Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Silmi Jariwalla moved to New York to study Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design. She completed Business Practice during summer 2017.
Which course did you choose and why?
Although I love how diverse the classes at Parsons are, I really wanted to hone in on one industry and make it my focus. I ended up picking Marketing Strategy. Understanding the methodologies behind marketing can be extremely useful, regardless of which company I’ll be working with in the future. Plus, the skills and techniques learned can be applicable beyond just a professional setting.
What skills did you gain from your internship?
I worked at a not-for-profit business named Advance. It is an Australian-born company that functions and serves B2B and B2C clients globally and has over 50,000 members. They provide connections, advice, ideas, and support to ease the transition for Australian citizens to move to a new country, or for businesses to expand their terrain. My mentor was very accommodating. She let me sit in on meetings and encouraged my ideas. As a digital marketing intern, I was in charge of social media, website management, and content creation. I found that with creative freedom, coupled with guidance from my boss, I was able to grow and flourish in skills I wanted to develop, whether it was improving on illustrative techniques, confidence when talking to clients, or learning how to be the voice of the company on digital platforms.
I was able to grow and flourish in skills I wanted to develop.
How did you manage your work-life balance as a student?
Between working at Advance and taking the Marketing Strategy class at Columbia, my life was very busy. Since it is a six-week intensive course, there is a lot to learn in half the time of a normal school semester. However, I still had the chance every week to do other activities I enjoy in my own free time. As long as there is a balance between rest and hustle, the work-life ratio is definitely manageable.
What was the most memorable part of Business Practice for you?
I really loved this past summer, so to pick out a favorite part is difficult. However, I adore all the new friends I have made out of this experience—both from working at Advance and Columbia. It was so inspiring being surrounded by people with so much passion and such creative ideas. The positive energy I received from all the individuals I met was undeniable. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to pursue this experience and to be able to meet such amazing people.