When injury ends your collegiate basketball career during just your third game, it can be tough to find optimism.
But Andrea Gamboa ’22 is good at finding the silver lining. So when she hung up her sneakers, she started hunting for internships.
“At first, I thought, why me, why did I have to get injured?” Gamboa said. “But I believe everything happens for a reason, so I tried to turn it into something good.”
“Something good” turned out to be a marketing internship with eMazzanti Technologies, an IT services consulting shop in Hoboken, NJ, just down the road from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Now a sophomore in the School of Business, Gamboa was nervous to be interviewing for an internship as a freshman, though she got help from the school’s Corporate Outreach and Professional Advancement team. Her family also was supportive, especially her brothers, Daniel Gamboa and Antonio Gamboa, whose business backgrounds (St. Joseph’s University and the College of New Jersey, respectively) helped her prepare for the interview.
Hired on the spot
It’s clear their support helped: The initial interview ended with the CEO offering Gamboa a position on the spot. She worked with the digital team at eMazzanti, where she was responsible for helping optimize SEO on the website — a crucial task for any small business, even one with offices around the globe.
“From errors in meta descriptions, to the text in blogs, the team and I had to go through more than 60,000 issues and resolve them,” she said. “And toward the end of my internship, we began planning a marketing strategy for our social media.”
Of all her summer projects, the marketing strategy assignment was her favorite. While no stranger to social media, Gamboa said she learned just how much goes into creating content that resonates.
“At a big company, you might be told that things have to be done a certain way. Here, when I had ideas that were different, they were welcomed by other people on the team.”
“You have to do your research, know what you are doing and be very organized,” she said. “That level of planning and organization were very important skills for me to learn and use in any other internship I obtain.”
It also helped that she’s a fast learner. She got the job as a marketing intern without having yet taken any marketing courses at Stevens, and worked at an IT business while learning about concepts like cybersecurity on the fly. In fact, the course she relied upon most was Principles of Management with Dr. Zvi Aronson.
“That course helped me embody company culture and lead while working with other interns,” she said. Gamboa already has confidence as a leader — from her days on the basketball court and as a peer tutor in high school — “but BT 100 taught me to use those traits in a professional way.”
For Gamboa, securing an internship so early in her collegiate career puts her in impressive company. While 90% of Stevens business undergrads complete a paid internship during their studies, fully one-third complete three internships before graduating, a testament to the career opportunities afforded by Stevens’ location and the tenacity of its students.
Her managers said Gamboa is welcome to return to eMazzanti in the future, and while she remains busy on campus and hopes to increase her involvement with the Black Student Union and Latin American Association, it’s clear she was impressed by the company and its culture.
When she was encouraged to ask questions and seek help, “I thought, ‘OK, everyone says that,’ ” Gamboa said. “But when I got there, and was given tasks I wasn’t sure of, everyone I asked for help was open to working with me.”
That prepared her to answer questions when, toward the end of the summer, she was charged with teaching a new group of interns about her work, ensuring a seamless transition for the company.
“I learned a lot there, especially about how a small business works, and the dynamics of working at a smaller company,” she said. “One thing I learned is that a lot of people fill different roles and have to help each other out. At a big company, you might be told that things have to be done a certain way. Here, when I had ideas that were different, they were welcomed by other people on the team.”