It has been a week since my internship ended, so I’ve had time to reflect. As school approaches, I think more about how I will miss the structure of being in an office. While being at school is still structured, there’s something about the single focus of working at PRG – or anywhere really, I guess, that school lacks. It’s probably due to having to change mindsets constantly, from each class to work to being with friends to thinking about what homework and readings I needed to do. At PRG I only needed to focus on work at the office.
I will definitely miss all the great people I got to meet and work with. However, in my last couple of days the main person I worked with, Anna, said to reach out to her if I find myself with time during the school year to continuing helping out. So I at least still have to opportunity to stay in touch and keep working. It really is a shame that the work only started picking up in my last weeks. In the last couple of weeks, we had a couple of bid opportunities come in so everyone was busy working on those – with many of us staying late to keep working. The preparation period felt very short to me. We had about two weeks to work on a bid before it was due. In that time, we needed to reach out to our equipment depots to get quotes, try to get better rates on our quote, put them together with the services required, researching the venue to see what services are provided and other rules, and finally transpose all that information to the document required from the company we were bidding for. It’s different to learn about crunch time in class and experiencing in real life. It’s this feeling though that contributes to how different actually working is from school. In school, it’s like, yes, we’re doing this for a class to get a good grade, but doing work for a real business has direct effects for that business, the business we’re bidding on, the venue of the event, the eventual labor for the event and so on. Even if we don’t get the job, the feeling of accomplishment, in finishing the bid, is different from school work.
I’m so grateful for this opportunity, for the people I’ve met, and the people that helped make this happen. In the beginning, even before getting this internship, I knew I needed an internship, any internship. I knew my future plans depended on me finding an internship, that it’s the thing everyone my age did, that I’d never be hired anywhere without experience. I couldn’t have imagined landing at PRG. The work, project management, wasn’t a career path for communication majors. At least that’s what I thought since all my peers were interning at marketing firms or doing PR and social media related work. In the beginning of my search, I wish I would have realized that I could look elsewhere for internships. That I didn’t need to only apply for things labelled “marketing” or “communications” just because that’s what my peers were doing, and that’s what was being advertised through the various newsletters from the Comm department. I knew my path of study was unique, my particular interests in communications didn’t align with many of my peers, but I fell into a certain mindset.
Another big thing I learned from my internship was to think about the groups behind the scenes. Like if I’m interested in corporate or trade events, looking beyond the company hosting. The event is for them, but what are the groups supporting them, what are the groups doing the work that allow it all to be possible? Thinking about the steps before the final product opens so many more avenues to pursue in finding out what I want to do with my life and how to reach those goals.