Maria Malczyn

Briefly describe your applied learning experience: 

I was an intern at SocialSkateboarding, an online distributor of skateboard supplies. As an intern, I was told to design an individualized marketing project. I chose to implement a skateboard deck design contest with the UNCW Skateboard Club, which received over 20 submissions. The club and I democratically chose the winning design by voting on an online survey. The first round of voting elected the top three designs, and the winning design was chosen from a separate round of voting. After the design was chosen, I worked with the winning artist to digitally configure the design according to the manufacturer’s requirements. After the design was sent to Eastern Skateboard Supplies, SocialSkateboarding’s supplier, I worked with the club to determine the sizes needed for all interested members. When ready, I picked up the decks and distributed them to club members. During the entire project, I helped market for SocialSkateboarding by giving away promotional materials to club members. The decks themselves have proven valuable marketing instruments since they are being used around the Wilmington community. People have noticed the deck design and ask where it came from, which leads to a marketing pitch about the UNCW Skateboard Club and my internship experience with SocialSkateboarding to make it possible.

How did you get involved in this applied learning experience and what did you hope to gain from it?: 

I got involved in this applied learning experience by opening an email from Internships.com and seeing a skateboard company located in Wilmington offering an internship experience. I contacted the company, SocialSkateboarding, who was interested in meeting me to see if we could work together. When I first stopped by the warehouse, I was intrigued and hoped to learn more about logistics and distribution. I also hoped to learn more about marketing through the directed marketing project that I was able to implement.

What did you gain from this experience? What was challenging? What did you learn?: 

I gained necessary skills, such as leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills that were needed to share my vision with the other club members. I also gained some valuable analytical and technical skills, which are my weakest abilities. It was challenging to motivate others in the club to help me market the project and deck design contest on campus. I also had difficulties configuring the winning design digitally according to the manufacturer’s specifications. I learned a great deal about marketing projects/campaigns and the work and planning that is required before implementation. I also learned how to change plans once scheduling and deadlines were realized to be unrealistic. I learned about delegating tasks to others, which has always been a challenge to me.

In what way will this experience make you a more viable candidate when you are seeking a job or applying for graduate study?: 

My experience as an intern in the skateboarding industry has given me insight into the industry, which is valuable if I plan on working in skateboarding in the future. The skateboarding industry is a hard area to break into as a potential employee, and previous experience in a distribution company is important in relaying my qualifications. The experience will also help me if applying to jobs outside of the skateboarding industry because of the fact that I created, planned, and implemented and individualized marketing campaign. This experience will also make me a more viable candidate when applying for graduate study by being able to use the experience in an applied manner. I will be able to reference my experiences with SocialSkateboarding in relation to an MBA program in business, due to my knowledge about logistics and distribution, as well as marketing.