This summer, I interned at Bricker & Eckler: Attorneys At Law as the Marketing and Public Relations Practice Development Intern and at FrazierHeiby as the Public Relations Intern. Through these internships, I gained valuable skills that will be applicable to my future career path.
Through my STEP Signature Project, I had the opportunity to engage in professional development and become a more well-rounded, independent individual while sharpening my critical thinking and collaborative skills. Both my internships placed immense trust and responsibility in me to perform tasks and complete projects that genuinely mattered to and advanced the respective businesses. With great responsibility comes great power, and I learned what it truly meant to have others depending on me more than any classroom experience could teach me.
Several events, interactions, relationships and activities during my STEP Signature Project led to the transformation that I experienced. Aside from the explicit skills and strategies that I learned through the technical components of my internship roles, I also challenged myself to go above and beyond my given responsibilities or expectations. I engaged in extra opportunities for professional growth like networking and participating in different business charity events. The technical skills I learned are also immensely valuable for my future career – especially including new digital marketing skills such as SEO and video editing.
One of the biggest learning lessons I experienced during this summer was the value of mentor relationships. At both my internships, I had mentors, but different experiences with each. At one internship, my supervisor unexpectedly left the company. I had considered her a mentor and looked to her for guidance, so her leaving was upsetting, but also a great learning experience about appropriately managing change, one of the biggest challenges in workplaces.
At the other internship, I still have a great relationship with my mentor. As our relationship grew, she increasingly began to value my ideas, trust my skills and give me decision making power. Through this relationship, I learned the importance of positive communication and not being afraid to share your perspective (respectively of course) despite your age, position or any similar hierarchal categories. Everyone has a valuable perspective to bring to the table, and the fact that someone high up in an organization valued mine has taught me to value myself and others’ perspectives more.
Although I have always prided myself on my work ethic, I have struggled with other components of professional development in the past. Namely, I have found it difficult to collaborate with others, share perspectives and compromise or adapt rather than just getting frustrated and/or stubborn when situations don’t go perfectly. Through the power of challenging real-world experiences where I needed to handle professional situations appropriately and transformational relationships with mentors, I believe I bettered myself by improving my listening and collaboration skills, and the value I place on others’ perspectives.
I know these internship experiences and not only the technical skills I learned throughout them but the life lessons will help me immensely with my professional goals and future plans. These internships gave me not only the tools I need to succeed in my future career but insight on how to be a better person.
And here is a picture of me at an extra opp I took advantage of with my FrazierHeiby internship – attending the Central Ohio PRSA PRism Awards. FrazierHeiby took home best in show!