learned from a classroom. During my ten weeks at KCHC, I learned the social dynamics of conference calls and meetings, the necessity of time management when given flexibility, and the diplomacy required when balancing multiple projects on various teams. I've already noticed that I'm better able to manage time and facilitate group work now that I'm back at Grady College. There's something about spending your summer being involved in projects that have real-world results, that affect real patients and doctors, that instills a sense of urgency and the realization of a deeper meaning from your job. I have noticed that it really allowed me to engage in my work, and to bring that sense of engagement back with me. Everything we're learning at Grady College is preparing us to enter the workplace, be that as part of an agency or working client-side, and to change the lives of those who use our products.
My favorite part of the internship: the people. The Marketing team was constantly looking for opportunities to teach me about the medical device industry and about the workings of the corporation, but they were also incredibly open and honest about wanting to learn from me. They valued my opinion and my input as a (Grady) college student, as a millennial, and often allowed me to work on and initiate projects. Because of their trust in me, I was able to devise and implement a Twitter hashtag campaign at a trade show during the last few weeks of my internship. My team had never implemented a conference hashtag campaign, so it was really exciting to be given that trust and that freedom to both offer the idea and implement it, with the help of their digital marketing team and my mentor.
I would also say that the corporate culture at Kimberly Clark was phenomenal. The campus was beautiful, with LEED certified buildings overlooking a lake employees were encouraged to walk around for exercise and happiness. There was a constant sense at Kimberly Clark that, in order to do your best work, you have to be happy and feel valued.
Which skills learned at Grady College helped you to earn the internship?
I would not have been able to be as successful in my role at Kimberly Clark had it not been for my education at the Grady College. I cannot emphasize that enough. Specifically, Dr. Ahn's Advertising and Society course taught me how to consider the multi-faceted issues surrounding marketing to certain demographics, which helped with determining the copy that I wrote for some of our promotional campaigns. Further, I learned from Dr. Griffith's Message Strategy class that your best pieces of copy come only after exhausting all possible options, which helped a lot when working with my mentor. We would often come up with a concept, approach our team members, discover that there was a better or different way to word things based on meeting legal requirements and new information concerning a patient or the device itself, and have to rework the concept many more times. I think most importantly, though, Grady College gave me the confidence to step into a workplace and feel comfortable asking questions, making suggestions, and offering sources to back those suggestions up.
Describe your day-to-day responsibilities at Kimberly Clark.
I was able to dip my toes into many different projects while I was at KC, which was incredible. As the MarComm intern for Pain Management, I tracked our success on our patient-facing website for our Coolief* Cooled Radiofrequency device. Using WebTrends, I maintained and compared metrics for the site. Because the Coolief* Cooled RF direct-to-patient campaign had launched in Chicago that April, most of my efforts were directed toward web metrics and measuring success of that campaign. I also maintained contact information for customers of smaller buys for our Needles, Kits, and Trays and Standard Radiofrequency device. I worked under my mentor, Marketing Communications Manager Pam Katz, and often assisted her with generating copy for promotional emails, future campaigns, etc.
What are your post-graduation plans? Long-term career dreams?
I'm trying to keep my post-graduation plans loose, because I've found that the best opportunities often come into fruition when you're least expecting them. I know that I would like to be a copywriter at a small to medium-sized agency or manage communications for a non-profit. But maybe I'll write children's books, or be a television critic, or work on a farm. I'm not sure! I want to somehow make my way to Chicago, IL, but other than that, the future's wide open for me.