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Meet the Aruba Interns: Katie Williams

By Sylvia Ruiz, University HR Programs Manager
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Embarking into her senior year as a multimedia journalism student at Loyola University Chicago, Katie Williams from San Jose, CA, talks about her love for Bagel Wednesday and working as a corporate communications intern. In this interview, Sylvia Ruiz, Aruba’s University and HR program manager, chats with Katie about her experience working in the global marketing world.

Sylvia Ruiz: Why did you choose the Aruba internship?
Katie: I was interested in taking journalism outside of the stereotypical newsroom. I wanted to explore my major and the passion I have for writing in a different direction than what I had previously experienced, which is what drove me to strive for Aruba.

Sylvia: How did you prepare for your internship?
Katie: I talked to my dad about everything I could possibly run into here. He’s worked in the Bay Area start-up technology scene for twenty years and was a great resource.

Sylvia:  What group/department do you work for? What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities?
Katie: I work in the marketing department as a corporate communications intern with a focus in customer references, and my responsibilities really vary from day to day. I’m lucky to work on a team with more than one focus area, and because of that, I get to learn public relations, analyst relations, and global marketing. My day-to-day projects can include packaging customer assets, writing blogs, editing press releases, and updating contact information for reporters at news outlets.

Sylvia: Are you working on any long term projects?
Katie: I’m working on a couple of long-term projects including a few different blog series, which I’m really excited about. Writing is one of my passions, and I’m so glad I get to bring that to this internship.

Sylvia: What intern event are you most excited about?
Katie: I’m excited about the escape room coming up. I’ve never been to one, and I’ve always wanted to experience it. Hopefully, we can make it out!

Sylvia: What has been your favorite memory at Aruba so far?
Katie: My favorite memory so far was the first team lunch on my third day. I was feeling overwhelmed, but that lunch really put me at ease. It was so nice hanging out with some cool people that I would get to work with for the summer, which definitely calmed my fears.

Sylvia: Who has been the most inspiring mentor for you?
Katie: The people on my team have been great mentors for me in every way. They’re incredible to work with, and they’re always willing to help me with my seemingly endless questions. Whether it’s gathering for lunch or chatting over a product launch, I know I’m always going to end up laughing. They’ve all been overly kind and welcoming, and it’s made the internship so fun.

Sylvia: What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for an internship or who recently joined Aruba?
Katie: Apply, apply, and apply! My parents always told me that the only way you’re for sure not getting a job is if you don’t apply. This job was totally out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I went for it. And as for someone who just accepted a job, just go in with an open mind and prepare yourself to learn more about Wi-Fi than you ever expected--or wanted to!

Sylvia: What is one thing you learned about yourself that surprised you?
Katie: I was surprised by my interest in the products we put out. When I first started, I was drowning in technical terms and writing. After only a few weeks, I feel so much more comfortable in reading and talking about tech. It’s been a fun journey of self-discovery.

Sylvia: How would you describe the culture and perks at Aruba?
Katie: During the interview process, everyone described the culture at Aruba as similar to a start-up. While the people here work insanely hard and put out incredible work, there’s a joyous atmosphere around everyone, at all times. People are good friends and genuinely care about their colleagues.

As for perks, Bagel Wednesday totally takes the cake for best perk at any job I have ever worked, no contest.

Sylvia: What is your ideal career path?
Katie: My feelings about that change constantly. When I first started college, I was a biology major on a pre-vet track, and now I’m a journalism major with a marketing internship. I really like what I’m doing now, and I could definitely see myself following this path in the future.

Sylvia: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Katie: Something that surprises people is that reading is one of my favorite hobbies and that I read almost 50 books last year. I found some great book-lover communities on social media that helped me get back into reading with a vengeance.

Sylvia: If you had to pick another name for yourself, what would it be?
Katie: Well, I’m named after my mom so I don’t think I’d change it. If I did, I’d probably change it to either Stella, which is a name I’ve just always loved, or Lucy or Josephina, named after my grandma and great-grandma respectively.

Sylvia: Do you have a question for the next interviewee?
Katie: Well, I think someone’s favorite breakfast food is very telling of who they are as a person. My question is, “what is your favorite breakfast food?”

Check out last year's Meet the Interns blog series, and look out for more blogs on our 2019 interns here!