Aashka Gorajia

By Zoë Eitel
During a global pandemic, working for a travel startup means coming up with creative solutions to refocus the services the application offers. Aashka Gorajia started as a marketing intern for the travel app Trouvaiz during the summer of 2020. She planned content, marketing campaigns and collaborations with influencers to increase awareness of the company. She also worked on Trouvaiz’s podcast about third culture kids who moved to different countries and how they’ve adapted.
Because much travel has been restricted during the yearlong pandemic, Aashka and the rest of the six-person Trouvaiz team had to figure out how to move forward with their services in a new way. That meant making a shift from the in-person travel industry to the virtual events entertainment industry. The problem that Aashka faced, as the marketing intern, was that they were now competing with industry giants like Netflix and YouTube for people’s attention.
“We saw that our marketing budget was being eaten up as there was no way we could stand against these two big companies thus, we put our app on pause as we were not getting a successful response on the virtual version. We decided to focus our efforts on the podcast,” Aashka says.
This entire shift that Trouvaiz has had to make was planned and executed by a small team of people who were located in four different states and two different countries, so everything was done remotely.

Marketing Intern at Trouvaiz

BSB Integrated Marketing 2021

“Our team was scattered across time zones yet, we managed to all work cohesively,” she says. “This internship was remote and had no designated working hours however, there was always something you could work on as it was a startup whether it was constant brainstorming or research.”
Aashka was led to this opportunity after a friend told her about some of their classmates who had started the app and were looking for someone with marketing experience to guide their advertising and branding. Aashka reached out to them and when she laid out how she could help their startup, she was hired.

“I was given the freedom to head the marketing campaign and it was all about trial and error. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to work with individuals in various fields and got to learn a bit from everyone and apply those skills.”

“I was given the freedom to head the marketing campaign and it was all about trial and error,” she says. “Furthermore, I had the opportunity to work with individuals in various fields and got to learn a bit from everyone and apply those skills.”
This internship experience has given Aashka confidence in herself as a marketing specialist, despite how intimidating the opportunity was at first.
“I was a senior giving suggestions to a group of graduated individuals who had higher qualifications than me,” Aashka says. “It was very intimidating at first, however, I got into the habit of speaking with confidence when presenting my ideas and following through with my suggestions.”
Aashka has learned how to adapt and that there’s no set blueprint for marketing: the environments, goals and target audiences are always changing. While she has loved her experience at Trouvaiz, Aashka hopes her next role allows her to work under a professional in her field who she can learn directly from rather than learning from experience and self-taught skills.
Because this internship is unpaid, Aashka was able to apply for and receive the Internship Plus Award from the Career Center to support her financially.
“Receiving this award, it was rewarding to know that you are getting compensated for the amount of hard work you are dedicating to uplifting someone else’s creation,” she says. “It also gave me a further incentive to make sure that I put all my effort in helping this company to the best of my ability.”
Aashka is still working with Trouvaiz and has taken another internship with a coffee brand startup in Kenya for which she is setting up their social media accounts and helping them create a brand. She is hoping to find an internship in Chicago for the summer.
Working for startups has allowed Aashka the opportunity to grow in ways she would probably not have been able to in large companies because of the amount of responsibility she has been given.
“This is harder because you are not given direct tasks you are just sent out to either really swim or drown,” Aashka says. “However, you learn from your mistakes in this space and continue to do great things on your own merit.”