Five Things I Learned in One Month at Trada that I Didn’t Learn in Four Years of College

Guest Post by Keith Jensen, Sales and Marketing Operations Intern

As I am dreading my impending graduation from CU Boulder this May, it was interesting to look back and see what I wish I would’ve learned while attending college.  I’ve only been at Trada for a little over two months, and I now know that there will always be more concepts, skills, or programs to learn before I can get to where I want to be in the real world.  Here are five main ones that hit me within seven days of my Marketing and Sales Operations Internship:

Salesforce.com
If you are involved with marketing or sales and you haven’t heard of SFDC, then I would recommend buying Salesforce.com for Dummies.  SFDC has received multiple awards over the past few years, including “Most Innovative Company” and “Best Sales Platform.” It serves as the basis for keeping all of a company’s leads, contacts, opportunities, accounts, campaigns, and everything else sales-related organized and easy to read.  A lot of companies pay above-average salaries for someone to be their SFDC Administrator, so learning everything about the site can prove to be a huge resume booster.  I had to spend hours exploring all the features and pages that exist in the back-end of the site, and knowing the basis of how it worked first would’ve made it a lot easier.

Microsoft Excel
If you are graduating with any kind of business degree, I am willing to bet that you have “Proficient in Excel” listed on your resume (don’t be shy, I was guilty).  Furthermore, I’d also be willing to bet that you are hugely overestimating your Excel skills.  One of the base skills of why I got hired was because I “knew” I was overly skilled with working different Excel functions.  Now, this wasn’t completely untrue; I honestly thought that I knew more than most with Excel, and who knows, maybe I did.  CU Boulder requires all business students to pass an Excel test, and I even took a digital marketing class that had almost two whole weeks dedicated to the program.  What I DO know is that I didn’t know as much as I had thought.  Take advanced Excel classes whenever you can, even if you think you’re an “expert.”  Learning a new skill is just as good as practicing an old one.

Marketing Automation Software
You might not know what this is, and two months ago, neither did I.  Basically, it is a program that helps a company automate and track all of their marketing practices.  One can set up email campaigns, track webinar visitors, and tell you who is and isn’t visiting certain web pages.  This isn’t all that they do, but you can see the point.  It makes a marketing employee’s job a lot easier.  Some big names in the industry are Marketo and Net Results – check them out, I wish I would’ve before I started my internship.

The Business World isn’t Always What Professors Make it Out to Be
We’ve all had the professors in college that said stuff like, “Executives in the company won’t care about a college kid”, or “When you start your first job, only hard work will get you noticed.”  I haven’t found this to be true.  Asking questions not only to your managers, but to other directors, VPs, and even the CEO will show that you are passionate, interested, and have a desire to learn.  This will take you a long way.  Sure, the employee that sits at his/her desk the whole day and produces work will probably be successful.  However, if you take the time to learn the most that you can, get to know your superiors, and find the best ways to get along with the other employees, you will produce BETTER work than your co-workers.  Remember the saying “Knowledge is Power?” Take that to heart.  When I first started, I was constantly asking questions about everything I didn’t know.  My managers quickly took notice and took the time to teach me what I needed.  It would’ve taken me much longer to become proficient if I never asked questions about anything and tried to figure everything out on my own.

Riding Awkward and Unusual Transportation Devices
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Razor Scooter and the tricycle, but how about the RipStick or the Soleskate?  This one might not apply to all businesses, but I know for a fact that Trada isn’t the only place that uses scooters and skateboards for inter-office transportation.  I feel that there is a certain amount of respect one gains if they can ride them all.  Brush up on your skills, because even if you aren’t allowed to cruise around on them at work, once the Palio di Trada becomes a worldwide sensation, you’ll be in the running for the gold medal.

4 responses to “Five Things I Learned in One Month at Trada that I Didn’t Learn in Four Years of College”

  1. Milton H. Camilo

    Awesome article, Keith. I’m a college student myself interning for a startup and this certainly comes in handy (marketing-wise). 
    Best of luck in your internship!

    1. Keith Jensen

      Glad I could help, and thank you for the good vibes.  Best of luck to you as well!

  2. Joe Hamlet

    Great article, wise words that I wish I knew years ago. Got it re-tweeted by Salesforce for you :) 

    1. Keith Jensen

      Just saw the SF tweet…wow!  Thanks Joe. 

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