My Journey To Avenue
Entering my final year at the University of Oregon (UO) came with many moments of self-reflection. I began to sit with what I wanted for my future. Before getting to the type of agencies I hoped to work at, I took a deep dive into how I want to feel when at work. Like many people, I want to feel seen, valued and empowered. Some of the most valuable work I have gotten to be a part of was next to people with diverse backgrounds, people who can see a task from many angles. These are the same people willing to challenge a point to encourage their team to dig deeper. They are the people ready to celebrate you.
I have gotten to meet many of these people through the Emerging Leaders Program (Emerging Leaders), leading me to apply for a second year. Emerging Leaders is a program that connects underrepresented college students and recent graduates to organizations in Portland, Oregon through paid internships. Outside of helping students and graduates grow their professional network, Emerging Leaders uplifts talent through mentorship and professional development workshops. As a first-generation, immigrant-born Latina, Emerging Leaders has empowered me to take up space and to reach for opportunities I once thought were not for me. Through Emerging Leaders, I was matched with Avenue Agency, connecting me to a group of women who provided a space where I felt exactly how I want to feel at work—seen, valued and empowered.
What I Learned
The digital marketing world was new to me and that added to my excitement in joining Avenue. I find an immense amount of value in deepening my knowledge and I knew I would be supported in that throughout my internship. As the Digital Marketing Intern, I was tasked with supporting client marketing efforts based on Avenue’s core pillars: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Social and Social Media and Content. Throughout my 10-week internship I supported various clients by completing blog post recommendations, keyword research, backlink acquisition audits and curation of social media calendars. Additionally, I spearheaded copy for clients and Avenue alike. From sitting in on client calls to participating in strategic planning sessions, I gained experience and knowledge about the digital marketing industry that I did not have coming into Avenue.
Within my role as the Digital Marketing Intern at Avenue, I also learned an invaluable amount surrounding work culture. From day-to-day internal meetings to quarterly in-person planning sessions, Avenue leads with intention, integrity, inclusivity and compassion. As an intern, I experienced this every day. Whether I was offered encouragement as I navigated a new task or given trust to take lead, I felt a part of a team beyond my role. The trust and support I felt helped me connect more deeply to the work I was doing while encouraging me to produce the best work that I could. I saw the same level of support and trust be poured into Avenue’s clients, fostering meaningful relationships both ways. To me, this is what makes Avenue rare. Avenue cares for its team and clients as humans with values, hobbies and quirks first, the rest follows. That is what makes the work Avenue does so great and what makes the impact the agency has in communities so big. Avenue is a team.
Avenue Agency taught me the value of balance and rest, which is what I will be practicing after my internship. Shortly after my role as Avenue’s Digital Marketing Intern ends, I will be spending some time in Europe before venturing on to my next role. As an immigrant-born, Mexican-American young woman, I take the ability to travel as a gift. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to see the world, immerse myself in different cultures and meet new people. Just as I view this opportunity as a way to grow personally, I also see it as a way to learn how to better serve communities as a professional. At Avenue, my passion for social impact and community-building grew much stronger. I saw first-hand what ethical, people-first marketing can do. The relationships Avenue builds with their clients streams into the impactful work Avenue creates alongside them. Not only do I hope to take my passions into my next role, but I hope to build meaningful relationships like the ones I built and took part in while at Avenue.
I want to thank Emerging Leaders for their intentionality in giving traditionally underrepresented students like me enriching, professional experiences. Through Emerging Leaders, I learned invaluable skills while deepening the understanding I have about what type of impact I want to be a part of. I also want to thank Avenue for the space they granted me to grow and learn. There is not a day that went by where I was not uplifted and encouraged. I will take this with me everywhere I go. Avenue is redefining the work space while paving the way for agencies and communities alike. I am ecstatic to continue to cheer Avenue on as they make a mark in the digital marketing industry and beyond. Anna, Natalie, Reed, Jazmyne and Megan—I could not have imagined spending my summer with anyone else. ¡Gracias por todo!