Posted on 28th of October, 2020

The Intern Diaries: Marketer Arna on creative growth and confidence

This year, the SALTO KS team was fortunate enough to welcome aboard talented new team members, who have each changed our team for the better in their own ways. Among this group is Arna Halldórsdóttir. Ever since her start on May 1st, Arna has brought new meaning to the world of marketing at SALTO KS. She has done this through her expert communication, compelling insights (resulting from her psychology background), and creative expression. This has resulted in an array of publications and projects which we asked Arna to reflect upon in her edition of: The Intern Diaries.

Read ahead to find out more about Arna’s journey as Marketing Intern at SALTO KS.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

Halló! My name is Arna and for the past 6 months, I have been a Marketing Intern at SALTO KS. I’m 27 years old and moved to the Netherlands from Iceland a year ago. After gaining a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Iceland, I worked as a flight attendant for an Icelandic airline for two years. While I enjoyed the travelling, the colleagues, and the unconventional work experience, I knew that my future did not lie in the aviation industry. Thus, I packed up my bags and moved to the Netherlands to attain a Master’s degree in Economic and Consumer Psychology at Leiden University.

I have always been fascinated by consumer behaviour and the subconscious constructs that influence our decision-making. When I decided to pursue a career in marketing, I was conflicted at first since I had extensively studied the possible detrimental effects of consumerism. However, I realised that there was a way to use my marketing skills in a constructive way, promoting products and practices that I believe in. I’m happy to say that I managed to do just that in my internship at SALTO KS.

How did you end up at KS?

While looking for internships, I had a very clear vision of what I wanted. I knew that I wanted to take my time to find the perfect internship even if that meant I had to delay my graduation, as opposed to accepting the first opportunity that presented itself. When I came across the advert for the internship at SALTO KS, I instantly knew that this was the opportunity I had been searching for. The way in which they presented their product and practices, their social media presence, and the diversity of their team intrigued me. From my first interview with recruiter Agnese Rossi, my visit to the fabulous SALTO KS office, to my blog post test case, the entire hiring process was very enjoyable and only intensified my desire to work for the company. I cannot describe the excitement I felt when I signed my employment contract, and there was definitely a bottle of sparkling wine opened that night.

What did you like most about your job? And what would you change about it?

I’ve enjoyed every part of my internship, so it’s very difficult to choose my favourites. If I had to though, I could narrow it down to three aspects. First, I like the autonomy I’ve been given and the diversity of my projects. On my very first day, which started remotely because of the pandemic, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I had been given responsibility for five different tasks. Since then, I’ve been encouraged to take ownership of all kinds of projects, such as managing the SALTO KS Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, designing and creating content for the very first SALTO KS newsletters, and running with my own initiatives.

I also quite appreciate the flexibility and multitasking abilities that the internship has taught me. When you’re a part of the SALTO KS marketing team, you need to be able to juggle multiple projects at the same time, while being comfortable with jumping into other assignments when needed.

Lastly, and most importantly, I’m extremely fortunate to have worked with amazing teammates: Kristin Pater and Anya Doshi. These women are true professionals, creative masterminds, and they are an inspiration to me in every way. I can truly say that I’ve enjoyed every single moment of working with them.

How would you describe the company culture?

The SALTO KS company culture is unlike any other I’ve experienced. About two months into the internship, I was assigned the project of creating illustrative diagrams for the SALTO KS teams. This meant that I had to contact each and every Brick (our term for the SALTO KS employees), asking them about their roles and responsibilities within the company. I think it says a lot about a company when a newly onboarded intern can feel confident enough to contact the Managing Director and it is a great example of the flat structure of SALTO KS. This was especially appealing to me, coming from the hierarchical culture of the aviation industry.

What is your favourite project to work on at KS and how did you approach it?

My favourite project was writing an article for the third edition of Coliving Insights on the subject of technology’s role in making the property management and building industry more sustainable. My manager, Kris, knew of my interest on the topic of sustainability and I was quite honoured that she assigned this task to me. This project required me to research the subject extensively, familiarizing myself with Proptech and the sustainable technologies available for real estate. I collaborated with SALTO Systems’ Business Development & Sales Manager for Coliving & PBSA, Christian Schmitz, in order to gain his insights on the role of communal responsibility for sustainable practices within a building.

Seeing the article that I had worked so hard on published in this beautiful magazine made me feel very proud, and I enjoyed researching sustainability from this novel perspective.

What benefits did you gain from being a Marketing Intern at KS?

The best thing about working in such a small department is that I was able to work on a multitude of different tasks, which gave me a comprehensive understanding of the different sections within marketing. Besides the writing and content creation responsibilities I have described above, I also got to try my hand at creative design, learning how to use digital design programs to create marketing materials for different platforms. I was able to strengthen my communication skills due to tasks such as conducting interviews with industry thinkers or collaborating with technology experts. I was also fortunate enough to receive a Google Analytics workshop from our Digital Advertising Specialist, Candas Demir, where I explored our website’s traffic and planned marketing strategies from that analysis.

How did the job match your expectations?

This internship went above and beyond my expectations. Before I started, I knew that this was not the kind of internship where I would be asked to do trivial tasks such as making copies or fetching coffee. However, I certainly did not expect this. I only experienced this job as an internship for the first few weeks, while I felt like a fully integrated marketing professional for the remainder of the six months. I truly believe that six months working at SALTO KS is equal to two years’ worth of experience elsewhere.

I also did not expect to be welcomed into the company as one of their own. Onboarding an intern in the middle of a pandemic must be no easy task, but somehow they managed to make it seem like I hadn’t even started remotely. Our amazing Office Manager, Wilma Georgeson, has done a fantastic job keeping up the team spirit during the pandemic by organizing all kinds of virtual events. Despite the strange circumstances, I met spectacular people and made some truly great friends within the SALTO KS team.

What do you believe the next step is in your profession, and how did we help you get there?

My internship is officially ending on October 31st, so I am now actively searching for a new employment opportunity. Although there is definitely a certain amount of concern due to the difficult circumstances on the job market right now, I’m also hopeful. Having such an extensive experience from SALTO KS allows me to apply to a broad range of marketing vacancies, from copywriting and communication positions to analytics.

Most importantly, my experience at SALTO KS has made me believe in my abilities, resulting in me feeling confident to tackle any opportunities that come my way!

“I only experienced this job as an internship for the first few weeks, while I felt like a fully integrated marketing professional for the remainder of the six months.” - Arna Halldórsdóttir, Marketer.

Arna, on behalf of the entire team at KS, thank you for being a ray of sunshine in this unexpected year. In your application for this internship, you said, “My strengths include, but are not limited to, superior social skills, an independent work-ethic, a natural curiosity and a spectacular sense of humour.” Little did we know those qualities barely scratched the surface. We will always cheer you on and wish you the very best for your next adventure.

To get in touch with Arna, you may contact her through LinkedIn.

To read more about SALTO KS, click here or follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for the latest product features, team updates and news from the industry.

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