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Contributing to a greater purpose

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By Taylor Johnson

As I inch closer to college graduation, I am forced to answer an important question: “What do I want to do in terms of a post-college career?” I go to school at a liberal arts college and am double-majoring in Economics and Art, so for me, the answer to this question is not so obvious. However, I am gaining increasing awareness of my desire to contribute to something greater during my lifetime. For me, this likely means working at a company that contributes to the world in a positive way, where I can do something that makes a difference.

Although I had heard of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) before starting work at thinkPARALLAX, I was not fully aware that there is an entire growing movement of companies and organizations concerned with sustainability and CSR. During my summer at thinkPARALLAX, I have learned a lot more about this “purpose space” and the conversation around why and how so many organizations are joining the CSR movement.

Before starting my summer internship, I knew that thinkPARALLAX’s stated mission was to “build brands with purpose” and that it did marketing work to showcase companies’ sustainability initiatives, but that was about it. I was also unsure about what tasks I would actually be doing as an intern at thinkPARALLAX. When I think “intern,” I think sitting in on meetings, doing market and competitor research, data entry, and maybe even fetching coffee for fellow employees. Although I did do some of these tasks during my time at thinkPARALLAX (minus fetching coffee), I was able to participate in the company in a much more fulfilling way, contributing my time and effort to multiple projects with the goal of getting thinkPARALLAX’s name out there and extending our reach.

While I went into this internship with an open mind, I had a few specific goals I aimed to achieve. I wanted to learn how firms in the marketing industry typically function, get a feel for the type of working environment I function best in, and get a better sense of what type of work I would like to pursue after college. I hoped to learn what type of tasks I am best at and what type of projects make me feel most fulfilled. On my first day, I went into the thinkPARALLAX office with these goals in mind.

Over the course of my internship, I worked on several exciting, yet sometimes challenging projects. I researched conferences that thinkPARALLAX could potentially speak at to get our name and ideas out there. I managed the company’s social media channels, crafting posts that incorporated both thinkPARALLAX’s own thought leadership pieces and pieces highlighting the CSR accomplishments of other organizations. I formulated sales emails to potential clients, using company research and knowledge of thinkPARALLAX’s thought perspectives to convince company representatives to consider our services. I conducted a street survey to assess public opinion of a client’s business.

Through all these projects, I have come to realize the true impact of the work we are doing here at thinkPARALLAX. In helping companies showcase their “purpose” and their sustainability initiatives, thinkPARALLAX is bringing attention the issues that matter in our world today. We are participating in the purpose space in a meaningful way and enabling our clients to do the same.

I feel that I was able to contribute to the company’s work in a meaningful way, even if just for a short time. As a marketing intern, most of my projects were focused on getting thinkPARALLAX’s name and perspective out there. This was true for my conference research project, social media work, and sales emails project. In contributing to these projects, I have hopefully made one small step towards attracting more CSR-oriented clients – those who are making a positive difference in the world but may need thinkPARALLAX’s services to showcase this and, in doing so, activate their “purpose”. Although my impact on thinkPARALLAX may be a small one, I feel satisfied having worked for a company that makes a positive difference.

Looking ahead to graduation next spring, I am even more confident in my desire to work for a company that does good. Working at thinkPARALLAX has allowed me to see the true value of contributing to a purpose-driven company. Feeling good about the work that I am doing inspires me to be a better employee, work more diligently, and bring more creativity into my projects. The power of purpose is something I hope to continue to draw upon as I begin my professional life post-college. Now here’s to the future!

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