GAME CHANGING Flash Internship in Chicago

~Chicago Reflection~

I had no idea what to expect from this experience, but I could not have had a better time in Chicago. The Flash Internship ended up being an amazing learning experience; not only did I learn about Levy (and get excited about a possible career there and in the hospitality industry), but I made new friends and mentors that I will stay in contact with after the trip. From the first day, our cohort bonded and set the tone for the whole trip to be a fun time. The boat tour of Chicago was an amazing way to experience the city, as I had never been there before. I called my mom that night and told her I was 100% living in Chicago one day. I also got great Instagram posts out of it!!! Some are included above. I got some of my most likes yet!

The first night dinner and networking event with U of M alumni felt daunting at first until we realized that the alumni were choosing to spend their time with us and were happy to be there! I can see myself in their shoes one day… It took some of the edge off to know that 1) we weren’t trying to necessarily get jobs out of the night or compete with one anothers and 2) we were spending time with U of M alumni that wanted to meet us and share their wisdom. The food was AMAZING (those crunchy potatoes though) and by the end of the night each of us were so excited, but for different reasons. That was a common theme of the trip; since we all came from different backgrounds, ages, majors, and interests, we never felt in direct competition with one another, but rather got to know each other and see how we could each find our place in the hospitality industry. I would never have met some of the cohort without this, so I am happy to have new friends to bond over the experience with!

I am still not over how amazing of a company Levy is, from the way they conduct themselves, to the way they treated us. We had the opportunity to hear about the career paths and life stories of some really cool, successful executives and employees at the company. I connected a lot with a few of them, and am planning to send them an email at the beginning of next week.

Two hours after getting back from Chicago, I received a job offer for a company in New York for next summer. A week ago, I would have instantly accepted the offer. However, now I’m conflicted because I want to be in Chicago, and I want to work for Levy. Whatever happens, I’m going to think about the internship that will teach me the skills I want to acquire and the company that will invest in me. I will also look more into the culture of the other company.

This Flash Internship has given me more confidence in my leadership, presentation, interpersonal, and strategic thinking skills. I am eternally grateful for Caroline, Mike, and Tyler who took time away from their personal lives to travel to Chi Town with us. I will never forget this experience!


Lessons learned:

  • Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans
  • Ask for help when you don’t know what to do! No one expects you to know everything, and people actually respect you more when you are open to learning or doing things a new way.
  • Keep your eyes and wonder open to new opportunities!
  • A lot businesses experience a combination of strategy and luck. Just like we don’t have our whole lives figured out but should always put ourselves in the best position to succeed, a business often can’t predict how everything will go. You have to once again be open to experience, but also make strategic decisions.
  • There are chicken tender taste tester (procurement?) careers!!!!
  • When looking for an internship, I should focus on what skills I have but also what skills I want to acquire.
  • Focus on the things you CAN control.
  • BE NICE!!!
  • I can use Sociology in careers that have to do with studying consumer insight. I’d be able to apply my liberal arts skills while also learning about data analytics.
  • Phosphorous= the spark that ignites
  • Hot wings are HOT!

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