When you come from a theoretical background of studies and academia, an internship actually puts your knowledge to the test. I discussed this and much more with Jesper Björkman in this week's episode of The Internship Pod.
Jesper has worked as a project manager at Zooma since 2017, and inofficially has the best music taste in the office. He started off as an intern, and after a successful internship he ended up as a full-time Zoomer. In this episode, we spoke about his journey, the difference between B2B and B2C, and the fear of asking for help.
Jesper also gives valuable tips for students who may feel a bit lost in the media and communication jungle!
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Josefine: So welcome, Jesper, to The Internship Pod.
Jesper: Thank you very much, Josefine.
Josefine: How are you doing?
Jesper: I'm doing very well, thank you. A lot of things going on as usual. How are you doing?
Josefine: Yeah, I'm doing good. A lot of things going on for me as well as an intern, which is a lot of fun and I didn't expect anything else. So, yeah, I'm excited. Have you been a guest in a podcast before?
Jesper: No, I haven't. This is the first one, honoured to be part of The Internship Pod.
Josefine: And I'm honored to have you here as a guest. So this is actually the second episode.
Josefine: But I was thinking, maybe you can introduce yourself and your role at Zooma.
Jesper: Yeah. So my name is Jesper Björkman, and I work as a project manager and digital specialist here at Zooma. So my, my role, my current role is mainly managing projects. Yeah. And also while you're employed at Zooma, you do a lot of things in relation to the project as well. So apart from project management, I also do a little here and there in terms of creating content. Yeah.
Josefine: So your main responsibility or maybe your main role, title is Project Manager?
Jesper: Yeah, it is for sure.
Josefine: Do you usually work with a lot of different clients at the same time or how does it look like?
Jesper: So I work for one our clients, which is a big client, and I work solo with that client and we normally have a lot of projects going on at the same time. So I work with one client, but with multiple projects for that client. So I have different customers within the same client.
Josefine: It sounds like a, very interesting job. Like a lot of, I guess you have to be very, very flexible?
Jesper: Yeah, I say that is a very good trait to have, especially in the in the agency world. And being a consultant, I think being flexible is always a positive. Yeah. And for sure, I need to be somewhat flexible in my role today.
Josefine: But okay. So a bird, so called the Zooma website told me you have the best music taste in the office.
Jesper: Yeah. Yeah. Is that. What's that inofficially or officially? I think inofficially, right?
Josefine: Oh, maybe. Yeah.
Jesper: I think it's in inofficially. So that means that you can't call me on it.
Josefine: Right. But okay, what kind of music do you listen to?
Jesper: Oh, I listen to a lot of different types of music, but I'm, I've always listened a lot to rap and hip hop since I was a young boy, you could say. And it was my first real musical interest. But these days I listen to a lot of classic rock music. I enjoy jazz a lot. But yeah, hip hop and R&B, I would say, is my main music genre if I had to pick one.
Josefine: But like, do you feel that it can, like, change with your mood from day to day?
Jesper: Yeah, for sure. That's yeah. I mean, I listen to a lot of pop music as well, so completely depends on on the mood and time of year as well. I think. I think suits different types of music or different bands better than others.
Josefine: That's very true. Yeah, I definitely have these typical like summer summer songs that I associate with the summer, and then when I listen to them during the winter, it's just like, this is not right.
Jesper: Yeah, yeah. It definitely works like that. I think.
Josefine: So. I totally agree with you. But you started as an intern just like me.
Josefine: And you ended up as a full time Zoomer after that.
Josefine: So, of course, I'm very curious to hear about your your journey. And I believe that it can be very interesting for maybe future interns that will listen to this episode as well. So if we start from the beginning, what did you study?
Jesper: I studied media and communication studies at the University of Gothenburg. So it's a three year program. Yeah, quite theoretical, I would say wasn't as practical as I think I would have wanted in retrospect. But yeah, got me here.
Josefine: So yeah. Yeah, that's true. So it was like a very general theoretical bachelor?
Jesper: Yeah. A lot of journalists started that program and then switched to journalism school. And so I think that my, if you could call it role when I graduated with a degree in communications and sort of in English, I think you would call it. Yeah.
Josefine: How did you end up in the media communication field?
Jesper: Oh, that is a good question. I, I started studying economics long time ago, but then I also had a lot of, I had a big interest in clothes and fashion. So I quit those studies to work for a clothing store, a clothing brand. And then after a while, I got into thinking that it would be good to get a degree in something. But then I figured economics was off the table, that just didn't suit me the last time. And then I sort of picked between media and communications and graphic design and yeah, landed on media and communications. I don't think there's a bigger plan behind it. It just ended up that way. I really wanted to move to Gothenburg, which in this program was obviously here then. So that was also a part of it.
Josefine: Yeah, because I guess it was kind of the same for me. I just ended up on The Bachelor Within Media Communication and here I am.
Jesper: Yeah, right. Yeah, no, but it's an interesting field and it's very yeah, it's all around you at all times. So I think even though it's digital marketing or other types of communications, you can always sort of apply what you learn in these, in those types of studies in your real life as well. So I think, I think that's an interesting part.
Josefine: Yeah. But how did you end up as an intern at Zooma?
Jesper: So I had this family friend for many years that I worked at Zuma or works at Zuma right now as well. When it was time for I did have a small, I had one half semester of practical internship in my, in my program at uni. So. And I knew that she worked at an agency. So I, I just asked her more or less what she worked with and if she had a suggestion on what I could do. And she started digging into it and talked a bit about Zooma, her employer, and a bit about inbound marketing as well. Zooma is big on inbound marketing obviously, and that was at the time, for me it was completely new and I hadn't really come across that before. So, so that got me really interested in and then through her I managed to, to get an internship at Zooma. So, so that was the first step.
Josefine: But working at an agency. Was that something you were always interested in or it just happened randomly?
Jesper: Yeah, it's hard to remember now. It's, it's a few years ago, but I think, yeah, I was quite open to working at an agency. I had some friends who worked, worked or works at agencies and they all said that it's a great place to learn because you get so you get to work with different clients. You get a lot of different experiences compared to a few. For instance, work at a company and your tasks. Your task is your task. Usually at an agency, it's a bit more diverse. They told me so. So that was a thing that I thought positively of when I when I started my my internship, I thought it was a good place to do your internship at.
Josefine: Yeah. And is that like the picture you have today? Now, after a few years in the in the industry and an agency.
Jesper: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I'm sure it depends on the employer or the agency you work for, but in my experience, it's definitely been like that. And I think if you want to learn, you can learn a lot quickly by at least working at Zooma.
Josefine: I agree.
Josefine: So yeah. So I think it's a bit more than a month now that I've been an intern and I learned a lot.
Jesper: Yeah. Big bird's nest in your head.
Josefine: Yeah, yeah, definitely. The first week was complete information over there, but now it feels like sometimes I feel that I learn more now from this experience than like during my almost three years at university.
Jesper: So yeah, but practical, practical experience is super important I think.
Josefine: Yeah, I was not familiar with B2B before I started as an intern, and I'm probably not the only student that has been googling the difference between B2B and B2C. So if you would describe B2B to someone completely unfamiliar with the term, how would you describe it?
Jesper: Yeah, as you said, I mean, B2C, I think everyone can relate to B2C business to customer, because everyone is a customer, everyone buys a sweater or go grocery shopping and stuff like that. That is typical B2C behavior or transactions and B2B to me is the relationship between different businesses and the transactions of services and products between businesses. So instead of a company selling something to you, it's more of a relationship between companies and also like the transactions in between them. In my head, I sort of see it as the step before B2C sort of even though there are a lot of businesses who only work with selling their products or services to other businesses. But, but somehow it's the step before something reaches the end consumer. That's sort of how I view it.
Josefine: So from your experience then. What would you say is the biggest difference if you would like explain the very short between business to business and business to customer?
Jesper: A lot more, I would say a lot more relationship building between between the two parties. And also I would say the customer journey obviously is a lot longer I would say, compared to buying an apple, if you yeah, the budget is also something that is usually a lot bigger. So it's bigger purchases or bigger investments and a longer period of time for consideration. And also throughout that period, a lot more relationship building with the potential customer or the company you want to purchase from or. Yeah.
Josefine: Yeah. But I guess that's yeah, I guess that's kind of how I see it now too after getting a bit more familiar with B2B.
Jesper: Yeah, that makes me feel good because then maybe I got it right.
Josefine: Yeah. For sure you did. As we both know, media and communication can mean a lot of different things and also means like a wide range of job opportunities. And I guess that can both be positive and a bit challenging sometimes because for example, I have fellow classmates who feel they haven't really found their niche within the media and communication field yet. And even if I'm close to graduation soon, I can still feel a bit lost in the communication jungle sometimes. So do you have any tips for current students and maybe even future interns that feel a bit lost in the media and communication jungle right now?
Jesper: Like a tip that I tried to, or a mantra almost that I try to use myself a lot or I do at this point as well. But definitely when I new at a company or at Zooma, I would just recommend to apply for as many jobs as you can and then go with your gut. Usually that's the best sign of direction you should take. I think that's always the best or that's always my recommendation. But then like when you get to a company or get to a position in, let's say an agency always say, yes. I think that's the best when you're new, accept new challenges, even though it's a little scary and maybe are not sure on what to do and how to solve a problem and then ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid. Don't expect to know everything like from the beginning. Consider yourself like a blank sheet of paper and then just learn from there. And then I think. In my own experience at least, and I think this goes for many that you will sort of find what you like more and what you're maybe better at than other things. And, you know, through time you will find something that suits you and that you're are comfortable with. If you have an employer who also who also listens to you and takes your wishes into consideration, that will help a lot.
Jesper: Yeah, I can remember feeling stressed that I didn't know everything. But I think, as you just mentioned here before, that in a month you've learned more than your three years at school. In a way that's probably not true, but in a way it is true because as soon as you start doing stuff practically, you build confidence in what you do. And yeah, so, so try different things, challenge yourself and don't expect to know everything. Ask questions from people who've done things before you.
Josefine: For me personally at least, that can be a difficult thing sometimes. This thing with asking questions. Yeah, because I think I'm not the only one who some for some reason associate with like associate asking questions with not knowing. We want to present ourselves like we have a lot of knowledge, right? And that we know what we're talking about. And so and I don't really know where that comes from, but like asking questions for me sometimes can feel that I like that I present myself like the opposite, like that. I don't know anything that I don't know what I'm doing and I don't have any knowledge, but it's really like the opposite because I want to learn.
Jesper: Yeah. And I think there's, there's, that courage comes in I think to, to, to dare feel a bit like you're, you don't really know or present yourself as inadequate. I'm guessing the feeling is. But I think that everyone can relate to being new at a position. And as soon as you accept that and that most of the people just want to help you get better, I think, you know, I think you'll get into it. And I think that's my experience at least to dare to ask questions and dare to not know really. Because otherwise it's easy to get stuck or it's easy to not really learn in the same way as you could have done. But yeah, I can also relate to that feeling. I think that's probably relatable to a lot of people, especially young people who are new and new in the workplace.
Josefine: Thank you so much, Jesper, for joining me in this week's episode of The Internship Pod.
Jesper: Thank you. It was really fun.
Josefine: I will see you around.
Jesper: Yeah, we'll do, digitally.
Josefine: Yes. Bye, Jesper.
Jesper: Bye bye.