Name: Grayson DeYoung
Return Path position: Knowledge Management writing intern
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Writing and English Language and Literature from Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI). Graduated: Spring 2015
Walk me through your typical day at Return Path.
My work day begins during the 30-minute bus ride I take from Denver to Return Path’s Broomfield, CO location. During my commute, I check my email and my calendar, both of which have become increasingly full as my time at Return Path has continued. I respond to any emails and mentally prep myself for the day’s meetings and priority tasks.
Once I reach the office, I take a moment and grab myself a cup of coffee and a breakfast snack. If I don’t have any meetings to rush off to, I log on to my computer and open up all the tabs I need to do my job: my email, calendar, Google Drive, Salesforce, and my Trello board, which is a task-management system my team uses to track what we are working on and our progress.
At the beginning of my internship, I primarily worked on editing, updating, and rebranding documents used to support Return Path’s tools, such as user guides and FAQs. In addition to working on product documentation, I created and edited knowledge base articles for the customer portal my team is working on implementing. Doing all of this reading, writing, and editing work helped me learn quickly about the email industry and Return Path’s products and customers.
Near the end of my internship, I worked diligently on updating almost all of the user guides for the Email Optimization products as well as an in-product features tour of the new dashboard. This required me to spend a lot of time in Return Path’s products to gain a deep understanding of how the products and features work, the level of information needed for the customer in the user guide, and how to present that information in an accessible and consistent way. In addition to working on these documents, I also needed outside support from my team members and Email Optimization product managers to ensure the content was correct and ready for our customers.
What is your favorite aspect about being an intern at Return Path?
My favorite part about being an intern at Return Path was how quickly I felt like I belonged to an incredible team; a team that was doing important work to further Return Path’s success. At the time I was brought on, my team consisted of two other members, Jeannie Saur (Director of Knowledge Management) and Carolyn Clancy (Content Development Manager). Working with both of these women has given me a lot of insight into the company, writing, and how to be an effective team member. They helped me develop my technical writing skills as well as collaboration skills since my work relies on working with others in many different roles, such as product managers, user experience designers, and service enablement consultants.
Overall, I love how everyone I come into contact with is so friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable. People here at Return Path truly care about your success, development, and happiness. And that is an amazing environment to work in, which makes me feel so fortunate to continue working here as a full-time employee as a technical writer. In this position, I am continuing to work on Return Path product documentation as well as handling product content that goes into the knowledge base.
What type of advice would you give to future interns looking to work at Return Path?
My advice to future interns is to be open and eager to grow. Take any opportunity you can to learn more about the industry, Return Path, and the people who work here. I think it is crucial to continually develop your skills by learning as much as you can at your time at Return Path, or in any other position. For example, I told my manager I was interested in the Agile process and she taught our team more about it and how we fit it into the process. This quick workshop helped me understand how other teams we interact with work, which in turn can inform how I work to best collaborate and plan. Outside of developing skills, an intern should work hard so they can be proud of themselves.
What is one item on your bucket list?
Publish a book of essays or poetry!