My Summer Internship with MapR Technologies

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5 min read

When I first started my internship, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew the basics—MapR was a big data company, I was a technical marketing intern, and I would be doing quite a bit of competitive analysis. I originally found the position while searching for marketing internships in the Bay Area, and this one in particular popped out at me when I read the job description, since it intertwined my interest in marketing with my hope of getting some experience in the tech industry. I also noticed an emphasis on competitive analysis, which I have had experience doing in a prior internship, making me a good match for the position. I was expecting to provide a lot of help on smaller projects that were pretty basic and similar to each other.

However, I quickly found that wasn’t the case. Even from my first project (creating a slide deck of total cost of ownership comparisons between our product and our competitors’) it quickly became clear that the work I was doing was actually being utilized. The vast majority of my work over the summer included competitive research on another company’s technology and creating deliverables from that research that would later be used as part of a new go-to-market campaign for our comparable technology. This was part of a larger, long-term strategy of the company to broaden the range of products being sold, rather than limiting itself to the enterprise software package known as “Hadoop.”

Furthermore, I found that the work I was doing day-to-day over the summer ended up varying quite a bit. While the large portion of my projects centered on competitive analysis, I was able to work on other assignments as well, such as creating customer case studies and writing blogs (including this one on technology integration) that allowed me to broaden my experiences. I also attended a variety of meetings (including product launch discussions, cross-team syncs, brainstorming sessions, and a big-name analyst briefing) allowing me to learn what was happening on a higher level. Outside of the office, I had the opportunity to attend the Hadoop Summit in June and was able to see how the technologies I read and wrote about daily were actually being implemented in real life.

Another surprise was how many interns were here for the summer. There were more than I was expecting—some others in marketing and even more in other departments—which allowed us to have intern events and activities. We had a few events with interns from similar companies where we met them over lunch and heard from their founders, as well as some within MapR where we had food and games in the afternoon. We also went to a baseball game during the day, which was my personal favorite and allowed us to get a lot closer.

Given that after graduation I’d like to work in marketing in the Bay Area, this provided a lot of valuable product marketing experience. I was able to apply the skills and theory that I’ve learned in my courses in a real world setting and get a better grasp on what professional life entails. It’s helped me gain more experience on the more analytical and technical side of marketing as well, which is helpful since I hadn’t had much experience in that area and it’s where the industry is moving towards. The projects that I’ve worked on have also taught me how to better frame situations and create competitive advantages in products. I also realized how technical all departments in a corporation today are. A lot of the marketing work I did came about due to a need the sales team had for a particular set of information and it all involved pretty technical material and language. Prior to this experience, I didn’t realize that in the tech industry, the majority of jobs, even though they may seem very non-technical, actually require an in-depth knowledge of the technology you are working with.

While I’m excited to return to school in a few weeks for my senior year, I know I’ll miss the experiences and connections I’ve made at MapR and wish them a bright future and continued successes!

This blog post was published September 23, 2016.

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