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Alexandra Duffey

My Summer Internship in New York with Capacity Interactive

by Ally Duffey Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I was very excited to be back in New York this summer for so many reasons: to see friends who have become family, to take advantage of all the wonderful free events that happen in this city in the warmer months, and to be working at a technology-based start-up full of curious, data-minded people.

Wait what? An arts admin student working at a technology start-up? Let me explain.

Capacity Interactive is a digital marketing consulting firm, specializing in arts and culture. Many of its team came from marketing roles at non-profit arts organizations. Others have come from more typical web and digital businesses. This means that at their core, CI is heavily steeped in the cultural and financial nuances of mission-based nonprofit organizations. They offer digital marketing “by arts marketers for arts marketers.” In addition, they are dedicated to providing resources for the field in general though regular classes, webinars, podcasts, blog posts, and an annual conference.

Unlike many marketing agencies, you won’t find an account representative among Capacity’s staff. Each member of their client teams works daily in both client-facing functions as well as in the strategic planning and implementation of campaigns, and in the analytical, data weeds. I’ve found myself using skills from across my class experiences in Wisconsin - from Marketing to Teams to D2D.

The seven other interns and I began our summer with “Capacity Interactive University” - a  dedicated, two-week training program. In sessions taught by CI staff, we were introduced to CI’s philosophy of permission marketing, culture, content best practices, and the basics of their work in each of their primary platforms (Facebook, Google Display, YouTube, and Search). Since then we’ve worked with the consulting teams building campaigns and reporting documents, as well as setting up infrastructure for conversion tracking that will the basis of future campaigns.

It has been particularly interesting to work with the teams on several new clients, seeing how these partnerships begin both from both a technical and interpersonal perspective.

From the very beginning, with Capacity Interactive University, it was clear just how devoted the CI team is to constant learning and iteration. It’s out of necessity: that is the nature of the digital world. With all these internally-created resources and enthusiastic learners/teachers, it has been an extraordinary learning experience. I’ve also been able to see the application of both hard and soft skills from my last year in business school and begun to put some of these tools to the test.

In returning to graduate school, I wanted to take the time to learn and explore, in order to be better at my job. Capacity’s motto is “market smarter.” It has been a fantastic place to spend the summer, continue my learning, and put some of my business school tools to the test!