Internships can be hit or miss. Personally, I've had some where I took on a role as a public relations/marketing intern, only to find myself with a personal assistant's workload. But here at Braze, I can truly say that this internship is the most robust and rewarding one I've ever done. That's partly because everyone at Braze is really appreciative of each other's work—even work done by interns—and partly because my role here is to support one of the company's core departments, Customer Success.
At Braze, the Customer Success team works to bridge the gap between the actual and the possible for our clients—and that's something that requires skills that are both strategic and highly technical. Customer Success Managers (CSMs) come from all different kinds of backgrounds—from marketing to retail to nonprofits and tech—and working with these wonderful, extremely talented people has exposed me to all different kinds of people and pushed me to use my own unique skill set to effectively support the team.
Although I was really looking forward to spending my summer at Braze HQ in New York (which is one of the most beautiful offices I've ever been to), I've been pleasantly surprised at how positive the experience of working remotely has been. My worries around no being able to communicate easily with my manager and colleagues quickly went out the window once it became clear how easy it was to look at people's Google calendars, throw some time on, and then connect with the click of a button. Plus, who doesn't love a two-minute commute to the office?
So here’s a snapshot of a week in the life as a Braze Customer Success intern, highlighting important meetings, training sessions, and how I spread my workload out across five days:
8:45 AM // Wake Up, Drink Coffee
Like I said before, one of the many joys of interning remotely is the short commute, which translates into extra sleep time. If not for quarantine, I would be making a 90-minute commute to the Braze office in Midtown Manhattan everyday from Westchester, which is quite a bit more involved than the 10 steps I take to get from my bedroom to my laptop.
9:00 AM // Prepare for the Day
Each morning, I spend 30 minutes opening my inbox and reading through emails as well as updating my to-do list. Usually, I’m pretty worn out at the end of the day, so I catch myself up the next morning on things I may have missed over the weekend or checking off things I completed the day before. (I also usually send a quick good morning to my manager, Taylor, over Slack.)
9:30 AM // Weekly Standups
The East Customer Success (CS) Team holds weekly meetings (Standups) to update team members on new internal agendas set by the executive team and catch up on each CSMs weekend. There are two Standups, one with the Commercial team and with the Enterprise/Strategic team. Every week, I alternate which team I join, often enjoying what each CSM shares about their weekend.
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM // Work on Projects
Every day, I have a block of time to work on my list of tasks for the week. During the first few weeks, I spent this time completing my onboarding lessons, watching video tutorials, or completing exercises. In the later part of my internship, I’ve been spending this time starting or finishing up ongoing projects assigned to me. If I have any questions, I also take some time to connect with my manager or other CSMs via Google Hangouts.
1:00 PM // Mentor Meeting
Every week, I check in with my awesome mentor, Karin, who was assigned to me at the start of the internship. During this quick 30-minute meeting, I update her on the previous week, asking any questions I may have regarding ongoing projects or any questions pertaining to Braze itself. She shares tips and tricks with me on how I can better accomplish my tasks, and sometimes updates me on future projects she may have for me. During this internship, Karin has become someone that I always turn to if I have any questions, making it comfortable for me to participate in the workspace, knowing that she’ll always have my back.
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM // Training Sessions and Networking
There are some in-person training sessions led by fellow CSMs to give new members of the team a quick overview of various Braze related topics. These sessions are spread out over weeks and are extremely helpful for me, as I get to see firsthand how Braze tools function. I also spend some time connecting with other Braze employees and setting up future networking meetings. At the end of each networking meeting, I ask the employee who I should talk to next and I schedule the next meeting from there.
5:00 PM // Signing Off
I sign off at 5 every day, after taking 30 minutes to make sure that I finished what I needed to get done. I close my laptop and my notebook, and go downstairs to make myself a cup of tea to celebrate a fulfilling day.
9:30 AM // Weekly Wellness Brand CS Sync
Every Tuesday, the CSMs working the client account for a leading wellness brand have a meeting to prep for the next day’s meeting with the actual team at the brand, as well as to give updates on ongoing tasks for the account. This brand, a Strategy account, is one of the three accounts I am shadowing for the summer. In this internal meeting, I just listen and take notes for myself to refer to later.
11:00 AM // Weekly Sync with Glossier
Although Glossier is not one of the three accounts I’m shadowing, I reached out to CSM Nicole Codd to ask if I could join meetings with Glossier. Joining this weekly meeting has been one of the most interesting experiences in this internship, as I frequently use Glossier products and was curious to see how Braze works together with the popular beauty company.
12:00 PM // Connect with Daniel (the other CS intern!)
I sometimes partner with another intern, who works out of the San Francisco office. He’s three hours behind New York, so I usually connect with him on Slack in the afternoon to catch up and discuss anything we need to do together for our projects.
9:30 AM // Weekly Sync with Wellness Brand
Every week, I shadow a client meeting with the wellness brand we work with. In this meeting, each team updates each other on tasks, future projects, and any questions or concerns the brand’s team may want to share with Braze. I take notes during this meeting, making sure to take down action items and next steps, then send them to my manager, who is also the CSM for this account, immediately following the meeting for her to review.
11:30 AM // Practice for Dashboard Demo Certification
The Dashboard Demo certification is a challenge I decided to take on in this internship. The certification consists of me giving a 45 minute presentation or tutorial on how to navigate the dashboard within the Braze Platform. Prior to my certification, I spend some time each week practicing my presentation with either my manager or mentor, who have both been so helpful in giving feedback.
3:00 PM // Weekly Meeting with Taylor
I meet with my manager Taylor every week to update her on my tasks, projects, current workload and really anything that is worth talking about. I look forward to this meeting every week because she’s such an uplifting person to talk to. Always helpful, attentive and encouraging, Taylor has contributed greatly to this internship experience. Her never-wavering positive attitude has inspired me to face every task with an open mind and helped me produce my best results.
5:00 PM // Happy Hour
I attended a Happy Hour organized by CSMs, which took place one Wednesday after work. We all had to download a picture for a virtual background as well as dress up for the selected theme (a tiki bar). This really allowed me to open up about myself as well as listen to some interesting stories from other CSMs—for one thing, a surprisingly large number of people have been hit by a car before (don’t ask how it came up, I had already finished half of my glass). This was a memorable experience for me because it was the first time I got to connect with CSMs “outside” of the office.
12:00 PM // Intern Speaker Series
Braze provides a multi-week speaker series for current Braze interns. The speaker series are led by Braze employees from various departments whoshare what his or her role is at Braze, gives a background of their career, shares advice for interns after their internships, and entertains a short Q&A session at the end. Made especially for interns, this Braze feature has been especially helpful, as it opened my eyes to many different experiences not specific to roles at Braze, as well as future post-internship opportunities.
2:30 PM // Sync with goPuff
goPuff, a Digital First account, is the second client account I shadow. These meetings recur monthly and are led by Karin, the account’s CSM. During these meetings, Karin presents solutions to inquiries from the previous meeting while goPuff updates us on their agenda. Since these meetings happen less frequently than the weekly ones with other brands, they usually run longer and contain a lot of information that needs to be recorded for a follow-up email. I take notes during the meeting and list action items for Karin to include in her follow-up.
9:30 AM // Commercial Hangout
Every Friday, the Commercial team holds a hangout session, where members have to answer a fun prompt such as a favorite travel story or best item bought during quarantine. These meetings are a fun way for me to get to know Commercial CSMs on a more personal level, as well as a chance to show a fun side of myself. (The best thing I bought during quarantine was an airfryer, which has come in handy when making daily lunches.)
11:30 AM // Weekly Sync with Entertainment Brand
The third account I shadow is a prominent entertainment brand overseen by the talented CSM Erin. This brand is the biggest client I’m shadowing in this internship, which led me to be a little intimidated at first, but Erin has been so helpful in guiding me that the experience has been really positive. In addition to sitting in on the weekly meetings, I help Erin with tactical projects such as presenting a small client report. Shadowing this account has allowed me to see how a major company utilizes Braze and how Erin’s capable handling of the account helps them improve their marketing outcomes.
12:30 PM // Intern Project Sync
Every Friday, Daniel and I hop on a call with our managers and mentor to discuss current projects and receive new assignments. This serves as a weekly check-in for all of us. Usually, Daniel and I will present what we have done over the week and updates to our project tracker, and ask any questions we may have. This is a great way to end the week, since it lets me cover what I’ve accomplished as well as keep an eye out for the next week.
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM // End of Week
While I always counted the seconds until I could leave work at my other internships, I often sit at my desk, immersed in my work, until Taylor reminds me that 5:00 pm is coming and to have a good weekend. Sometimes, she even encourages me to take off early for the weekend! During this time, I wrap up any loose ends I have from the week, then check my inbox one more time before I close my laptop. One thing I love about Braze is that they always keep an eye out for work-life harmony.
From this week-in-the-life, I hope you can see that Braze does not take any of their employees for granted, even interns. At Braze, this appreciation for each individual and the work they do comes from both sides—that is, from the company and its employees. This internship has really allowed me to grow in both my career and my skill sets, something that every internship should strive to achieve. This week-in-the-life may seem a bit busy, but I feel as if time has flown since my first day and hope time will slow down a bit before this wonderful experience ends.