What Facebook and Investopedia Have In Common
The “Co-op Experience” and A Web 2.0 Secret For All Commerce Students
To be honest, I never imagined I would actually “get paid to go on Facebook.” Learning about the significance of social media in the rising emergence of Web 2.0, through my past experience in various academic and extracurricular endeavours, I initiated and created two marketing plans within 4 months. Working with the product owner of social media, I compiled research, designed various experiments to analyze our target market, and eventually developed a marketing plan to increase our brand value and leverage our brand exposure through existing online communities (ex. Facebook).
This is the first summer in 3 years I have stayed in the city of Edmonton for more than a few weeks. What intrigued me to stay was the opportunity to gain a hands-on experience in the “North American” corporate environment. Taking on the role as a Communications and Marketing Assistant for Investopedia, I saw several areas to expand my potential. In fact, my job title was modified and I became a “Web Optimization Analyst” half way into my term! The Co-operative Education Program allowed me to indulge in the prospects of enhancing my “competitive advantage” – and that, it did! For those of you considering applying – do it!
In today’s fast-paced world of continuous innovative growth emerging from all parts of the globe, a BCom just might not be enough anymore; especially, when you begin to consider our versatile economy…I’d love to engage in more philosophical talk, but I think you will be more interested in hearing about my experience working at a former Forbes’ subsidiary and get a sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes at an internet company. In August, Investopedia was acquired for $42M by ValueClick, “one of the world’s largest integrated online marketing services companies” listed on the Nasdaq. The corporate culture had not changed, nor had much of the company’s structure.
Many of you may be wondering: what is Investopedia? In short – a little secret for any Commerce students looking to get ahead in some of their classes.
More specifically – and here’s the secret outlined – Investopedia is the premier academic source for free financial information, boasting a user-base of over 2.2 million. As one of the top business education websites in the world, its comprehensive platform includes: a financial dictionary of 11,000+ terms, step-by-step tutorials outlining economic and business concepts, articles on popular business topics, and a collection of short videos explaining business terms. Most popular among students, are the CFA practice exams and the two trading simulators, in which users learn to “play the (stock/forex) markets,” risk-free, with $100,000, trading stocks or currency pairs in a virtual environment.
My involvement with the company was diverse and I sat on two teams. Being a marketing student, I was enthralled by the extensive exposure to finance and the ability to influence (literally) millions of people. Some of my daily tasks included: updating numerous Excel spreadsheets (i.e. inventory management), using HTML to compile online newsletters, searching for plagiarism, and scheduling posts on both Twitter and Facebook. (Another secret’s out. Now you know who has been posting all those articles and comments!)
I not only had the opportunity to interact with financial analysts, but also managing editors, communications specialists, and software developers. One of my highlights working at Investopedia, was the opportunity to initiate my own ideas and develop marketing plans with the support of my colleagues. Another highlight, the contributions I made to the company, whether it was through writing definitions for our dictionary or pitching ideas for articles during meetings with the content team. Seeing my ideas turn into reality, knowing I was impacting people from all over the world, I gained a huge sense of personal satisfaction.
Above all, one of my favourite aspects of working at Investopedia was the vibrant corporate culture. I remember one afternoon when our managing director walked around the office to chat with each of us, passing out chocolates along the way. Friday lunches with our teams allowed us to get to know each other better, while monthly birthday lunches brought the entire company together. We even watched the World Cup in July and played foosball during our breaks!
The Co-op experience is what you make of it and if you’re up for challenge or simply want to gain a better understanding of the corporate world, I strongly encourage you to do an internship or apply for the Co-op Program.