Post-Grad in the COVID-19 Era

As a December 2020 graduate from Arizona State University, I quickly learned that navigating the COVID-19 era job market was no easy task. After applying for countless marketing jobs and hearing nothing back from recruiters, I took a frustrating step back to re-evaluate. That’s when I found out that Nativa and its sister software company O.Y.E. were looking for Spring 2021 interns. I quickly applied and after a surprisingly laid-back interview with cofounder, Eric Diaz, I decided that my post-graduation plans may look a little different than I had expected.

post-grad marketing internship fallin smithWhile being an intern wasn’t exactly what I had planned to do with my degree, I knew that amidst the pandemic it was the new normal for plans to not look exactly as expected. At the very least, I would be able to grow my experience, make new connections in the workplace, and gain confidence in myself professionally. Luckily for me, my semester at O.Y.E. gave me all these things and more.

Working at O.Y.E.

From my very first day at O.Y.E., I learned valuable marketing skills including social media, data analytics, and market research. I really enjoyed the fact that Nativa and O.Y.E. focus on multicultural communications, as this showed me a whole different side to marketing I didn’t learn while getting my degree. Creating my own social listening short studies to gain multicultural insights on relevant brands and events was such a unique project I don’t think I’d learn anywhere else.

As someone who enjoys working with technology, I thought working in the O.Y.E. software and social listening tools was so cool! One of my favorite things I got to do at O.Y.E. was assisting co-founder, Natasha Pongonis, in preparing presentations on brand building for Boeing and The US Department of Agriculture.

One of the best parts about my time at O.Y.E. was the people! My fellow interns, Ariadne Bencomo, Claire Sheriff, and Vic Bozin, were such fun, bright people that made even slow days at the office full of laughter! Whether planning TikToks for social media, or just talking about our weekend plans, I really enjoyed being able to work with likeminded peers. The rest of the team at O.Y.E. including Eric, Natasha, Christian Arenas and Josh Jarukaruta were all amazing mentors and took time out of their days to make our internships the best experience possible.

Final Thoughts

Even though I didn’t think my post-graduation plans would lead me to be an intern at O.Y.E., I’m really thankful that life has a funny way of working out. The skills I have learned and the connections made over the past 4 months have given me the tools I need both personally and professionally to find my future career. My time at O.Y.E. taught me so much about technology, small business operations, business writing, social media, and multicultural marketing as a whole. I will forever be thankful for the opportunities I had as an O.Y.E. intern!


Fallin Smith graduated from Arizona State University in 2020 from the W.P. Carey School of Business.