Elevating Diversity & Guiding Employment
Leading EDGE Alum & Recent Grad
We checked in with University of Maryland graduate and Leading EDGE alum, Timothy Azucena, on his career journey from intern to full-time hire at Moore.
TNPA: Hi Timothy! Can you first tell us about yourself and what sparked your interest in the nonprofit sector?
Timothy: I am a recent grad from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith Business School. During my last two years of undergrad, I was primarily involved in two clubs, BMA (Business Management Association) and AMA (American Marketing Association). Both clubs sparked a passion in me but I had a turning point when I interviewed a family friend about their nonprofit, “The Desk Project” where they supply school-age children with desk and learning materials in Malawi. While learning more about this project, a new interest sparked in me and I wanted to learn more about ways I can give back and help make a difference in the lives of people.
TNPA: Nice! As many may know, you then found an internship through our Leading EDGE program last summer. Why did you decide to find an internship at that time?
Timothy: I was motivated to find an internship instead of working full-time because I wanted hands-on experience in marketing. I knew that an internship would be more beneficial for several reasons. It would provide me with the opportunity to gain real-life work exposure, opportunities for career growth, and provide personal growth. To me, this outweighed the need for a full-time job right out of college. At that time, I knew it was important for me to prioritize hands-on learning and confirm marketing was a career I would pursue.
My sister, Lia, was another big influence on me and continued to push me to try internships. She knew how beneficial an internship opportunity was and planted a seed in my mind for me to focus on. Eventually, I knew I wanted to do something that benefited others and this internship, to me, was a great opportunity to see how marketing can improve nonprofit causes.
TNPA: Great advice from your sister and a true testament to the benefits of hands-on learning! Walk us through your internship at Moore. What was it like?
Timothy: I could not have asked for a better internship! I learned so much from my coworkers and bosses at Moore. I worked closely with the programmatic buying team and it was a very unique experience that I enjoyed immensely. My day-to-day varied but was heavily focused on data analytics, including optimizations, recommendations, and getting hands-on experience in real marketing platforms. I experienced volunteering at a local food bank through Moore. To me, it demonstrated a lot about the company culture and their willingness to give back to the local community.
TNPA: Congrats on being hired by Moore full-time! How excited were you to receive that offer and what made you want to continue there?
Timothy: I was ecstatic when I received notice to come on board full-time! Not only did I accomplish completing the internship, but I also was a part of helping make a difference for several nonprofit clients. Seeing the change I could create using marketing was a big goal of mine and being able to continue on that path is something I wanted to do. Every day is a learning moment for me, whether we’re discussing marketing as a whole or the granular details.
As a result of my internship, I have been able to grow and continue to develop my skills and knowledge. Working with nonprofits has been very enjoyable and has definitely kept me on my toes which I really appreciate. I’m challenged in ways that help me remain creative and leverage the skills I am building. The company as a whole is amazing, especially the team I was working with. Shout out to Jaren, Preston, Maddie, Brett, Hannah, Chris, Devon, and Paul! They all have been amazing teachers to me! They have taught me so much, taken me in, and were willing to help me learn and grow, and that’s something that is invaluable to me.
TNPA: Wow, that’s great to hear Timothy. So what are some lessons you learned during your journey from intern to full-time? What would you tell others who wish to do the same?
Timothy: I learned many nuggets on my journey but ultimately the main two lessons that I would tell other students would be to 1. always be proactive and 2. always be willing to learn. As a recent grad, if your ultimate goal is to be hired full-time, then you need to demonstrate to your employers your ambition, and drive, and take actionable steps to put yourself in positions to gain more knowledge and level up your understanding of a topic.
Growth can be uncomfortable but can lead to incredible transformation. Take advantage of all the opportunities an internship offers. Just because it’s an internship doesn’t mean it’s any less serious. Network, put yourself in uncomfortable positions to learn, and never be afraid to ask for help. Internships can lead to other parts of career development that you might have not considered which can help create new paths ahead.
TNPA: Such great advice! Before you go, is there anything else you want to share on why a student should consider an internship as part of their career journey?
Timothy: An internship is a crucial step forward because it can be used as a stepping stone into your chosen career path. You receive first-hand exposure to real-world experience, networking, furthering your technical skills, and exploring different career paths. I believe internships are awesome because of how beneficial they are when you leverage them correctly. Additionally, internships are a crucial first step toward accomplishing long-term career goals because they usually lead to full-time employment. In the event it doesn’t lead to full-time roles (because of budgeting or otherwise) having a network of professionals that can vouch for your skills is always a leg up when starting entry-level roles.