Interning With Guideposts

 By Paul Van Peursem, Career Services Ambassador
Elise Breda ’13 is an Economics Major who interned in the Consumer Marketing Dept. at Guideposts Magazine in New York City this past summer.  Elise took time out to talk with Paul Van Peursem ’13, Career Services Ambassador, about her experience.

Where did you intern this summer?
My summer internship was at Guideposts, a non-profit organization that publishes magazines such as Guideposts and an assortment of Christian books and devotionals. Guideposts was founded by Norman Vincent Peale in 1945 to encourage and uplift soldiers returning from the war. The organization’s purpose is reflected in its motto: “America’s Source of Inspiration.”

What sort of work were you doing at Guideposts?
As a Consumer Insights intern, I worked in Consumer Marketing with the marketing and editorial teams whose goal was to improve the company’s understanding of its target market and consumers. This group focuses on gaining a clear picture of the consumer’s decision-making process in order to deliver and position goods more efficiently and more competitively.

Can you describe the particular work you did at Guideposts?
My main project was designing a survey to collect consumer feedback on Guideposts’ newest devotional book. This involved creating a direct-to-consumer digital survey, and using social media platforms to select consumers to receive and review the marketing materials and devotional.

I compiled and analyzed all of the data and feedback from the surveys, looking for consumer trends in product preferences, expectations and responses. My findings were presented to the marketing and editorial teams in a product report, along with my recommendations for future development and positioning of the devotional.

Can you tell me about where you lived and worked in New York City?
This summer I lived in The Village in NYU student housing. The location could not have been more ideal — minutes from shopping in SoHo, walking the Highline in Chelsea, or kayaking along the Hudson River. I worked four days a week in the 34th Street Guideposts office (right beside the Empire State building) and commuted one day a week to the Danbury, CT office. The view from the 21st floor was spectacular. New York City certainly has a piece of my heart.

How has this experience impacted your job searching in the future?
I realized my passion for Behavioral Economics and fell in love with the blend of social science and mathematic foundation that was used in data analytics and consumer research. Moving forward, a big-city atmosphere is my first choice for living in — with any luck New York City will be my next home. After my internship experience, I feel confident and enthusiastic about my plans for the future; all thanks to Guideposts!

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