Unlike many of my classmates who came into University of Washington's MBA program with a laser focus on working at Amazon/Microsoft/Starbucks, I came in with a desire to work at a certain type of company. I wanted to work at a high-growth, high-tech firm that was on the late side of early stage.
One that was established and well-funded, but still operated like a start-up. I wanted to work at a firm that challenged the status quo and came up with a new way of doing things—a disruptor or a creator of their own space in the market. One that placed a high value on creativity, innovation, and new ideas.
I also knew that I was interested in a Marketing or Communications role that was strategic. After spending a significant portion of my career in risk-averse, bureaucratic environments, I was excited to see what it was like on the other side.
My Experience at Apptio
I first heard of Apptio when taking the Software Entrepreneurship class with Greg Gottesman and Matt McIlwain, who are both managing directors at Madrona Venture Capital, where Apptio is a portfolio company. Through a random mix of networking, serendipity, and luck, I was contacted by an Apptio recruiter in the spring about interning with the Marketing Department on the Content Marketing team. Content Marketing turned out to be a great opportunity to combine my strategic communications background and the quantitative and analytical skills I have learned in the MBA.
Apptio is the most measurement-oriented company I have ever worked for. They measure everything and analyze all actions, tying them back to outcomes and results. All of the Marketing efforts are tied to sales goals. The company has a sophisticated sales funnel, and tracks all prospects on a detailed level.
My project is creating the SlideShare strategy and then creating presentations to post on the Apptio SlideShare channel. It is a fun challenge to come up with engaging and compelling content that explains a solution to complex, technical problems.
At my job before going back to school, I was the person everyone came to when they wanted to know what the latest social media and collaboration tools were. When I arrived at Apptio, I was greeted with a plethora of tools I had never heard of, such as Slack, Trello, and Marketo.
I am currently almost two months into the internship, and I have already learned so much. From the exposure to new tools to meeting great colleagues to understanding the sales funnel, this internship has been an excellent opportunity to see what it is really like to work at this type of firm.
This post originally appeared in the Inside the Foster MBA blog, “A Summer Marketing Internship at a High-Growth, High-Tech Firm.” Rachel Azaroff is our MBA Marketing Intern on the Apptio Content Marketing Team, for the summer. Rachel is pursuing her MBA at the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. She relocated from Washington, D.C. to attend Foster, and has been enjoying getting involved in the high tech and start-up sectors in the Seattle area.