Robert Al-Moustafa

Key Digital Systems
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Robert Al-Moustafa

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Business, Spanish
Hometown: Mahwah, NJ (now residing in Tamment, PA)

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I actually found out about this internship through LinkedIn Jobs. I was a little late to the Network Symplicity party, but, fortunately for me, I lucked out.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I’ll be completely honest, when I first walked through the door of Key Digital’s corporate headquarters on the 15th of May, I was nervous. It was my first time serving as an intern anywhere else. As a result, I didn’t know what to expect. Little did I know that I would embark on some of the most valuable and memorable 12 weeks of my life. One of the greatest things about Key Digital, at least from an intern perspective, is that I was not just brought in to do one specific thing. Key Digital is a small family business. In other words, the company size is significantly smaller than our billion-dollar competitors, like Crestron. As a result, I was exposed to everything in the realm of marketing, with my priorities divided proportionately throughout my internship.

For roughly the first month of my internship, my main priority was social media. I was tasked with managing Key Digital’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) through a fascinating platform called Meltwater Engage. This platform allowed me to post all our social media content to every platform with the click of a button - it even allowed us to schedule a post at the time when our followers are most active. In addition, it gave me a medium through which to engage with and listen to all of our followers on our three main social media accounts, without having to sign in individually to each account. Furthermore, Meltwater provided us with social media analytics; these were analytics that I would run every two weeks to evaluate our overall performance. From there, I would formulate a report to my supervisor and come up with a plan to better our social media moving forward. For example, I noticed early on that our followers loved posts that contained visual representations and posts that were personal in nature. As a result, I proposed a two-part plan: we should try to always have a picture/photo/link attached in every post, and we should try to incorporate one personal post per week, whether it be a birthday post, employee spotlight post, or a throwback Thursday. The goal here was to put a face behind the product. It definitely worked out pretty well.

For the month of June, my main priority was editing videos. June was a very big month for audio/visual technology companies like Key Digital as the biggest trade show of the year took place at that time – InfoComm. At this trade show, we made sales pitches to potential customers, gathered testimonials from our partner drivers (ie. Linksys), and introduced our latest products for the quarter. My marketing coordinator would record all of this stuff, including recaps of each day, throughout the event and send it to me to edit and upload. This was time-sensitive material that needed to be on the newsletters we sent out to our list-serve at the conclusion of each day. Because of this huge responsibility, I had to become a more efficient editor using iMovie, a software I was not familiar with using prior to starting this internship (I was a Final Cut guy). This definitely helped me edit the barrage of product and open box videos that needed to be done following the event. I think I had to edit close to 70 videos altogether in June. Because of this, I can proudly say that I am quite the iMovie extraordinaire.

For my last full month as an intern, my priority shifted to the other side of the marketing spectrum – preparing press releases and case studies. Throughout the entire month of July, I was tasked with gathering information from our vendors regarding installations they made using our products, along with an authorization form and high definition photos of the installation. From there, I would prepare all this information into a consolidated document, that would then be sent over to our creative director to write the press release and case studies. This was probably the most fun, yet most stressful part of the job. It was fun interacting with others over the phone or in person, but sometimes, it would be difficult to get ahold of people. Nevertheless, this was probably my favorite part of the job.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I really value the memories and experiences made during my time at Key Digital. I learned a lot about the field of marketing as a whole, expanded my skill set, and really enjoyed the work. In other words, this internship solidified that this is the right field for me; I would really like to do something along the lines of marketing or human capital consulting upon graduation. This, in turn, has impacted the way in which I go about the rest of my academic career at Penn State. I have tried my best to schedule courses that will help me foster the skills necessary to thrive in these respective fields. In addition, having had a marketing internship has helped me flourish in my current marketing class.

This, in turn, has impacted the way in which I go about the rest of my academic career at Penn State. I have tried my best to schedule courses that will help me foster the skills necessary to thrive in these respective fields.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are not quite set in stone yet; I do not have a set dream job. I do know two things, however. To begin, my goal in life is to always strive to be the best Robert Al-Moustafa I can be, as both a human being and a professional. Furthermore, I want to help others, in a business setting, reach their maximum potential. The latter was solidified through my internship at Key Digital. The client relationship aspect of the job made me love coming into work every morning. Thus, as stated earlier, I would really like to do something along the lines of marketing or human capital consulting upon graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

This is a tricky one. It honestly depends on the career goals/plans of the Liberal Arts student. For example, I would not recommend this experience to a political science student who wants to become a defense attorney. I would, however, recommend this position to any Liberal Arts student that would like to move into the marketing field. Again, like I said earlier, this company is small. Therefore, you will be exposed to all things marketing.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Being a member of the College of the Liberal Arts and the Paterno Fellows Program has not only helped me develop a greater global perspective, but has also significantly improved my communication skills. These two developments were really essential to being successful as a marketing intern this past summer, especially the communications aspect. With that being said, I am grateful for the PFP's diverse requirements. In fact, if it were not for the CAS 137H/138T requirement for PFP and Schreyer, I would probably have no idea that a major in Communication Arts and Sciences existed. I certainly would not be pursuing a career in marketing/consulting as a student of Communication Arts and Sciences.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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