I started as Marketing Intern at Yonder in August and now I’m working full time as a Marketing Associate. I wanted to share my experience from intern to full time, and what I learned along the way. It definitely wasn’t the stereotypical ‘get coffee’ type internship – from day 1, I was tasked with building Yonder’s social media into a major growth and communication channel.
How I got into marketing
My placement year at university was cancelled because of COVID-19 and I felt I was really lacking real-life work experience. I decided to look for an internship. I had a couple of interviews and decided the dating app Thursday was the right role for me. Whilst I was there, we came up with plenty of creative marketing stunts that took off on LinkedIn. Overnight I gained around 7000 followers. I was a marketer!
The final semester of my Masters degree involved a group project and a reflective essay. By this point, I’d moved out and the ‘university experience’ was over. I found myself getting bored and decided another internship would be a great idea. I could spend time writing my final essay and doing something fun in my free time. I had a recruitment job lined up for September, but I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do. I really enjoyed marketing, so thought a summer internship could be a good opportunity to figure this out.
So I went back on LinkedIn. It took me a few minutes to paint a cardboard sign and then got my sister to take a picture for me. I posted it the next day with a caption about how I was looking for a London-based role and could start on Monday. I was so worried it was going to get no likes or comments so sent it to all my friends to like and comment. One and a half million impressions later, I think it’s safe to say that I had nothing to worry about…
I was absolutely blown away by the response and was inundated with messages, job offers and Zoom invites. I selected a few roles that I was interested in and spent the next two days taking calls from about twenty different companies. It was a surreal experience. Companies were pitching themselves to me, rather than the other way around. Yonder’s Head of Marketing, Tom, was one of them.
We jumped on a call and Tom told me all about the product and the mission, and even showed me the office puppy. I discussed with him about how, at the time, I was very set on interning at an alcohol company and he gave me some advice and challenged me to think about what it was I wanted to do. I came off the call very confused – I'd done a full 180! Now I was set on working in fintech.
After a follow-up email with all the information I needed (and a picture of the office puppy) I made the decision and called Tom and accepted the offer. He sounded surprised, but after his impressive sales pitch, I don’t know why.
My expectations going into the job
Internships can sometimes be overlooked, like they aren’t seen as ‘proper roles’. From my time at Thursday, also a startup, I knew that wouldn't be the case. I knew I'd have to get stuck fully stuck in to the business. My internship was a chance to learn new skills, gain valuable experience and earn some money - it's like a real job, without the commitment.
When I started at Yonder I only really had 8 weeks work experience and wasn’t entirely sure on what I wanted to do in my career. Even if I went into marketing, there are so many different types of marketing – like social media, email marketing, or paid advertising. Internships, especially in smaller companies, often mean you see all aspects of the business and can really help you understand what it is you’re good at and what you want to do.
From my internship I was hoping to better understand what areas of marketing I am firstly good at and also what I enjoy. If I enjoyed the role and the company, I was also looking for a full-time job at the end of my internship. Spoiler alert, I got it!
Getting started at Yonder
On the call, Tom talked me through how Yonder’s social media hadn't been a priority because they didn’t have time to focus on it. So, the day I joined I logged into Instagram and TikTok and just started posting. The following week, I was even in Lithuania on a team offsite!
Transitioning from a dating app with a crazy growth strategy, to a credit card was a little bit of adjustment. There are regulations designed to help consumers make the right decisions, and it means that marketers need to be much more considered about how they talk about their products. Social media hadn’t been part of their strategy before and most of the Yonder team didn't even use social media at all. I had my work cut out for me.
I got started by making a presentation on ‘The Power of Social Media’, showing what other brands do and what I was planning. I even did a workshop on LinkedIn to show how the whole team could get involved.
One day, Tim (the CEO) came up to me, very excited, and said “ANYA! People are signing up from social media!? Isn’t that crazy?!” This made me so happy. I finally felt like my work was paying off. ever since, Tim's has got fully involved in helping me create content online. He's even got his own TikTok series called ‘TimTok’.
I really didn’t have much experience with creating social content, but knew how to do it. Throughout my internship I got much better with planning and scheduling my content, which really helped with my organisation. It’s definitely worth it to just take some time out of your day and plan what’s coming up in the next few weeks.
One of the main reasons I joined Yonder was to try something new. I'm quite interested in macroeconomics and finance so it just made sense. I was quite overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know about credit cards and the finance world. It took some getting used to but by asking lots of questions and doing some reading, I feel like I learnt so much and can sit through a meeting and understand pretty much everything of what’s going on! I’ve even started a series called ‘Anya the Educator’ on TikTok where I share information about credit cards I’ve learnt and me and my co-worker Kate have been planning an event all about Women and Money!
How it's gone so far
Social media has now become a major growth channel for Yonder. Some of the team even made TikTok accounts, just to like and comment on the videos I posted (I explicitly stated that I was not responsible for their TikTok addiction) and I could not be more grateful! I constantly hear “that would make a great LinkedIn post” around the office.
Yonder now has a consistent posting schedule, and our impressions and engagement is improving every day.
I’ve also started a ‘Yonder Ambassador Program’ where we work with London food influencers to help spread brand awareness and it’s doing so well!
What I’ve learnt
I’ve learnt so much since joining Yonder. I’ve become really confident in social creation and really proud of what I’ve produced. Yonder is super organised and I’ve learnt how to get better with my scheduling and the importance of regular meetings with the team and my manager. Every company is different so you just have to adapt to this. I’ve also learnt it’s ok to ask for help. At the start I was overthinking about how this would make me look but we are all one team working together and everyone is more than willing to help each other (big love) and the outcome is always better when more people are involved! I’ve also learnt so much about credit cards and finance generally, which I am really looking forward to sharing more on soon.
Lastly, push yourself out of your comfort zone! The end result will be worth it. You’re always going to learn something by trying something new. What’s the worst that could happen? If I hadn’t pushed myself out of my comfort zone by deciding not to join Yonder, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today!
I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason so I like to not reflect too much on the “what if’s”, however, I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself at the start. Starting a new job is overwhelming, yet alone in an industry where you don’t understand anything! It’s ok that every video doesn’t go viral and that you make mistakes. It’s also ok to ask questions! I think I also felt as though social media wasn’t as important as other people’s job in the company so didn’t want to bother them - which is absolutely NOT true and I’ve learnt that everyone is equal, no matter their role.
Tim and I went on a walk one day after morning stand-up and sat for coffee and a catch-up, which is when he offered me a full-time role! It was an absolute no-brainer saying yes. I had no intention of leaving Yonder and I was so excited when they wanted me to stay. I am still in charge of Yonder’s social media and I have ventured into social partnerships (we did one with my old friends at Thursday which was so fun) as well as exploring how we can use events as part of our marketing strategy. I am super excited to see what the next few months and years bring as the team grows and the company grows!
In it for the long-run!