Life as an Intern by Allie Wilberding

Wake up. Go to work. Make coffee runs. Make copies and do filing. Make more coffee runs. Make more copies and do more filing. Go home.

That’s what most people expect when they think of an internship. However, Shift Digital’s internship was nowhere near that. It was more like, wake up, go to work, get coffee for yourself (if you wanted it), #doepicshift, and so on.

I’ll preface my experience by stating this was my first internship and it was a pretty great experience overall. Shift has transformed their internship program from their interns focusing on one team to instead spending time with different teams throughout the company.

We began our internship, just as any full-time hire would, with the extensive onboarding process. From then on, our group felt fully immersed into the Shift family.

Most of our days were spent across eight different dealer support teams where we primarily learned about their day-to-day responsibilities and how each team operates differently. With the help of our amazing and hardworking intern coordinators, who are members of the dealer support teams, we were about to leave the internship with the knowledge of how a digital marketing company like Shift operates both professionally and socially.

We worked on a variety of projects: website compliance, analytical reports, creation of ad banners for dealership websites via Adobe Illustrator, the basic backend functions of each website provider, and served as customer service chat agents through Shift’s Dynamic office where we learned the importance of customer care. And, towards the end of our internship, we spent much of our time focusing on our intern project.

For the project, we were to work with the Shift interns from the Laguna Beach office which had its own challenges but was great practice working as a team in a full-time job. Both groups decided to create a book that encompassed everything about Shift Digital from the history of the company, work they do, different teams they have as well as the people that make Shift Digital what it is today. The book was close to 40 pages and highlighted all those categories in detail.

One of my favorite parts about Shift is the culture. The company truly live up to their many awards especially being “One of the Coolest Places to Work.” Within our two months of being interns, we were lucky enough to attend a handful of company events. One that stood out in particular was the 10-year company anniversary. The employees were surprised to find each Birmingham office decked out with balloons, streamers, champagne, cake and photobooths! But, of course they didn’t stop there with the celebrating; the surprise continued with an all-day celebration at Detroit Fleat in Ferndale where endless food, drinks, fun and a whole lot of socializing was provided. This event kicked off our internship and was a great way for us to get to know the Shift employees outside of the workplace and on a more personal level.

This made me realize Shift really shows just how much they care about their employees through the company culture they provide. The environment is made in a way to keep their employees happy, comfortable and (most importantly) proud to be a part of an amazing company. From the casual and freely expressive office attire, the weekly lunches and kitchen snacks that are provided, to having the freedom of being able to leave the office for a coffee or gym break, Shift does what they can to show their appreciation for their employees.

As the internship came to an end, we wrapped up our intern project and presented our experience at the monthly dealer support meeting where we also prepared to say goodbye to all the incredible people. The employees truly made the summer such a great learning experience about what the real world was going to be like. It was a bittersweet moment knowing we would have to say goodbye to all those who helped us along the way, especially our intern coordinators and our amazing supervisor, Jenna (you’re the best!). Lucky enough for me, I wasn’t about to go anywhere anytime soon…

I am now a full-time Digital Consultant for one of Shift’s dealer support teams!

With my very own desk, and a team full of welcoming people to help me start my career, the transition from being an intern to now a full-time employee has been swift and organized. My experience has truly set a bar so high that will be hard to beat, and I cannot wait to see how my career blossoms along this journey here.

Thank you for everything, Shift!


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