2020 Startup Internship Reflection: Yay Lunch, Ashley Gesiewski

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Digital Marketing and Social Media Internship Reflection: Yay Lunch

Ashley Gesiewski

This semester I am interning with Yay Lunch, a startup founded in Charlottesville, Virginia. Yay Lunch (YL) is an online ordering, scheduling, and delivery service for school lunches. YL currently operates in Charlottesville, Richmond, Virginia Beach, and the Northern Virginia area. We are working to expand to D.C., Maryland, and North Carolina soon. In order to deliver fresh lunches, we partner with local vendors in each market to prepare the meals we bring to students.

Though I have some previous experience working in digital marketing and social media, this is my first exposure to working in a startup. This has been an incredible and eye-opening experience so far as the company has secured another round of seed funding and has grown exponentially in the short time I have been involved. Each member of our small team works diligently to exceed all expectations and pave the direction of the company. I am excited to be a part of this process and can’t believe how quickly my time has gone by already.

This is a remote position which has allowed me to devote sufficient time and effort to my projects when I have availability in my schedule. My manager has maintained daily communication with me to keep me up to date on all company happenings and make sure I am clear on my tasks. Further, I have had several opportunities to meet with other employees in person such as the founders and other market staff.

As a digital marketing and social media intern at YL I am responsible for producing­­ original content pieces for email and social initiatives, preparing weekly updates and reports to track growth and success rates of campaigns, and creating relevant marketing collateral. I have worked on nutrition campaigns, school lunch policy content, holiday posts, email target marketing, and strategy planning around vendor relations.

I have been able to lean on my strategy, brand, social media, and consumer behavior courses to guide the decisions I make and the content I create. For example, I recently worked with my manager to develop a strategy to convince existing customers to purchase from us more frequently. We reviewed similar campaigns to inform the direction of the project, and then worked with our data analyst to put together an email list of current customers to offer the promotion to. I constructed the template and modified it to match the different schools and different menu options. I have learned so much from being a part of the process from development to implementation.

Some skills I have picked up so far include social media marketing, email marketing, project management, and graphic design. In exercising these skills I have been allotted generous freedom to develop content in a way that I see best fit. With the brand being so young, there is still room for development and my manager has allowed me to be an active part of that process. Some tasks are more close-ended, but the open-ended tasks allow me the chance to express my own ideas. Upon completing a project, my manager works closely with me to make sure I understand all feedback.

I am excited to continue learning and growing with Yay Lunch throughout the remainder of the semester.