19 May, 2013

SMPS Intern Spotlight: Elysa Marchicelli, Keast & Hood

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Read time: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

What school are you currently enrolled in?
American University, Washington, DC

What are you studying?
Business / Marketing

When do you plan on completing your degree?
I expect to graduate with my Bachelors in the spring of 2015

How did you learn about the SMPS internship program?
I first learned about SMPS while attending Montgomery College; I was forwarded the SMPS Scholarship Application from an advisor. In 2011 I was awarded the SMPS DC Student Scholarship and received an honorary one-year student membership in the SMPS Washington, DC Chapter which included complimentary registration to all Washington, DC Chapter events. My SMPS Mentor, Kathleen Held, President of the Washington, DC Chapter, told me about the internship program through SMPS. While attending SMPS DC’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, Amanda Sanderson, informed me about an internship opening at a local DC office – Keast & Hood Structural Engineers. I applied for the internship opportunity which was posted on SMPS DC’s job board website. I joined Keast & Hood as a marketing intern in the fall of 2012.

What attracted you to Keast & Hood’s program in particular?
I was attracted to Keast & Hood’s program because it encompassed what I wanted to learn about marketing and the A/E/C industry. A lot of these things included learning about an engineering firm’s role in the industry and how they market themselves to gain jobs and develop projects. One of my favorite projects so far is the new Gymnasium in Haiti that Keast & Hood restored after the earthquake. It’s amazing to see the transformation of a structure and what steps they took to complete it. Most of all, I was required to learn about marketing, proposals, communication, and the A/E/C industry, This was exactly the real life marketing experience I was looking for.

Whatspecific projects or assignments were you given during the internship?
I support the business development and marketing efforts of the firm by handling a variety of responsibilities. My initial responsibilities included administrative tasks, such as filing jobs, projects, and engineering documents, which helped me learn about the different projects Keast & Hood completed and was currently working on. I help Keast & Hood’s Marketing Coordinator, Alexandra Hallheimer with the preparation and assembly of marketing materials and proposals. I’ve become familiar with the different proposal formats and standard government forms marketers use in the engineering industry. I’ve also helped with Keast & Hood’s direct mail campaign, social media platforms, and the awards submission for the SMPS DC Chapter 2013 Marketing Communication Awards.

What marketing skills do you feel you developed during the course of the internship?
I feel that I have improved my communication and writing skills from working on RFP/RFQs. I learned the steps to take when developing a marketing proposal and its essential components. I am certain that I can apply what I’ve learned in the future.

What do you consider to be your most significant lessons learned during this internship?
From this internship I have had first-hand experience with the A/E/C industry which has definitely helped me become more familiar with it. I would say learning about the industry itself has been the most significant lesson because now I know what to expect and what I need to know to succeed as a Professional Services Marketer!

Would you recommend the SMPS internship program to other students looking to broaden their marketing experience?
I would highly recommend the SMPS internship program to any student who wants exposure to the A/E/C industry and wants to expand their marketing experience. Even if they don’t know exactly what field interests them, which was me at first. The program has definitely benefited my understanding of a Professional Services Marketer and marketing in general. I was able to broaden my network and meet highly qualified professionals. I have yet to meet someone who is not willing to help me learn and prosper. That’s one of the things I like about this industry; everyone, even competitors, help each other succeed.

Contributed by: Marissa Cornejo, LEED AP BD+C, MOI