Photograph of Northeast Maglev 2019 Summer Intern Lexi Paidas at the B&O Railroad Museum

Topics: Internship

This summer I had the opportunity to be Northeast Maglev’s first Marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Intern. Working at Northeast Maglev’s Baltimore headquarters has allowed me to use what I have learned from my marketing classes at the University of Maryland’s Smith Business School and my prior work experience to grow my networking, presentation, public speaking, professional written communication, and problem-solving skills (to name a few).

During my internship, I felt empowered to make decisions and put plans into action. This helped me to create a detailed action plan with deliverables for myself and the other interns, and to ensure that our goals for the summer were being met. As part of this action plan and our goals for the summer, I helped organize a day of canvassing near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to gain insights into the community’s awareness and perception of Northeast Maglev’s Baltimore to Washington Maglev Project. To do so, I created a survey using the company’s CRM platform and software, put together gift bags for survey participants, and then analyzed the results of the survey using excel. Putting on this event helped to strengthen my event planning and public speaking skills.

In addition to organizing a canvassing event, I helped establish and maintain contact with members of the community and community organizations. Reaching out to these organizations and community members allowed me to practice delivering a professional sounding pitch, practice creating a professional looking presentation and enhanced my professional communications skills when answering questions.

One presentation that I worked on was for a “Friends and Family” event to help inform my close friends and family of Northeast Maglev’s Baltimore to Washington SCMAGLEV project and of my role as an intern at the company. I helped create a slide deck that was informative and engaging as well as a set of pre-presentation and post-presentation questions to use before and after the presentation was given. These questions helped to facilitate a discussion of the project and gave my friends and family a chance to give some feedback. Not only did I get to create a fun PowerPoint which utilized my design skills, but I also got to practice pitching the company to a friendly audience before going canvassing in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

There is a lot I love about being an intern at Northeast Maglev. “Monday Morning Maglev Meetings,” as they have been lovingly dubbed by the interns and our working lunches that the marketing team hosted every Monday this summer. These meetings are a great time for me and the other interns to share our plans for the week, get feedback on ideas and projects that we were working on as a team, and have short brainstorming sessions with the entire marketing department in an informal way – all over great food.

These lunch meetings were also a great way to get advice on projects that I was working on individually. One of the great things about having individual projects as well as team projects, is that I never doing the same thing each day. This made for a very dynamic internship where I needed to exercise a lot of independence in order to challenge myself and make progress on tasks and assignments. I was happy to find that marketing classes and my prior work experience made me feel up to the task, but for the few things I wasn’t able to figure out on my own, I was able to rely on a whole network of marketing professionals and peers at the company who could help me fill in the blanks.

There are a few pieces of advice I have for next summer’s interns. The first is to have intern meetings once a week starting the first day of the internship. The other interns and I started having these meetings a few weeks into the summer and discovered that they were a great way to facilitate intern bonding and help with brainstorming. Bouncing ideas off each other during these meetings also helped us to generate ideas for projects, gave us a set time to work on team projects, and was a time to get advice from the other interns on individual projects.

When I go back to school in the fall it will be as a junior marketing and information systems major. Now that I am in my third year at UMD, it is time for me to consider my options for the future and plans after graduation. It is both fortunate and unfortunate that there are several paths I know I could take. I will either apply for the University of Maryland’s +1 master’s program in marketing, pursue a career in consulting, pursue a career in marketing, or apply to work for a company that has an office abroad. Either way, I will be graduating in 2021 with a scholars citation, a QUEST honors consulting citation and the knowledge that I spent four years at a university that I love, pursuing a major that I am extremely passionate about.

While I’m sad to be wrapping up my summer at Northeast Maglev, I am excited to use what I learned this summer to further my career goals. As an intern at Northeast Maglev I got lots of hands on office experience, an enhanced network of marketing professionals, and a supporting and engaging work environment where I knew it was ok to make mistakes and learn from them! Most importantly, by working at Northeast Maglev, I confirmed what I already knew; that I love connecting with people and organizations through marketing, thinking of creative solutions to problems and living and working in the Baltimore area!