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March 12, 2014

interns

In the beginning, the Earth was a formless void. And then an influx of human advancement. Empires rose and fell. The printing press spread ideas around the world. Humans invented the internet. Then, Anand Butler swept into ChatterBlast Media with a silent deadliness (not like that).

We’re kidding, but the New Year did start with this young, new intern.

Anand, a junior from the Germantown Friends School, joined our office to assist in research, content and plenty of other ‘blast tasks. He asked to get his feet wet, so we drenched them. No stranger to multi-tasking, Anand is involved in soccer, squash, piano, community leadership, Arab Club and more—we couldn’t even fit all his activities into 140 characters. So unsurprisingly, he handled it excellently. Soft spoken, yet always laughing, we wanted to hear more from our intern about his ChatterBlast experience.

What was your take on social media before joining CBM?

Before I spent time at ChatterBlast Media, social media was, to me, a way to connect with people and organizations around the world with similarities. It was a place where people could interact and were increasingly doing so as the world learned to connect even from great distances.

What’s your take on social media after this internship?

After my time at Chatterblast, I certainly see social media and social trends a lot differently. While everyone understands the marketing schemes and basic techniques of most companies/pages/blogs, I think I got a broader view of how the exchange of information is constructed. Furthermore seeing the meticulous detail the work entailed (searching down to specific keywords for certain themes) magnified the importance of every social media interaction, across multiple platforms. I see it much more as a marketing tool now, but one where people can have a much more friendly, intimate and even more powerful relationship with an organization or company. I often find myself more interested in what companies are posting and how they”re targeting their best online casino social media sphere than what my friends are posting.

This was your first time working in an office. Was it what you expected?

Not really. While I knew ChatterBlast wouldn”t be cubicles and offices, the office atmosphere surprised me quite a bit. It was more welcoming and a bit more social than I expected, which I think is actually great and cultivates positive collaboration. And the nice space I was in well exceeded my expectations, making work a very pleasant experience.

What were you hoping to get out of this internship?

The big thing I wanted from this internship was experience. I wanted to learn what it was like to work in a professional environment, and to a further extent, an exciting new industry such as social media. I also got to learn what commuting by train daily was like, and how living outside of school would be like.

So were you also intimidated by our good looks or was that not a factor?

I was little stunned by the high level of attractiveness in the office. But in all honesty, perhaps the most surprising (though I probably should”ve expected it) part was how young and energetic, and, well, normal everyone was. I wasn”t working with big suits in their fifties, but interesting people I could interact with and even connect with a bit.

What was the most interesting thing you learned at CBM?

The most interesting thing I learned during my times here was that it’s all about creativity. Kind of obvious at a social media firm, but it was really hammered through how everyone, atevery position and every level, needed to be creative. For the team to function well, everyone needs to contribute and bring their unique creativity and special interests.

How did your high school perspective, where a lot of social media trends originate, influence your work at CBM?

As a high schooler, it was interesting to see what I felt was well-used for targeting younger people and what wasn”t. Social media trends are quite transient, especially among my age group. Therefore I think a lot of what I did was using my (albeit not perfect) knowledge of social media trends to figure out what was appropriate for different audiences. If I was writing for the AARP, I wouldn”t use the same lingo that I”d use when posting on a friend”s wall, but generating Twitter noise around comic books required a bit more of my personal social media experience.

Any funny moments?

There were certainly many laughs, though there wasn”t one huge event that stood out. I have to admit that I chuckled every time Evan reminded us that “Polar Vortex” was trending, and the Poehler Vortex meme was pretty funny.

 So what are your plans now that your internship is over?

Well, unfortunately, I”m headed back to school. However, I”ve learned a lot, and hopefully I can parlay everything I”ve learned into some sort of internship this summer, though I don”t have anything targeted exactly yet. I”m sure that the valuable experience and contacts I”ve made will help me both in high school, college, and beyond as I make my way in the world. I”m really grateful for all the time I”ve sent here and for ChatterBlast having me.

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