Nothing can defeat you; no death, no ugly world.

La fin du monde

Well, I suppose today is the last official day of this internship, so I suppose this is the perfect time to write my closing entry.

Our new Facebook campaign has been opening up slowly, but it’s hard because there is so much illiteracy when it comes to this company with computers and media, so I’m having to explain every last detail every step of the way.  I really am starting to believe that this company is a good fit for me in the long term, which is good since I did sign a piece of paper at the start of this stating that I intended on sticking around for awhile.

I’ve worked on a lot of projects that I thought were just small fish in a big pond, but really they ended up being big fish in my pond.  My HealthLine issue received rave reviews from our clinical staff and patients alike.  Physical therapists are really busy people.  If they’re not working with patients, they’re working with patients’ charts, so it can be really hard to schedule some time with them to interview them for the articles I had to write.  They’re all extremely helpful, but in this case, writing the articles was the easiest part for me!  I consider myself a rather charismatic individual, so once I was given the time, the interviews went smoothly, but man: scheduling is hard!

And so we’re off now, I guess.  My undergraduate stint is coming to a close with this entry.  It’s kind of weird to think that all of my debt accumulation (for now), my classes, and my commutes (one hour each way eeeeep!), are coming to a close with a simple blog entry from my couch with my cat curled up in my lap.  But hey, this is the way the world ends, right?  Not with a bang, but a whimper.


The Facebook “Guru”

Usually at work I just go about on the edge of things, editing newsletters and mailings, helping choose colors, and doing whatever else no one else really wants to do.  Which is perfectly fine; I’ve accepted my role as the intern.  I really don’t mind.

I always get excited whenever the one owner, Stuart, comes around.  He seems to really like me and he always wants my input on projects and new marketing ploys.  Last Monday, Stuart and John (the marketing director) asked me to sit in on a meeting with a woman who calls herself the “Facebook Guru.”

Now, I am typically skeptical of all things, especially any self-titled person.  I’ve found that these self-declared savants don’t typically know as much as they think they do; however, I decided to go in with an open mind.

Stuart came and got me from my cubicle and told me to head over to the AHI office and they would all be over shortly.  I entered the room to find a woman in her mid-to-late forties trying to log into Facebook.

“Susan?” I asked.

“Yes?” she replied as she gave me a once-over as she viewed me over her reading glasses.

“Hello, I’m Janae,” I said with a smile.

“Oh good, someone young.  I trust you use Facebook,” she remarked with a condescending tone.  “Maybe you’ll actually know what I’m talking about.”

Haha, it’s possible.” I tried not to let her phase me.  “I’ve been using Facebook for a few years now, I guess.”

“Oh, don’t worry sweetie,” she remarked with that same sickeningly sweet tone, “it’s really not that hard.  You’ll get the hang of it quickly.  I’m an expert and I’ve only been doing this for four months.”

At this point, I was pretty fed up with her unnecessary attitude.  “Actually, I’ve been an active Facebook member for six years, and have taken several classes relating to new and social media.  I’ve even chosen it as my grad school program.”  I was relieved to hear Stuart enter the room behind me as Susan rolled her eyes and turned back to the computer screen.

That encounter all the way, the whole meeting went on in a similar fashion.  Susan looked at my coworkers as minor peons in her sea of authority, all the while asking for my approval in her obscure and condescending tone.  The main points I learned from her were as follows:

  1. The best way to increase likes for your Place page is to ask your friends and family by word of mouth to like your page.
  2. The best way to keep your stories at the top of your friends’ newsfeed is to ‘Like,’ ‘Unlike,’ and ‘Re-like,’ your Places’ post.
  3. We need to create a contest among our employees, and whoever gets the most people with their own last name to like our page gets a gift card to somewhere!

That dispelled the myth for me.  This lady was not a guru.  I listened to her spiel for 45 minutes before I finally started to speak up and explain how you can recommend pages to personal accounts, generate Facebook recommendations to your friends by liking other different Places pages, how we can create different pages for each of our nine clinics and we can generate extra buzz by having clinics share each others postings.  I exploded with all of my marketing ideas for contests and my ideas for the structure of our social media campaign.  After I finished, John and Stuart exchanged some glances and excused me back to finish my work for the day.  I was pretty nervous that I had overstepped my authority as the intern, but they’ve also offered me a full time position once my internship is over, so I calmed myself down by assuring myself that my ideas would be heard eventually.

On Friday, I was reassured when Stuart put his arm around my shoulders and told me that he was extremely impressed with my knowledge of social media and the functions of Facebook and that he wanted to schedule a meeting with me here shortly to discuss my ideas further.


Where it all began…

I started working at HealthQuest Physical Therapy in August of 2010.  I hired into their Mount Clemens location, to work as their main front desk person while their normal lady was on maternity leave. It was strange, arriving at HQ.  Luckily, the location I chose to work out of had transitioned to an Excel-style scheduler, but all of the other clinics were still using paper appointment books.  Their methods were archaic and outdated.  Each of the clinics (located in Rochester, Romeo, Lake Orion, Mt. Clemens, Shelby Township, Oxford, Clawson, Macomb Township, and Clarkston), had a computer, but we were primarily communicating using fax machines.  It seemed so bizarre coming from my last employer, Lombardo Homes, who had gone paperless several years ago.  I quickly acclimated to the new procedures and was soon operating on my own at the front desk, running it like a finely tuned machine.

When she came back from maternity leave, my hours were cut from 35 a week to 10 a week, and several of the other clinics offered to supplement my income by inviting me to work part time at their clinics.  I chose to take the Rochester clinic up on their offer in January of 2011.  In June of that same year, I left the Mt. Clemens clinic due to professional differences with my full-time counterpart.  I picked up some hours working in a restaurant near Lakeside Mall to supplement my even further reduced income.

In January of 2012, I was approached by the CFO of HQPT to begin to pick up some extra hours in the billing department, processing checks and payments, and just kind of functioning as a billing department assistant.  I took her up on her offer, as all of these tasks were things I had done at Lombardo as well.  I worked at the front desk and in the billing department for a few months along with my serving job,

In reviewing my degree plan and realizing I could be done with a Writing major and an English minor after only one more course, I decided to cut my stay at OU a bit shorter than I had originally planned.  I knew I had made the right decision when I heard through the grapevine that the company I’d worked for over the last two years was looking to hire a new full time member for their marketing team.  A few days after sitting through a really casual and brief interview with John (and handing him a copy of my portfolio from WRT331), their head of marketing, I was informed I was the one.  I was later informed that I was the most educated on marketing techniques and language use, the most charismatic applicant, and I already knew every other avenue and aspect of the company, so it was an easy decision.  This made me feel really good about the writing department and the knowledge I gained in the courses I took throughout the years.

Perfectly enough, they were looking to hire someone to start out as a part time employee, and eventually work his/her way up to full time this fall, which between my front desk gig, the billing department, and my serving job, was all I really had room for anyway.  It was so nice to have things just sort of fall into place.  I’ve absolutely loved my time spent at HQ, and I’m excited to continue on this journey.