Iulia’s story: from intern to executive
Iulia Cioara started at Mezzo Labs in summer 2015, fresh from her Masters degree at Regents University in London. We asked her about her experience as an intern and how she became a full-fledged member of Team Mezzo.
How did you start the Mezzo Labs internship?
I was studying for an MSc in Digital Marketing Analytics at Regents University and heard about the internship and was very keen to get onto the programme. I contacted Adrian through the website and he interviewed me.
When did you start your internship and how long did it last?
The internship was for 3 months. I started in July 2015 and worked until September. But my internship was extended as I showed keen interest to learn more and stay on longer. It was extended to December 2015 which made it 6 months in total.
What was your first day like?
I was nervous but very excited. It was my first real job since coming out of university so I didn’t know what to expect but was excited by the opportunity.
I met Adrian on my first day and he ran through the culture of Mezzo Labs, which was basically to be curious, be helpful and be bold.
I was quickly introduced to the team as they started arriving into the office. Everyone was very welcoming which made things a lot easier and me feel more comfortable.
I sat with my mentor and walked through plans for website content. I slowly started being my curious self. I asked about everyone’s projects trying to understand what they were working on.
What did you work on while on your internship?
There’s a stereotype where interns only photocopy and do admin, but this certainly isn’t the case at Mezzo Labs. I was given real responsibilities and allowed to flourish.
I started working on digital marketing with a keen interest in analytics as this was where I wanted to specialize. I managed the website content, came up with new ideas for content, social media management, email marketing with newsletters and helped with events too. Over time, the role evolved, and I was given more responsibilities with analytics.
What did you learn from your internship at Mezzo Labs?
Within the first three months, I started with basics of Google Analytics and Webtrends then moved onto more advanced projects. The team were so supportive in helping me learn. Then I started doing weekly reporting and slowly worked on client projects. Throughout I was mentored and guided by experienced staff and never felt alone.
I learned about client needs and how to take action. What we learned in the classroom was slowly coming out in real life. I built the confidence to do presentations over the phone. As a charismatic person, I have no problems with face to face presentations but over the phone presentations were new and something we’d never practiced in university.
What I’ve learnt in analytics is that as long as you are sure about the accuracy of your work and data then there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve learnt this with time and experience.
Can you provide an example of a technical project you worked on during your internship?
Testing client website pages to identify whether Webstrends tags were firing correctly. I used developer and reporting tools to get to understand where the problem was.
What do you think of the other team members of Mezzo Labs and the role they played in your internship growth?
All of them are very friendly and open, willing to show me how things work, from admin, tools to projects. I’ve never felt inferior around them. No question is a silly question. They’ve never said “no, I can’t help” and they’ve always had time to explain things clearly.
The team spirit is so strong. I could feel they all wanted me to succeed in my role and helped me get that far.
They all have a strong work ethic and this is something I’ve learnt from them. If you make a mistake then it’s up to you to fix it and others will help you fix it, if needed. It’s a safe environment to put your hand up in a situation like this, which is really important for someone who is starting out in their career.
They were all very friendly and made me feel part of the team. I was always invited to team events and socials, which helped me bond with everyone.
How did you feel when you got the role at Mezzo Labs after your internship?
Really proud and excited. I knew I was going to stay there, it felt the right place. And now, I love my job, the team and the company. I feel like I belong here.
My manager, Claudia, has been very supportive and trusts me in my abilities which has had a lot to do with my growth. She lets me take responsibility and accountability for what I do, and I feel protected and guided well.
There’s a good work/life balance, which makes things so much better when working.
If I were to sum up. It’s the kind of company that makes you succeed – they want you to learn and will take the time out to teach you. There’s always someone to help and has your back.
Since you started your role at Mezzo Labs, how far do you think you have developed and progressed?
There’s a lot more to learn but I’ve made unbelievable progress so far, I’ve learnt to use many tools that I didn’t know when I started my internship. I am in the right environment to learn more.
Clients use all tools so I get to use them and learn every day. I didn’t have context before but now working closely with clients’ needs. I understand how data informs their decisions and I’ve learnt how to prioritise.
What advice would you give other graduates who want to get into analytics?
Don’t be afraid to be challenged, learn as much as possible and be curious. Have patience, don’t be too pushy but be curious definitely. Learn by yourself too as well as in the office… there’s so much to learn. Be an active self-sufficient learner. Don’t be scared to ask questions.
Would you recommend the internship programme at Mezzo Labs to others?
Yes. If you are focused, driven, like numbers, strategy and making data driven decisions within a great, relaxed, friendly environment then it’s for you.