A human-first company in the time of COVID-19 Emma Lam’s online-only internship with Gainsight
August 11, 2021
The “new normal.” The pandemic. Whichever way you spin it, COVID-19 was the start of something incredibly bewildering in all aspects. It distorted all notions of time and the concepts of space (even now, I still have trouble telling myself what day it is or what month I’m in currently). It started the various craze of people baking banana bread and learning to whip up dalgona coffee, something I’ve still yet to try. But more specifically, it started a digital transformation in the workplace, in which remote working was going to be the current norm.
As an incoming junior, my future career is more important to me than ever, and this year in particular I was gunning for an internship. I pulled out all the stops: revamping my resume and LinkedIn profile, attending school career fairs, and so much more. Alas, when COVID-19 struck, it took all of my big ambitions and plans and crumpled them into a wad.
But like a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel, an opportunity for an online internship with Gainsight appeared. It started out with just a simple chat about my resume and Linkedin profile with a recruiter named Don (quite a lovely individual), and snowballed into more conversations with members of the Marketing Department until I found myself working as a Content Marketing Intern. I currently work under Saphiya Hindeyeh, the Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Gainsight.
A little insight into Gainsight as a company itself: they are one of the software as a service (SaaS) leaders in the customer success industry. Gainsight helps other companies with their customer success strategies, using their products Gainsight CS and PX. The products themselves focus on aligning all aspects of the company, from marketing to product, and giving them a clear viewpoint into how to best support their individual clients. The end results of using their products usually results in less customer churn as well as higher growth expansion, which is crucial for business and companies alike to succeed. But mostly importantly, their main policy is to be “human first” in everything they do, especially in an industry like customer success. As they so effortlessly put in one of their core values, Gainsight “believe in a tireless pursuit of balancing success for our customers, teammates, families, investors, and community.”
When I first started my Gainsight internship in mid-May, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Everything about this was considered “different” from the norm; this internship would be entirely remote and I would never meet any of my fellow coworkers. However, it was clear from the get go that this internship experience was going to be entirely crafted around my needs and questions, and that everyone was here to help me be the best I possibly could be.
Focusing more on my specific tasks as an intern, my duties were pretty evenly split between public relations and social media control. I had a variety of projects, ranging from daily items like copy writing for our Twitter and LinkedIn social media channels to weekly tasks like a news scan where I monitored news and competitor content as well as any news regarding customer success or Gainsight that we could potentially promote. I also got to finesse my design and content creation skills at a more detailed level, where I got to create infographics, graphics, and videos to also promote on our social channels.
One of the more prominent projects I worked on during my time at Gainsight was my social media research project. This was a three-month presentation that I gave to my boss and her boss, Zoë Lefeuvre. The presentation contained research regarding all of the social media giants (algorithms and new updates), and how we could apply that information to revamping Gainsight’s channels to have higher social impressions. Although this particular project seemed daunting at first, the researching itself came to be pretty easy. I simply just applied various research methods and questions I learned through SCC 295, better known as Research Methods. After looking at different articles and studies, I would ask myself if the source I was looking at was credible, and if the data or information provided was reliable and valid. Although this might have been a lot more time-consuming, I believe having credible sources and researching the correct way allowed me to be more persuasible in my presentation, which was reflected in how I carried myself presenting.
Having a remote internship at Gainsight really solidified one key lesson: the necessity of empathetic and people-driven communication, or as I’ve been reiterating, “human first.” In a time of COVID-19, communication with your customer base is everything and could be the deciding factor of whether you generate revenue or churn. One of the first things you learn as an Strategic and Corporate Communication major is that everyone, whether a customer or fellow coworker, has a different communication style and it’s up to you to figure out how to accommodate their needs in order to succeed. I really utilized this concept when crafting different written copy for our Twitter and LinkedIn channels; by looking at our audience analytics to see what they responded to best in terms of writing styles and language, I could gain the best impressions outcome for Gainsight.
I’m honored that my first marketing-based internship was with Gainsight. Despite a worldwide pandemic, I learned all about every single aspect of marketing, from product marketing to public relations. It will be an opportunity I’ll never forget and I look forward to proudly showcase my marketing skills for the new digital workforce.