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Dell: Inside out, An Intern’s Perspective

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As an
undergraduate entering my senior year at Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business, l was actively applying and looking into internship
opportunities. I did not find Dell, Dell found me. As a bizarre sequence of
events somehow I ended up in Austin, Texas, about 1,500 miles from my suburban
town Pennsylvania, this June with my picture on a Dell badge.

Internships
for an undergrad marketing student are few and far between, most in sales area or
unpaid. When Karen Quintos (Chief Marketing Officer) visited Penn State in
April I had a short moment to speak with her when she recommended sending my
resume her way. Needless to say I jumped on the opportunity right away and had
an interview within 2 weeks.

I knew that
my role was going to be in social media marketing but I wasn’t exactly sure
what that would entail. What I got brought into was Dell’s first ever US brand
launch for the “Power to Do More” campaign and supporting the launch
through social media initiatives. How often do companies launch new marketing
brand campaigns? On top of that, how many companies are actively looking to use
social media to support and engage their customer let alone even allow social
tools in general? Not many that I knew of. Of course this was a dream come true
for me, a Gen-Y marketing student that lives and breathes social media.

So what I
can tell those of you who aren’t as familiar with the Dell’s brand
transformation, is that we are actually making a huge change into becoming more
than just a computer seller. Who knew Dell offers so many education, healthcare,
cloud computing, IT services? And we are really picking up speed in this arena.
Now it’s about getting the message out that Dell does have the power to do more
and further build creditability -to the public. There is so much internal buzz
and excitement about this new brand transformation that it’s downright
contagious. It’s because Dell isn’t just unveiling some new slogan, there is
substance and value behind it- we can really can help your business do more. What
I knew about Dell was strictly from my past experiences as a consumer. This new
campaign however is centered more on businesses. After seeing some of our case studies it was surprising to know that we
not only have this great B2B service –we are really successful in this area and
have a growing fan base!

When I tell
other employees I work in the social media and communities team, their eyes
brighten and they always remark how great or cool it is- every time. It is
great and it is cool. Since my role is to help and support the new “Power to Do
More” campaign through social media marketing, I also receive a lot of
questions on what I actually do on a daily basis. Am I doing pop-up ads? Am I
just using Facebook and Twitter to talk about Dell? What I actually do is help
support social media initiatives and processes so Dell can more easily reach
its audiences. Not just throwing a message out there and hoping people will get
it, but providing conversations and connecting more by sharing relevant news,
articles, case studies, etc. to those who would find it useful. The great thing
about Dell is that we aren’t using social media as a tool for quick sales
increases. Dell seems to recognize that social media isn’t just some fashion
trend like Hawaiian t-shirts – it’s more like discovering a new fabric
altogether –and we are embedding it in the company and adding it more and more
to everyday business. It’s exciting and refreshing to be a part of a company
that is on the cutting edge of social technology and is willing to make the
necessary changes in order stay there.

To sum it
up, my experience with Dell has been insightful. Everyone is genuinely
friendly- from directing you not just through your career but from offering to walk
you to the right office or building. I work alongside Sarah Rosen, who’s
helping the Power to Do More campaign and she has been more than supportive for
helping me adjust to Dell and the job. Also getting a chance to work with
Dell’s Chief Blogger, Lionel Menchaca and social media expert Susan
Beebe
, has been amazing.  Even the top
executives and Michael Dell himself took time to talk summer interns. Observing
how Dell handles real problems and business functions has been more than
educational. I can tell you that Dell are listening to its customers and wants
to make changes to be a better company. 

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