My name is Chandler Alberda and I am going into my final year at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, USA where I study Communications and Business. As I begin to enter the professional world, I knew I wanted to take advantage of my time studying abroad to gain international work experience. Twipe welcomed me into their team and showed me a work environment that sets large goals and supports each other to be innovative and successful.
Twipe brought me on their team primarily for my experience in business social media. Alongside various projects I spent a majority of my time conducting an audit of all Twipe social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I was able to bring my knowledge to the table while learning more everyday about B2B social media, advertising, and social media data analysis. My projects were catered to my skills while also pushing me to grow professionally.
I used to think that I would want to work for large corporations as opposed to a startup. Yet I discovered that a smaller scale company allows for a vast range of tasks and involvement in various parts of the business. This empowers each employee as an essential and pivotal part of company growth and productivity. Despite my time at Twipe being so short I quickly felt a part of the team and the company’s goals became my goals as well. This is a company that works hard and goes far together.
Twipe is working to solve a problem that is often overlooked: sustainable business models for journalism. Since my time here I have changed the way that I look at news consumption. Information and news can be found at the touch of a finger and in mass quantities. However, what we gain in quantity is often lost in quality. Injustices and societal problems are first combated through education. This is why quality journalism is important and should be supported. The edition-based publishing solutions that Twipe offers newspapers allows for a modern way to distribute news in a way that the reader can establish a loyal and trusting relationship with their newspaper.
Although the learning about the industry was fascinating in itself, I also gained extensive exposure to sales integrated with digital marketing and networking. My title as an “intern” had little effect in the amount of involvement I could have with the projects that the team was focusing on. Even if the project did not directly involve me, I was still an active part of the conversation and could learn and observe every aspect of business development.
I am immensely grateful for the professional growth that I gained at Twipe although the most impactful aspect of my time here was the cultural experience. The team here is friendly, social, and welcoming. Our lunches were filled with comparing cultural differences and making light of misconceptions. A couple weeks into the program the entire office took me on a tour of Leuven, and we enjoyed a drink together. I genuinely enjoyed the conversation and company of my newfound colleagues.
Overall my internship at Twipe taught me something new every single day. Whether it was a new Belgian dish I needed to go try or how to track what media content brings in website traffic. I learned more about myself and what it means to work at something with purpose. Quality journalism is worth fighting for. Twipe does this well as they push to grow their company and to grow knowledge for their industry. The work is meaningful mostly because of the people you work alongside. I was grateful to be welcomed in to a team of caring people that value working together and communicating well in order to achieve big goals.