It's that time of year! Kids of all ages are headed back to school with their new book bags, newly sharpened pencils, and freshly laced sneakers. Each year, most parents struggle seeing their children go back to school. I also struggle seeing my interns off to school. After a three month summer internship, Alexa headed back to Iowa State University to start her Senior year.
As a follower, you may remember when I shared the exciting news that I was going to offer not only a design internship, but also a marketing internship focused on social and digital media. Looking back, I had no idea at that time how amazing this experience would turn out for not only my intern but also for me. Alexa shared during her final send off dinner that although you may not be in school you never stop learning. I am very fortunate to be in a position to offer a hands-on experience to talented, driven college students who want to invest in their development.
To wrap up Alexa's internship, I asked her to share a little insight as a #CEIntern for future interns.
Out of all the projects and tasks you completed during the internship, what was your favorite?
I had many favorite moments during my internship, but I would say one favorite would be the networking. When I enter the real world, I will be able to take all my networking skills with me. I loved getting to know other small business owners and hear what is important when running their business. I found networking skills to be valuable because when looking for a job it is all about who you know. I appreciated Caitlin's expertise on LinkedIn. She 'pimped my profile' to make it more attractive and helped me update my head shot. She showed me how to find and connect with people in applicable industries that I may want to pursue. I cannot wait to potentially meet someone who can help me find the perfect job after college.
Everybody has strengths -- their unique combination of talents, knowledge, and skills. After reading Gallup's Strengthbased Leadership, can you share what you will take from this experience?
Most people can guess what their strengths might be, but I actually got to take an assessment and get feedback about my top five strengths. Now that I have identified my strengths I understand how I bring value to a group project, task, event, or team. If I focus on my strengths and make them even stronger, I can excel further and truly enjoy my work.
Caitlin also had me complete the Enneagram assessment. This personality assessment helped me understand not only how and why I communicate a certain way, but also educated me on how and why other personalities communicate in certain ways. Knowing this will help me harmonize communication between group members during group projects.
We've had so much fun creating content, taking selfies, servicing brides, and more. Do you have any parting words?
I'll remember everything I have learned this summer! There is no value that can be put on the real world experience I received. From executing digital and social content to seeing a business from the owner's perspective, I can confidently say this is not any ordinary internship. I never did any senseless errands like other interns. Instead of running to get coffee, we would road trip to our local ice cream shop, Whitey's Ice Cream, to get "props" for content photos. Luckily, I had no problem managing this difficult task. :)
Running a successful business has many facets. It is apparent through Caitlin's client interactions that you must go above and beyond. The bridal industry is very personable and Caitlin does an amazing job at making her bridal clients feel like they are the only person in the world getting married. They feel they are getting the 'best' which makes them want to spread the word about Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations. Marketing and customer service are both essential!
Alexa was not the only person who learned something this summer. She reminded me:
- Not everyone gets to be such an influential part of a person's life --- being part of the wedding planning process is truly special.
- Have fun and joke occasionally. From her technology mishaps to teeth whitening regimen, we always had a good laugh.
- Millennials are not lazy. Alexa was given tasks to complete before returning to the studio the next day. She worked independently and was great at self-motivating herself. Although millennials get labeled lazy, she could not have shattered that stereotype faster.
Good luck, Alexa, during your last year at Iowa State University! As long as you have hard work in your stride, good luck will always be on your side.
Sharing my bridal expertise one blog post at a time. As always, thanks for reading.