Thumbs Up

It all started in London. I was sitting in my cramped flat with a few of my roommates talking about our summer plans once our abroad adventures came to a close. This was my first time giving a single thought to what I was going to do when I got home. Up until that point, my summer consisted of hanging out with my dog and… well, that was about it. As everyone around me sat talking about their passions and aspirations, I sat and momentarily panicked. An internship? Why hadn’t I thought about this yet? I left in a huff with my computer in tow for the local coffee shop to do some research on my options… and there were TONS.

I knew I wanted to be integrated into the digital media world. I am a communication major at a small liberal arts university in Minnesota (College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University), specializing in media and advertising. At first, I thought the only way to inch my way into the industry was through an ad agency. I was surprised to find out that just wasn’t the case.

I ended up finding the Road Crew Program through a post on LinkedIn and have been high-fiving myself ever since. The Pandora Minneapolis office is still relatively new and this was the first summer they were accepting applicants for their one internship spot. The interview process was a whirl-wind with me in London, the headquarters being in Oakland, and an eight hour time difference between us.

I got a call in the middle of my British Media class letting me know I had landed my dream internship and I have been in what seems like a dream since then. I’ve always been a Pandora fan. Live music is a huge part of my life and I live in the perfect place to see my favorite artists constantly (ie: Needtobreathe, Ben Rector, Ingrid Michaelson, etc.) Working with a company rooted in its love of music has meant the world.

Being a Client Services intern in the Minneapolis office, my duties included, but were not limited to, developing advertising media plans, pulling third party research to support clients and campaigns, and developing post advertising campaign reports. In other words, this internship was exactly what I was looking for. I thoroughly enjoyed my summer from day one for a number of reasons, but here are a few:

a) Trip to Oakland and Chicago: I’m a small town Minnesotan girl so traveling to the big Bay area was enticing from the start. I was able to see the *huge* home of Pandora and meet interns from all over the nation. That weekend was eye-opening as it made clear the amount of brilliant people, interns and employees, I was surrounded by within this company. At the end of the summer, I was able to present my final Roadie presentation and ended up getting to do that so in the windy city! 10/10 for both trips, for sure.

b) Road to Pandora talks: Every week the University Recruiting team puts together hour-long sessions with people that make Pandora great, like CEO Tim Westergren, CPO Chris Phillips, and COO Sarah Clemens. It was an awesome way to get insight from successful people about how they got to Pandora and what their path getting there looked like.

c) Pandora groups communities: Pandora Pride, Pandora Mixtape, and Pandora Women. This is one of the many things that makes Pandora as a company so darn cool. It’s clear that Pandora values inclusivity no matter race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. which seriously rocks.

d) Professional Experience: I was never a coffee-running intern and always felt as though I was part of the Client Services team. I was inundated with hands-on experience day in and day out, whipping out media plans and pulling avails left and right (look at me, using the lingo!). I know that this short but impactful experience will be significant going forward post-graduation.

e) Networking: There was never a shortage of people to talk to during my summer. Like I mentioned, because I’m a communication major, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, but I was able to sit down with people from all over the company to pick their brains about their road to Pandora and how they used their education to propel themselves forward. I appreciated that although I was an intern, everyone I reached out to was more than willing to help me succeed and offer up any advice they had. It goes without saying that one of my favorite parts of my internship was the people I was surrounded by, near and far.

I can honestly say that this internship experience far exceeded my expectations, as made evident by the fact that I basically just wrote an essay instead of a blog post. I’m so happy I was able to be the first intern in Minneapolis and leave a positive and lasting mark. The growth, both personally and professionally, will help me going forward into my senior year, I’m sure of it. I was a part of something great this summer and I sincerely hope every student beyond me has the opportunity to be a Pandora Roadie. If my internship experience could be a Pandora station, I’d no doubt give it a thumbs up.

PS. Click HERE to read more about my internship experience with Pandora, written by my own university.

Feel free to contact me via my LinkedIn page if you’d like to know more.

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