July 15, 2015
As an intern in the online marketing department at QVC, Ryan VanValin is working hard to make his mark on a multi-national corporation.
A Susquehanna rising senior majoring in business administration-marketing, VanValin reports to work each day ready to tackle the complexities of maintaining a company's online SEO (search engine optimization). "Google has an algorithm to rank websites. I work so that we show up as high in the search results as possible," he says.
It's a challenging task due to the sheer size of QVC's international business.
"QVC has thousands of products so we have to make sure that we stay on top of our website pages. There are a lot of things that can go wrong," he explains. "Day to day, I audit all of our processes and flag inconsistencies. A project that I've been working on for the last two weeks is researching how fast a website page loads and how that impacts SEO."
In addition to his regular work assignments, VanValin is taking every opportunity to network within QVC. A few times each week, he participates in a company initiative called "Walk-A-Mile" where he meets with employees in other departments to learn more about their jobs.
Although he is one of more than 80 interns at QVC this summer, VanValin still feels like a valued member of the company. "This experience is unlike almost anything that I could be getting anywhere else," he says. "My feedback is appreciated by my supervisors, and I feel like I'm actually making some impact on a billion-dollar global business."
VanValin offers this piece of advice to other students looking for an internship: "Don't undervalue your personal network. There are Susquehanna alumni whom I've met on a personal level that I didn't think at the time could affect my professional career. But down the road, they ended up being a valuable connection."