The Digital Business Group internship is designed to give high school/pre-college students the opportunity to develop the skills, experiences, and networks that are critical to launching a career in the STEM field. For the first two weeks, We were held responsible for designing, building and testing a variety of projects that support IBM’s cloud and cognitive developer outreach activities in the U.S. A total of 7 different projects were given to us which includes: IBM Code Social Outreach, IBM Code Video Marketing Project, IBM Code Blog, IBM Code Influencer Identification, IBM Code Content, IBM Code Local Language, and IBM Code Newsletter Development. We focused on Social Outreach and Video Marketing mostly for these first two weeks as well.

Spotswood’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

I am still working on the marketing plans for the upcoming newsletter with our project lead, Virginie. The way I plan on promoting my mobile application content newsletter is by email marketing. Email marketing is the highly effective digital marketing channel of sending emails to prospects and customers. Effective email marketing converts prospects into customers, and turns one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans. Despite the rise of social media and unsolicited spam (which is never a good marketing strategy by the way), email remains the most effective way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.

My ultimate goal is that once I am done with this, I will know:

  1. How to build an email list of targeted customers.
  2. How to optimize your emails for the highest open rates and click-through rates (CTR).
  3. How to automate the process of nurturing your leads and turning prospects into customers.
  4. The most important thing you need is permission to email your prospects and customers.

While buying email lists may sound like a great shortcut, I never recommend it. I also do not recommend adding emails from people’s business cards that are collected at conferences. Unless I have express permission to send them your newsletter, my emails are technically spam. And it doesn’t serve IBM anyway. People are inundated with interruptions, pitches, and advertisements everywhere they look and though you might think yours is special, there’s a high probability that to the reader, it looks the same as the rest. This is why it’s important to remember where you are and use your good manners as a result.

Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you respectfully do so. It’s the same with email marketing, so before we begin I’d simply like to remind you to be on your best behavior at all times and remember “you’re in their house.”

On the topic of content, let’s talk about the difference between a good newsletter and a bad newsletter. The first sign that you’ve received a bad newsletter is that you don’t recall ever asking to receive it. Typically, this happens when a business either fails to maintain a regular email routine or uses poor form and manually adds me to their list after receiving a business card or personal email. I find that the most compelling newsletters are those that do a great job of mixing messaging and updates. For example, while the email might contain a list of product updates and images, it’s balanced by a personal message or friendly update. As a rule of thumb, try to use your newsletter as a way to further your relationship with the reader/customer rather than to pitch them. Save the pitch for unique updates, offers, and announcements.

Jack’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

Recently, I published my first blockchain newsletter. It was a long process to get there. Starting off, I met with my editor John where he taught me the basics of what I needed to do. This included finding links to different videos, events and news about blockchain. To find the links for the videos, I used the IBM Blockchain YouTube page. Here they had many videos about blockchain along with tutorials on how to use it as well. For the events, I used the events part of the IBM Code site and found many useful and interesting links that people would enjoy. News was probably the easiest one.

A few days later, I met up with the project lead, Meagan to put the newsletter together. This is where I got to see all the behind the scenes action that it takes to put the newsletter together. We first started off by creating content blocks for each of the different sections. Afterwards we set up the look of the newsletter and updated certain sections to add the most recent text and links. We then sent a test newsletter to John to get his opinion and feedback.

He eventually gave us his feedback which were a few minor changes. We then changed it as necessary and set a time for it to be published. Eventually, it was sent out and I had published my first newsletter. This was a great experience and really showed me how much effort is put into every blog.

Aathira’s RTP Summer Intern Experience

I got to help publish my very first newsletter for IBM! This was super exciting for me! The newsletter I helped with was the IoT newsletter, and the editor for this area was Michelle. I am so honored that I got to work with Michelle and learn all that she does to make her newsletters possible! I learned how to engage the audience who is reading the content by finding appropriate videos, tutorials, articles, etc. to help make the newsletter really interesting! I sent Michelle around 10 or so links to content she could use for the IoT newsletter this month and she used some of what I provided for her! To know that my research played a role in helping this IoT newsletter become a success is an amazing feeling! After the xml was ready, I met with Meagan to create content blocks for the newsletter within WCA and I learned a lot! Soon, Meagan sent out a test run for the newsletter and Michelle and I took a look at it, editing any mistakes that we found and making sure all the links that are included work correctly. After editing, I met with Meagan one more time to schedule the newsletter for launch which was on August 2nd. I loved learning all about the WCA platform and the process behind all of these amazing newsletters that are being put out!


A couple days ago, Gretchen (an employee who had been working here for many years) retired! It was so sad to see her leave, but I am so honored that I got to meet her and learn some of her editing tips and tricks that I will definitely be using for anything that incorporates writing! We had a party for her at a Mexican restaurant near the RTP site and her friends gave her farewell speeches. We had great food and Gretchen even gave us all mood rings! Overall, it was a very bittersweet experience and I am so happy that I got to know Gretchen.

I had mentioned earlier about our RTP Intern Presentation day and how I met a mom of a student who is also in AOIT at Apex High School! Her name is Kristen, and she sent out an email to my AOIT director telling her how great she thought I did during our presentation and how I represented AOIT very well. I was so happy to learn that people enjoyed our presentation and I built an extreme level of confidence after being able to share all the cool things we have been doing at IBM so far. With all the compliments we have received, it has become even more evident that this opportunity, especially in high school, is one to never forget!

The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog

  1. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog, Welcome to IBM!
  2. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Ramping Up Our Work
  3. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: The Land of Projects
  4. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Executives, Emails and the Electronic Rug
  5. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Influencing and Building Strong Foundations
  6. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Video and Digital Outreach for Developers
  7. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Learning to be our best with resumes and collaboration
  8. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Influencing the Influencers
  9. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: RTP Presentations and Marketing Automation
  10. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Communicating with Clarity
  11. The RTP Summer Intern Experience Blog: Email Newsletters and Retirements


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