Hello, my name is Olena Mykhaylyuk and for the last couple of months I’ve been interning in the Marketing Department of Ukrainian Selfreliance Federal Credit Union, UKRFCU for short. I, first, started off here as a teller two years ago. When I started looking around for internships, I was upset that I was going to have to leave my job, I loved the people here, the community. I was really excited when they offered me an internship, because I had always wanted to work in their marketing department. Our marketing department is small, but it’s strong. Made up of four people, myself included, we handle everything from advertisements, business development, website design, member onboarding, focus groups, member education, and so on. It has been a great couple of months working with this team, because they’ve taught me things that I wouldn’t be able to learn in class and challenged me to keep up at their pace.

One of the most important things that I believe this experience has taught me is about working together. Group projects are a bit more different in class than they are at work. The marketing team is made up of Anatoli, Director of Business Development and my manager, Yuliya, Marketing Communications Coordinator, Vlad, Digital Information and Communication Coordinator, and me, the copywriting intern.

My team is talented and smart, everyone has their own opinions, and everyone wants what’s best for our members. With so many great ideas, it’s sometimes hard to decide on just one or two to incorporate into one project. But, we have the out most respect for each other and did a great job to hear one another out and decide on what’s best for our members. Our entire credit union does a great job of focusing on our members and what’s best for them. We hit our member goal of 11,000 recently and it was quite the celebration. I was really proud of all my coworkers, because we’ve all worked so hard to achieve that. Throughout my internship, I’ve noticed how hard my manager, Anatoli, works. Our marketing department has been around for some time, but in the last seven years that he’s worked here, he’s done a great job of developing the marketing team. It’s one of the most prominent and important departments within our credit union now. Honestly, it’s inspiration to see how much Anatoli has worked to get our department where it is and how hard he’s worked at helping reach our goals at the credit union.

The credit union has been in my life since I was five years old. It’s been my financial institution for over 15 years. The last two years, I’ve worked here as a teller and most recently, I’ve been working in the marketing department.

Sitting at the teller line, I’d see the marketing department do some things around the branches and send out some emails here and there, but I never knew of all the work that goes into putting everything together. Our marketing department helps out almost every other department in our credit union, from operations to finance, and loan. I had the chance to sit in on several meetings that we’ve had, and I’ve learned so much more about geofencing, billboard placement, focus groups, and member outreaching.

I don’t think I ever realized how difficult it was to reach out to people. In class when you learn about focus groups and reaching out to people, everything seems somewhat easy. I believe working for the credit union has given me the real-world experience. I’ve been challenged here, and I’ve hit some spots where I felt were very difficult, but with the help of my team I’ve learned how much I am capable of doing.

This internship gave me the opportunity to take each advertising class that I’ve had at Temple University and incorporate it into my work. I forgot how much I loved doing focus groups and doing the research behind it. Through my internship, I had the opportunity to write copy for our new website that will be launching, create a new brand guide and brand logo, create questions for focus groups, and do lots of research. It was much more than I anticipated, but I took on every challenge the best way I could, and I enjoyed participating in this team. The only thing that I wish I did differently with my experience at UKRFCU was drink less coffee. Our department is right across from the kitchen and when that coffee pot is finished brewing, the smell of fresh coffee always tempts me. This opportunity was educational and challenging, it gave me the confidence to work in my field.