Sezim, could you tell our readers a little bit more about your background? My name is Sezim, but at Clay I am known as Sezimtje 🙂 I was born and raised in Central Asia. Currently, I am residing in the beautiful city of Amsterdam as a Marketing Intern at Clay. The Holland Scholarship of the Dutch Ministry of Education has brought me all the way from Kazakhstan to the Netherlands where I was lucky enough to discover my second home. I am a recent graduate with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and with a minor specialization in cat whispering 😉 (I love cats) I can’t say I have anything particular to inform our readers about besides this: I am a typical scholarship kid who enjoys having diverse academic and professional experience regardless of country borders, language barriers and cultural differences, which I found at Clay!
How did you find out about this internship at Clay? After my online search for internships, I stumbled upon an interesting job posting at the recruitment platform 'KnappeKoppen'. The internship in Marketing offered by Clay looked promising for two reasons: 1) the creative nature of the tasks that were offered and 2) the opportunity to work in a high-tech scale up. The job post itself was very engaging and caught my attention right away.
What were the pro's and the cons of being an intern at Clay? I am always motivated by the high level of expertise and knowledge of each employee or 'Brick' (that is how the employees at Clay call themselves). When you are working around high-performing commercial talent, software architects and developers, there is no way for you to get behind or deliver at a lower performance. I see how inspired and driven my colleagues are and how new product versions are being tested in front of my eyes and I see how large commercial projects are initiated right here at the office. Deep knowledge and a diverse set of skills are what makes Clay an exciting place to be. I also enjoyed the hectic environment of the office due to the quick expansion of Clay’s operations. And last, but not least, the neighbourhood cat Bram always brightened my Monday mornings!
With regards to the cons: I would suggest comprehensive training for new employees on how to use a nerf gun efficiently 🙂 We had large-scale wars with non-stop shooting and bullets all over the office space. And for unknown reasons, I was a frequent target! 😉
How do you look back on the culture within Clay? Besides the high level of expertise mentioned above, I would say that the Bricks make the company’s culture. It is a tightly-knit community of people who come from all over the world, possessing solid knowledge and skills plus quirky habits. Your workflow might be interrupted by Niels's “Wohoo” which means that our infrastructure is stable or sounds of rock-n-roll coming from the speakers. Our lunch breaks are never boring and I have become proficient with developers jokes and the language of sarcasm, which is always a good skill to have!
Can you tell us more about your day-to-day tasks at Clay? Since I have been involved in both Marketing and Sales tasks, I've had a variety of responsibilities. I enjoyed writing articles for both our websites (my-clay.com and saltoks.com) about Industry 4.0, the gig-economy and the Future of Work amongst other subjects, which allowed me to attract the interest of many blogging communities initiating partnerships. I was responsible for sales activities such as qualification and delegation of sales prospects which gave me the opportunity to understand the structure and relationship between SALTO Business Units worldwide. My work has had an effect on the way how potential customers’ requests were handled and how fast and efficient sales teams responded to the requests.
You are at the forefront of your career. What will be your next move? The next step for me is to get my diploma and start my career path in the Graduate Management Traineeship Program, preferably in Sales. My internship at Clay showed me the specifications of relationship-building with potential customers and how important a proactive approach is. When I look back at myself 7 months ago, my communication and technical skills have definitely improved a lot.
Is there any advice you could give to the one who will fill your shoes at Clay after your internship ends? The only advice I would give to a new intern is to soak up all knowledge around. Exciting events take place at Clay almost on a daily basis. Whether it is an obtained big client coming in or a new feature added to the applications. And of course, it is important to have the courage to ask questions that interest you.
To all the next interns: Hop on the train of this exciting internship and don't forget to enjoy every moment of it!
Sezim, we are going to miss you loads. Don't be a stranger. There will always be a bottle of prosecco in our office fridge for you!