My name is Jose Maldonado, and I am from Quito, Ecuador. Currently, I am a senior at Alma College, where I am studying Marketing and New Media Studies. This past summer, I had the privilege to intern with LaFleur Legal Marketing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was an amazing experience and afforded me the opportunity to advance my professional career while gaining real-world perspective into the legal marketing field. From the very beginning, I was eager to learn more about how their marketing initiatives were managed and executed. And throughout my internship, it felt great to gain in-depth marketing and graphic design experience with this agency and to have the opportunity to build my professional network with my coworkers. Right away, I could tell that all of my colleagues really enjoyed working for LaFleur, and each person I had the chance to work with was always very welcoming and willing to provide me with the necessary information to complete my tasks.
As I became more involved in the agency’s operations, I realized that LaFleur Legal Marketing’s scope extends far beyond the Midwest. Their client base includes law firms throughout the United States, including those in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, and many other states. And in working for these various clients, I knew what was expected of me, but each day was different than the previous. I was able to practice multitasking with multiple projects across several departments ― all within a very comfortable and professional environment.
The projects I was involved with at LaFleur consisted of working with Photoshop to edit client photos, exhaustive research to compile a competitive analysis, detailing market segmentation, developing audience breakdowns and personas, and conducting a SWOT analysis for a large-budget marketing proposal. I quickly became fond of marketing research and strategy, which I now realize is the marketing element that I want to focus on in the future.
In addition to working on many different projects, I especially appreciated participating in internal, agency-wide meetings. These allowed me to understand the agency’s priorities and how to communicate with very important individuals, including CEOs and business partners. There were several instances in which I was encouraged to provide my opinion during these meetings, and even though it was challenging for me to come up with something precise and appropriate on the spot, it was a great practice for the future, as I now know what is important and relevant in these conversations. My inclusion made me feel motivated and confident; I really felt that I was part of the team at LLM.
Lastly, I also enjoyed the freedom I had to complete each task that was sent my way. My supervisors provided me with enough information to take my assignments and run with them, empowering me in ways that other internship programs seem to lack. Although there was no formal training when I began my internship, I was always encouraged to think outside of the box and to reach my full potential.
Now that I have completed my internship and school will soon be back in session, I cannot thank LaFleur’s President Chip LaFleur enough for having me on board and making me feel at home ― even though mine is actually thousands of miles away. I wasn’t expecting much from this experience being that it was “just” an internship, but I came away with so much more than I could have anticipated. I learned that the core values of LaFleur and witnessed the highest level of customer service, expertise, responsibility, flexibility, and respect.
Working with this firm was an absolute pleasure, and I encourage you to do the same. You will not regret it.