On my first day as SYF’s Communications Intern, I did not really know what to expect. I had never worked in a corporate office before, let alone held a real, full time job in the summer, with the exception of nannying and the summer I worked as a camp counselor. I started my first day, excited, nervous and eager to learn. On that first day, my new CEO, who would later become a great mentor and friend, dabbed in the staff meeting, my boss, at the time, filmed a video of us promoting the new SYF Simon VISA Giftcard for a social media post and I spent the rest of my day updating our social media pages and writing sample social media posts. I remember going home and telling my parents that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Within the first few weeks, I was given a lot more responsibility than I was expecting, due to some unforeseen circumstances. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise truthfully, as I was able to learn more and do more than I would have otherwise.
Looking back, my favorite memories from this summer have been from SYF’s Tees For Education golf outing and the Founders Celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After the staff’s preliminary duties were completed, it was great to be able to socialize with my coworkers out of the office, and the guests of the events as well.
My least favorite part of the summer was creating the Q3 Media Board Report and the Q3 Awareness Report. I had never done anything like this before, which resulted in feeling insecure about my abilities to do so. As much as I hated doing it though, it was a great learning experience and I will now be able to create more media reports with ease, should a future employer task me with such.
Throughout the summer, I have learned more about social media and communications than I ever thought I would. In thinking about my future as a journalist, I was sure that I would not need to know how to use Microsoft Excel or know how to create a quarterly media recap for the Board of Directors. This internship has opened my eyes to how naïve I was, to think I was only going to be writing articles and that was all that I needed to know how to do.
The work that SYF does on a daily basis is not easy for me to put into words, because at times it can leave you with overwhelming emotion. I had the privilege to spend some time with the staff and students of the 2017 Simon Youth Academy at Circle Centre Mall graduating class. While these students were close to me in age, the experiences and hardships that some of them faced was unfathomable to me, and that they were still able to come to school with a smile on their face. These students showed me firsthand that no matter how hard life gets, there is always a way for you to come out on the other side.
I am very thankful for colleagues who embraced me with open ears and arms, and who made coming to work everyday fun…not to say that working in and of itself is not fun! I am so thankful for the relationships that I was able to build while at SYF and will continue after my internship is over.
In a small office space, on the second floor of Simon Tower, lives the world of SYF, full of people who were once strangers, but are now, my friends.