Name: Emily Ekman

Position: Marketing Intern at Zevia

Industry: NPI (Natural Products Industry) + CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods)

Graduate Degree: MBA, Marketing Concentration

Graduation Date: May 2022

What excites you about this internship and company? 

In my last year of undergrad (CSUN, BS Business Administration and Marketing 2019), I did my senior project on Coca-Cola. I learned so much about the carbonated soft drink industry that I wanted to be a part of it. However, I noticed the health-conscious trends, and I had never have been a fan of drinking sugary soda myself. Zevia provides me the opportunity to market something that I genuinely enjoy drinking and can be proud of marketing to the world.

Zevia provides flavorful but colorless, 0 sugar, 0 calorie beverages that are sweetened with Stevia. Stevia comes from a natural stevia leaf that provides 200x the sweetness of sugar but has no caloric value, nor does it raise blood sugar levels. It’s a better for you alternative to traditional sodas, which are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. I love learning about the products and coming up with marketing strategies to create awareness. It is incredible to apply exactly what I learn in the classroom on the job and specifically in an industry that I have wanted to be a part of for a long time. Zevia has done an excellent job of teaching me how the company collaborates cross-functionally. I love working with different teams such as sales, eCommerce, systems operations, and data analytics.

How did you strategize landing this internship?  

Networking is key. I make sure I talk about what jobs I am passionate about with everyone I meet, especially in academic settings. I find people who have jobs similar to what I want, and reach out to them asking how they navigated the market and advice on how I can be the best applicant. For this job specifically, I heard an alumni speak about the company at my MBA orientation. I researched the company and ended up mentioning it in my Professional Development presentation, not knowing that alumni would be there. From there, we connected on LinkedIn and continued to schedule a few networking calls. I tried to balance consistency and patience and tried to highlight my interest and knowledge about the company/industry.

Give students some career advice for looking for an internship/job in this market.

Try to complete as many class projects as possible on companies/industries you find interesting. This helps you to find an exciting industry and makes you want to learn it inside out.

Practice networking by going to all events you can. After being in a pandemic for a year now, it can be hard to get the conversation moving, but practice makes perfect. When you have meaningful conversations while networking, connect on LinkedIn and write brief thank you notes.