Photograph of Isabel Roberts, Northeast Maglev 2022 Summer Marketing Intern

Topics: Internship | Student

This summer I had the opportunity to be the marketing intern at Northeast Maglev. Initially, I was a little intimidated to start my first in-person internship ever, not to mention it included hopping on the MARC commuter train, a new experience for me, to get from College Park to Baltimore. But very quickly, I looked forward to going into the office, as it consistently promised fun and new experiences; from filming TikToks of Mini Maglev with the CEO, to visiting the National Aquarium for a social media campaign, or enjoying lunches on Fridays with my team, the internship proved to be nothing short of a wonderful, exciting learning experience.

In addition to the field trips and dynamic office atmosphere, this opportunity was also very educational and further supplemented my knowledge of the marketing world. By working alongside marketing professionals, I witnessed many different communication plans in action, and was able to learn from their expertise. The team also made me feel valued for what I brought to the table. Admittedly, my knowledge of the maglev was limited, as I had no real previous awareness of the project. However, this worked to my advantage and was seen as an asset to the team, as I could better anticipate possible questions the general public may have and how effective our social media campaigns would be. I enjoyed how my team appreciated what I brought to the table, instead of only including me occasionally I had fully been onboarded.

Marketing at Northeast Maglev is very unique compared to many other traditional marketing teams. To better understand our potential marketing angles, I began by familiarizing myself with the scope of the SCMAGLEV project and even further dove into the principles of the project via Japan Central Railway’s website. I enjoyed learning about the innovative technology and environmental benefits of the project, as this knowledge enabled me to better develop and curate content that would aid the public in better understanding the project.

One of my main projects during my internship was to combat misinformation about the project. After thorough explorations and research, I designed infographics that set the facts straight on various topics. I then scheduled these posts on various social media platforms and monitored the activity and discussions they ignited. One of these deep dives included developing environmental posts with direct quotes from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement study, and this task turned out to be my favorite and most rewarding one. After many revisions, I finally had a deck of posts and copy that I was proud of, and these were also later used as a basis for our environmental section in our company’s informational booklet.

A longer-term project that I worked on throughout my internship was an on-campus marketing plan for Northeast Maglev at the University of Maryland (UMD). After analyzing the target audience at UMD, I developed an outreach plan that Northeast Maglev can utilize to better achieve awareness, support, and action from UMD students. Not only did I report on the benefits of integrating SCMAGLEV into UMD curricula, but I I am eager to see how my outreach plan can better foster a meaningful, long-lasting partnership between Northeast Maglev and the University of Maryland.

Because I’m from out of state, my first day in Baltimore was the first day of this internship. This summer provided me with the ultimate tour of Baltimore, as I was fortunate enough to explore the city’s staples with my team members, such as the National Aquarium and the B&O Railroad Museum, all while showing off our miniature SCMAGLEV train model, Mini Maglev, for social media content. I am super thankful to Northeast Maglev (and specifically my colleague Lindsay Pedersen) for encouraging me to discover Baltimore and for allotting me so much creative freedom.

This process taught me how to better give and receive effective feedback and how to best implement it. The company culture also encouraged frequent collaboration, which helped me become confident in not only my marketing skills, but also gave me the courage to ask questions and offer ideas. This internship has also helped me envision my future career and determine what aspects of workplace culture I value and will look for at my next job. While I am sad to be wrapping up my summer at Northeast Maglev, I am excited to use what I have learned to further my career goals, and I can’t wait to see the SCMAGLEV become a reality.

Thank you for everything, Northeast Maglev!