This summer, I hired my first intern for Silverleaf Consulting, LLC, where I operate as an independent consultant. It was a complete thrill. The whole process brought me back to my own internship experiences from college – and the excitement of it all!
Simultaneously, since I’ve been de-cluttering during the pandemic, I ended up finding my original resume(s) from my senior year in college. You have to understand, I’m not one of those people who would typically keep or even know where to locate this type of thing. So the fact that I discovered these gems brought me a great laugh, not to mention a trip down memory lane!
I remember I had 2 designs of my resume because I wasn’t quite sure whether I wanted to be a Copywriter or an Account Executive. Nonetheless, the point is, that my resume displays several internships (and a few summer jobs) that I proudly secured, all in the name of hard work, competitiveness and a dream of job security.
The first ‘big’ internship began the summer after my sophomore year in college. I interned at an NBC TV news affiliate in Washington DC, (every now and then, I still catch a shot of the reporter I worked for on the big networks). We all know the point of an internship is to learn. I did just that. Come to find out, I quickly realized that summer there was a whole other side to news broadcasting that didn’t quite, well, let just say ‘work for me’. I changed my major the following fall semester. I worked at Pizza Hut when I returned to campus and raked in the dough (ha ha) during SU football and basketball games.
The following summer I interned in New York City at an Advertising Agency, and again returned to campus that fall, continuing to intern on the same path. I realized early on that I loved working on products and crafting their stories. I was proud that by the time I graduated, I had several internships under my belt (and was lucky enough to get a small stipend for 1 of them).
GrowthWhile my internships were long ago, what is amazing is that I still remember many of the people, experiences and all of the excitement. Sure, there were a few negatives, but even those turned out to be monumental in helping me to decide what direction to head.
Now flash ahead to 2020, I’m no longer the intern. Yet I keep learning from my intern. Shouldn’t you?
My Summer Intern turned out to be incredibly valuable during her short time with my business. While her work was client independent (she focused on business development), she brought a fresh perspective – and I absolutely loved it! Let me give you a few, simple examples:
When I was explaining the commercialization process to my intern, she stated that she thought “commercialization was about making commercials”. This appropriate question made me realize that “perhaps commercialization isn’t always as clear as I thought?”. Therefore, I will work to continually clarify commercialization, especially for my prospective audience.
In another thoughtful moment, I was discussing the importance of strategic “execution” to my intern (in the commercialization process). As usual, with her inquisitive mind, she asked for clarification, “what did I mean by “execution”? She knew it as “cutting off one’s head”. After we both shared a laugh over Zoom, it made me ponder. “How often am I using words that I assume have been clearly understood or interpreted with the same meaning? As a result of my intern’s inquiries, (and this is just one example), I will take extra care to ensure message alignment and interpretation, especially among new prospects.
In closing, I hope you had as wonderful an experience with your Summer Intern as I did.
As I write this, I have flashes of Washington, D.C., and me walking with the reporter I worked for through the Rose Garden, the Press Room and the FTC. I remember sitting at my desk at the Advertising Agency in NYC, placing phone calls to physicians. I see myself, standing at the bus stop in Syracuse, NY (in 2 feet of snow), freezing, and heading to my internship. And I remember sitting at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, weeks away from graduating, and the interviewer said to me, “wow, you sure did a lot of internships”. It was then that he offered me my first job.
Leigh Ann Soltysiak is the Founder, Principal of Silverleaf Consulting, LLC, a commercialization strategy firm, helping products succeed in the marketplace.
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Las@silverleafconsulting.netBusiness: 908 553 0554http:silverleafconsulting.net
“I hired my first intern for Silverleaf Consulting, LLC…it was a complete thrill. The whole process brough me back to my own internship experiences from college and the excitement of it all!”
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