So Long, Farewell

Now begins my final intern blog post. Who would have thought that simply checking my Twitter one day would lead to such a great experience?

I met Kris last summer while I was interning for the City of Wichita with Tabitha Meyer. The city was collaborating with Start-Thinking on Smithsonian magazine Museum Day 2009. While checking Twitter during a homework break, I saw a tweet from Kris saying she was looking for summer interns. I had recently been searching for an opportunity for the summer, so I took this as a sign.

The first week started off as a bit of a circus with four new interns and two weeks away from opening night of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ZING ZANG ZOOM. So my first big project was helping set up for the Elephant Brunch. I mean big in every sense of the word: big loads of food, big elephants and a big crowd.

Helping with the 14-week media plan for the Heart of America Men’s Chorus and Museum Day 2010 taught me a lot about local media and media messages. I now better understand the difference between earned media and placed media, advance media and media, as well as the importance of careful media planning, which among other things, includes creating appropriate messages for your audiences. It was also fun to work on Museum Day for the second year in a row and see the project take shape again.

I think the thing I found most valuable was learning the art of networking. Joining local organizations and meeting other professionals in the area through Networking on the 9’s and local PRSA meetings is important. Engaging through social networks keeps conversations moving, even though you are not networking in person.

Last but not least, I thoroughly enjoyed Thinking Fit through our three times weekly group fitness sessions with Robbie Ray, because Robbie has the uncanny ability to make you laugh while you are working out.

This internship helped me bridge the gap from college to “the real world” by helping me take the things I learned through years in the classroom and applying them while also adapting and continuing to learn more. Also, experiencing other things, such as the internal workings of a creative communications agency, provided knowledge I will transfer into my ideal career role of directing communications for an arts organization. I am confident that I will take the things that I have learned and use them in my next stop, a seasonal post with the Gulfshore Playhouse, which begins this October.

I believe that learning does not stop after you are done with school and if a day goes by that you did not learn something new then that day is wasted. I can certainly say that this summer has been anything but a waste.