Monday, July 29, 2013

NEW! Intern Spotlight Series

I'd like to introduce a new series on Purple Flowers

Our first guest is Samantha from Samantha Elizabeth.  I recently wrote a piece about the Supreme Court for her blog which you can find here.  Sam is a good friend from Washington College who has had some AWESOME internship experiences in the past.  We recently both studied abroad and have spent a few years on the swim team together.  Read more about Sam here on her WashColl profile page, she rocks! 

I asked Sam a few standard questions about career development and then let her tell her own story about her experiences this summer and what she's learned from her internships. 




What new skills are you looking to obtain: " I'm always looking to be able to improve skills in myself that are on the weaker end, so being able to work with all different sorts of people, adapting (whether it be different personalities, different work environments, different projects), and, of course, I always want to work on being more efficient no matter what." 

What environment do you work in best: "I work best in more laid back environments, but I definitely need some sort of structure."

What's your favorite work outfit: "Well I work in retail, so I've gotten a lot of dresses from that, and I love wearing them. They're really comfortable and easy to throw on, maybe add a blazer if it's colder in the office. I always accessorize. I have this gold watch that I pair with everything--stacked bracelets, necklaces, etc. And shoe wise, I'm getting better at wearing heels more often, but I still love a dressy sandal or a classic flat since my main concern above all is comfort."

On Interning by Samantha 

"I’ll be the first person to tell you, I hate doing anything for free. Volunteering is one thing, but actually taking time (and extra energy) to work somewhere and not get paid will forever sound highly unappealing to me. McDonald’s may have exhausted me and made my teenaged acne worse, but at least I got paid minimum wage for plopping together those double cheeseburgers and scraping dried mustard off the bottom shelves. 
With that in mind, you can imagine how I felt about the idea of an internship upon entering college. However.
I have found my experiences as an intern totally invaluable. Why? Because it pretty much pushed me off the straight and narrow path I had been on since middle school and showed me what was actually important to me and my personal career happiness. I was originally gung ho about going into public relations and marketing, maybe specializing in social media since I was attempting to style blog before style blogging was a thing (don’t look, they were pathetic attempts!). As a sophomore I landed an internship with this great company that did marketing for mostly pharmaceutical companies, and I realized something.
I hated it. 
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t hate the company, and I don’t hate marketing altogether, but I realized I could not see myself doing it for the next thirty to forty to fifty years of my life. An online internship with another great marketing company and a job working sales, and I knew this was not the life for me. I love Samantha Jones, but I am not and nor will I ever be her. 
And this leads me to my recent revelation. I want to work in publishing. Ideally I want to be a fulltime novelist like the guy from “Hey Arnold” complete with too much tea at three a.m. and a touch too many cats. Maybe not that extreme, but you get my gist. Until I get to that luxury point in my life, I want to be the person scanning over books and deciding, “Hm, this could be a bestseller” or, better yet, “This has got to be a contender for the Pulitzer.” I want to curl up with a manuscript in my office with my glasses on, tea steaming, and red pen in hand. Did I mention I’ve always been extremely picky about grammar? Like comma rules, semicolon usage, basic capitalization? I have a problem.
Anyhow, to put this dream into practice, I got an internship with Chesapeake Bay Magazine, doing editing work, and so far I like it a lot. The team behind the magazine is small and nice and very laid back. And the finished product is, of course, beautiful. For anyone who lives on the bay, they know it can be a beautiful place despite its problems. We just worked on the Cruise Guide, and I got to essentially travel to all these different ports while researching restaurants and shopping and visiting their websites. I never thought I’d want to go to Norfolk, VA until now. 
Also, getting to drive into Annapolis twice a week isn’t too shabby either."

Thanks Sam for being first up on my Intern Spotlight series!  I can't wait to showcase more awesome friends who have used their skills and experiences to have successful internships.

Have you had a cool internship and would like to share your story?  
Email me at hilary.purpleflowers@gmail.com

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