After hearing about this internship opening via Twitter, I completed the entire program completely remote via Zoom. Imagine saying that sentence 20 years ago. In the most divided of times in our country, it truly was incredible to find and be nurtured in an environment that promoted peace, love, and community. Perhaps if everyone added Memes to the end of their weekly meetings, we could one day achieve world peace.  

Kristelle Siarza, CEO, is a pioneer in the digital marketing industry. Not only has she established a structure within her organization that sets up each and every employee to thrive, but she also backs it up with support around every corner. If you are looking for a boss who hates pets, her employees, and laughing, you best turn around and look somewhere else. Kristelle exudes joy in everything that she does and I’m better for knowing her.

Her right-hand woman, Donyelle, is who I want to be when I grow up. Not only does she lead with confidence and pride, but she also makes sure to throw a quick 1-2 punch of sarcasm and wit the second you let your guard down. It’s a difficult role being the one making sure projects stay on task and according to schedule, but Donyelle does it with all the grace in the world, making sure you feel heard and cared for every step of the way.  

My favorite aspect of interning at Siarza was the personalized experience that I got working within the digital marketing industry. Every step of the way was tailored towards what I wanted to learn, around my schedule, and I didn’t have to get coffee once (Although that last part might have been due to working completely from home).  This internship should be the model for internships everywhere. It provided me experience working with several different types of clients and challenged me to think outside the box on strategic marketing plans. It’s hard to find marketing internships out there, especially when you’re like me and not crazy creative and talented, but who knew that right down the street from my apartment was the headquarters to a cutting edge agency ready to take on the world. 

After hearing countless horror stories of poor workplace environments, Siarza is truly a shining star. The team has created a system where anyone can be plugged in and feel comfortable almost immediately. There is a clear operational flow to ensure accountability and promote high-level communication and collaboration. As someone looking to own his own business in the future, I will definitely note my level of comfort in my first week as an intern and do everything that I can to apply that to my future organization. The established communication system made it easy for me to build my network and ask countless questions, the tasking software helped me to always know my responsibilities and deadlines, and the time management feature made sure that I was always getting credit for the work produced. These features showed me that I was cared about, and I was placed in a position to thrive, and for an internship to provide that was an invaluable experience that I will take away and always be grateful for.   

You also would be hard-pressed to discuss Siarza without mentioning their wonderful team that they have in place. A characteristic that every single employee exhibited was kindness. The culture of this organization revolves around helping one another and setting each other up for future successes. Not only did I get to work with talented people who pushed me to be better, they also made me smile in the process of doing it. I will continue to hold these relationships that I’ve developed close to my heart, and I know I can lean on anyone to advocate for me in the future, and vice versa.

To Julia, Marisa, Aurora, Kailey, River, Simon (OG), Justin, Aidon, Amy, Chastity, Liz, Devin, Donyelle, Kristelle:

Thank you all for playing a role in my last semester at the University of New Mexico. You each are so uniquely talented and a cog in the powerful steam-engine that Siarza SD is. You have all injected kindness, joy, and laughter into my everyday life. You have left me better than you found me. For that I say thank you.

I would recommend this internship to any college student out there, regardless of what you plan to do in your future. Discover the power of marketing, witness a diverse and humble team of leadership, while trying not to laugh at the group chat while you’re in the middle of your Zoom classes. This internship was not only a wonderful opportunity to gain valuable experience, but I was able get an up-close perspective on how a local business is operated and thriving. I promise that you won’t regret taking on this opportunity. 

Signing off, Cheesebags. 

Sincerely yours, 

Intern Simon