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Meet Holly Bartlett, Intern at Prolifiq Software
Meet Holly Bartlett, Intern at Prolifiq Software

 

We recently caught up with Holly Bartlett, who interned at Prolifiq Software, an emerging technology company headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. Next month, she will be earning her degree in Business Administration with a double emphasis in Leadership & Management and Human Resource Management. For this spotlight profile, Holly shared with us the valuable growth and learning opportunities this experience has given her.

Q: Tell us about Prolifiq Software?

A: Prolifiq provides on-demand applications that allow companies to manage their content, communications and compliance in regulated sales and marketing work flows. Prolifiq serves customers in the visual media, high technology, and life sciences industries. The Prolifiq platform combines a dynamic content library for marketing and sales materials with simple, easy-to-use delivery applications and powerful analytical tools. The Prolifiq platform incorporates pre-defined business rules to ensure that distributed content is compliant with both internal brand standards and externally imposed rules and regulations.

Q: How did you find the internship?

A: On the Portland State CareerConnect website. I made the habit of going on there and doing multiple searches; ones that were relevant to my major, ones that were paid, and internships that were newly posted. I have looked at other websites, but I found more legitimacy on the Portland State CareerConnect website.

Q: How far in advance did you begin your search for internships?

A: I would occasionally look on a monthly basis, but since I had a job I never applied for anything. When I lost my job I started applying for everything that was relevant to my degree. It took about a month once I started applying to get hired. During that time, I was continually looking at new postings and applying to ones that I was qualified for.

Q: What have you been doing or have enjoyed doing at your internship? 

A: My job duties include: accounts payable, general office administration, and assisting our HR manager. I enter invoices, pay bills, reconcile credit cards, and manage employee expense reports. I help schedule interviews for potential candidates and work on projects with our HR manager. Currently, she is restructuring all of our job descriptions and using new outlets to attract talent. I am helping her review our job descriptions and helping research what other technology companies are doing to attract talent. Examples in the past include: helping revise our employee guidelines (handbook), present our company culture formally to the entire company, and assist in getting healthcare quotes from brokers and then open enrollment for our employees.

I have enjoyed being able to see HR form in a small company. It is also very beneficial to be able on completely different projects. I feel that I have a voice within the company and that I have power/opportunity to contribute to the success and continuing growth.

Q: How has your work in your major helped prepare you for your internship?

A: Currently I am having conversations with my manager about my salary when I graduate. I recently also did our employee census for our 401K, so I am now familiar with the compensation system at Prolifiq. My HR classes have prepared me to have conversations about what salary range I am looking for and why I can ask for that range. Based on projects that I have done in the SBA, I am capable of researching salary information and justifying it. This is very helpful in negotiating and understanding the offer Prolifiq will give me when I graduate. My major has prepared me to have this conversation but also understand the significance of numbers and everything that is built into a compensation/benefits package. When looking at the company’s salary structure, I have been having conversations with our HR manager about budgets, salaries for type of positions and why, and how to formalize a salary structure moving forward as the company grows. Although my major is HR, I have been able to use the skills I learned in my accounting courses I took to enter the SBA. Since I was able to obtain an internship that is relevant to my major, I am almost able to apply something I have learned from every course either in my day-to-day or in projects at Prolifiq.

Q: What, if anything, has surprised you about this experience?

A: I am surprised by how much I want to venture outside of my degree area. My degree is in HR, but I have found that I greatly enjoy Accounting. I am beginning to think about where a career in Accounting can take me or how obtaining more experience in Accounting can help if I want to start my own business (I am taking entrepreneurship in the Spring!). I honestly was surprised by how much my degree applied to my work. I think many people think that a degree is just something you need to get the job in our current market. Although that may be true, I am able to apply many of the things that I am learning or have learned.

Q: What advice would you give other students considering an internship?

A: Do it! If you can find an internship that is relevant to your degree, the experience is priceless. In my case, I am already having conversations with management to get hired on full-time with a salary when I graduate. If you invest in the company you are interning for they are likely to invest in you as well.

Q: What have you learned while at this internship?

A: I learned that I cannot be micromanaged. I work well with guidelines about what I am supposed to do, a timeline of when it needs to be finished and then periodic checks along the way. I am not productive if someone is watching over my shoulder while I work because I feel that I cannot prioritize tasks the way I like. I have learned to become more comfortable with speaking to groups of people. In regards to work demands, I have found that you must utilize your team—you are all there to support each other and the success of the company. To be most productive, I find that I need to make lists on post-its so they are short and sweet and I can mark things off as complete along the way. In the world of technology, any list or action item that is electronic gets lost in my files or emails. I have seen first-hand that many people have different ways to manage their demand; my HR manager likes to make different lists in Microsoft OneNote so she can divide the lists by categories.

Q: In what ways do you feel this experience will benefit you in the future?

A: In the short-term, I will have a job lined up when I graduate in June and can start my career right away. In the long-term, I get the experience of working with a smaller/start-up company as it enters its growth stage. I have the opportunity to gain experience in many different departments (HR, accounting/finance, account management, marketing). I am growing my network of business people and vendors. 

Q: What in particular were you looking for in an internship?

A: Primarily I was looking for an internship that was paid. I wanted an internship that was in the HR field, but when I started looking I was open to almost anything in an office setting. Before my internship with Prolifiq, the only work experience I had was in the food/retail industry. My main goal was to be exposed to the office environment while hopefully getting experience in HR. Luckily, I found an opportunity where I was able to gain general office management skills, accounting skills, and work in HR with an opportunity to work on projects in other areas such as marketing.

 

Click here to learn about how you can earn credit for your internship.

This series is made possible via reThink PSU grant support.