Summer Intern Taylor Johnson ’18 Markets Sustainability at thinkPARALLAX (tPx) in San Diego, CA

This summer, I am working as a Marketing Intern at thinkPARALLAX (tPx).  tPx’s main mission as a sustainability-focused branding firm is to “build brands with purpose.” In other words, tPx helps businesses communicate effectively about sustainability initiatives with a variety of audiences by creating brand visuals, messaging, and strategy.  Additionally, tPx launches meaningful campaigns, manages clients’ social communities, and creates interactive experiences for clients.

As a Marketing Intern at tPx, I work primarily on tasks that involve getting tPx’s name out there and potentially attracting new clients.  In addition, I meet with my co-workers one-on-one to learn more about each of their roles and responsibilities at tPx and the structure of the company as a whole.

My biggest project at thinkPARALLAX this summer involves attracting new clients.  So far for this project, I have been researching industries that appear to be lagging in the areas of sustainability or CSR (corporate social responsibility).  It is interesting to research industries that aren’t typically seen as “sustainable” (i.e. paper, oil, etc.) because, although the public generally sees these companies at “the bad guys,” some of them are genuinely putting a lot of effort into sustainability and CSR initiatives.  For many of these firms, these sustainability initiatives need to be more fully internalized and communicated more effectively and honestly to the public in order for public perception to change.  That’s where thinkPARALLAX comes in.

My next step in this project will be to look into upcoming conferences within the industries that the tPx team could potentially speak at to promote our ideas and services. Any speaking events attended by CEOs, CMOs, or members of marketing departments of potential client companies are good opportunities for tPx to get its name out there.  By presenting its ideas directly to head decision-makers of potential client companies, tPx will hopefully attract new clients who are interested in the benefits of the full integration of a sustainable “purpose.”

Taylor and and some of her co-workers.

After determining the specific conferences that tPx could speak at to potentially attract new clients, my boss, Jonathan Hanwit, and I will work together to apply to speak at the conferences.  This could present a challenge to me because, in order to answer many of the application questions, I will have to have a very clear understanding of tPx’s main message and the various services it can provide.  However, with the help of Jonathan, I think that, through the application process, I will learn a lot more about tPx’s main mission and be able to answer the application questions confidently.

The end result of my efforts (with the help of my co-workers) will hopefully be an invitation for tPx to speak at one or more conferences in the selected industries.   My co-workers and I will prepare a presentation to present at the conference(s).  The presentation will serve to introduce potential clients to the benefits of incorporating sustainability initiatives or “purpose” into their companies.  Additionally, the presentation will inform potential clients of tPx’s sustainability-focused branding services.  Although the conferences will likely occur after my summer internship at tPx ends, I will still be participating in developing the presentations.

Hopefully, after speaking at the conferences, the tPx team will make connections with potential new clients who are genuinely interested in tPx’s main message and in need of tPx’s services.  Although I may not get to see the final results of my efforts for this project, I am glad that I am making a meaningful contribution to thinkPARALLAX.  I believe that this summer internship is going to be a great learning experience for me and I look forward to continuing my work at tPx.

Experiences like Taylor’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Victoria Wolff.

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