Each summer, Mind Over Machines offers paid internships to stand-out candidates from throughout the Mid-Atlantic. This year, our investment was richly rewarded. Three innovative young professionals brought us new perspectives, diligent work ethics, and a zest for learning. Each is a much-appreciated breath of fresh air in these insulated COVID times. We’ve so enjoyed getting to know them that we want to pass the pleasure on to you.
Meet Claire Bailey. She’s poised to apply psychology theory to marketing practice.
Junior, Psychology and Marketing with a Business Analytics concentration, William & Mary
Mind Over Machines Innovation Associate
For Claire, life thus far has moved in a straight line. Growing up in Fairfax, she progressed through elementary, middle, and high school with the same group of kids. She helped chronicle that journey by taking an active role in yearbook production. Managing the finances for the operation provided her first hands-on business experience. In her early college career, Claire moved through the core curriculum with a declared psychology major until a professor helped her see how psych and business, especially marketing, are inextricably linked. She switched majors and is ready to apply what she’s learned about human thought and behavior to the business world. It might’ve felt like a straight line, but Claire has made the necessary connections to prepare for the twists and turns that now lie ahead.
Meeting Our MINDs:
You could say Claire has a long-standing affiliation with Mind Over Machines. Her father, Brian, is one of our senior team members. So, when COVID struck and the ability to both publicize and apply for internships was curtailed, all parties were open to honing homegrown talent. Claire did have the same initial confusion and questions most of our interns express about what our MINDs do, she just got her answers earlier than most: “I never really knew exactly what my dad did until last year when I sat him down and demanded he explain everything. He had just completed a major project for a national medical research nonprofit and was excited about the finished product. He told me all about information systems and business analytics and showed me how they help our clients do important work like raising funds and finding cures.”
Having just completed all her prereqs, Claire felt a little self-conscious about going into a business internship without any business courses under her belt. Our resident mentoring enthusiast and VP of Innovation & Strategy Tim Kulp provided a project-based intro to the knowledge economy. He tasked Claire with compiling our clients’ stories into a portfolio of past and present partnerships. “It was so cool to talk with our consultants and hear all about the relationships they’d built, their wide range of interactions with so many different types of organizations.” She also helped us practice what we preach by seeking out internal processes ripe for automation and conducted various research projects, including a survey of the automation and business intelligence markets.
A few days before Claire was scheduled to give an executive presentation on her market research, Tim added fellow intern Antoine to their regularly scheduled one-on-one meeting time. Claire was puzzled but didn’t think much of it until Tim sprung a surprise request on her: “Go ahead and give us your presentation.” Wait. What? You mean just read through my bullet points so far? It isn’t ready yet! “No, give us what you got. Present it!” Claire’s chest tightened, but she rose to the challenge and delivered her findings.
“When I was finished, Tim told me, ‘Practice your delivery, of course, but you’re right where I want you content-wise,’” Claire explains. “It was a nerve-racking trial by fire, but I think the impromptu dry run definitely improved my final performance.”
Claire has gained an impressive knowledge of the business tech marketplace. She recognizes both technologies and companies and can pair them. “I hear a name, and I think, ‘Oh right. They do this type of work.’ SAP is ERP, Magnolia is a CMS.” While that industry-specific awareness is helpful, Claire is more appreciative of this summer’s broader business education. “I’ve learned how to build presentations and communicate effectively. I know virtual office etiquette: what’s an email, what’s a chat, and what requires a sit-down meeting. These lessons will serve me well no matter where I end up working.”
“Claire’s work is meticulous. She doesn’t just complete projects; she thoroughly explores the subject matter and explains her findings. Curiosity is Claire’s superpower, and curiosity drives learning and creativity, the two things you need to be successful in the AI economy. So I know Claire has a bright future ahead of her.”
— Tim Kulp, VP of Innovation & Strategy
As she embarks upon her junior year, Claire feels her most substantive coursework still lies ahead, and she’s anxious to dive into it. “I want to see how much I like the things I think I’ll like.”
If all goes according to plan, Claire will be looking for an entry-level marketing position come 2022, ideally in the nonprofit sector. Perhaps she inherited her dad’s passion for serving those who serve others. “Nonprofits just seem to have the most direct human benefit,” she observes.