The dictionary defines an ‘emerging professional’ as “an individual who is still a student or has less than five years of post-graduation experience.” While this is most definitely what I am, the term certainly feels too “grown-up” to be describing me.
I spent countless hours this past summer preparing for my first foray into the workforce: writing cover letters, re-formatting my resumé, interviewing, re-structuring my LinkedIn page… you name it, I did it! Also, I spent a lot of time hearing about other people’s successes and accomplishments, and I was set on making sure that my first work experience would be as good as – if not, better than – theirs.
I began the school year with several interviews under my belt, but no job offers that I was truly excited about. It was important to me to work at a company that would allow me to be responsible for my own growth and had a team that would aid me in achieving that. I didn’t want to have spent all my time preparing for this journey simply to end up pushing papers and buying coffee. And as of September 26th, I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.
Then on September 27th, 2021, I received a call…
My soon-to-be manager, Lane Kearney, was offering me the chance to participate in the internship of my dreams with Corporate Ink. Not only was I shocked that they wanted me, but I was astounded that they trusted me despite my inexperience. I was waiting for an opportunity like this to come along and my patience paid off. Lesson learned, universe!
Being a Corporate Ink intern has been so many things. Exciting, terrifying, and innovative are just a few words that come to mind. It’s also been remarkably eye-opening. I gained industry knowledge, connected with my colleagues and obtained general life experience that I will carry with me through my professional career and my personal life. It’s difficult to articulate how grateful I am for this opportunity, especially in a job market that has redefined what entry-level experience means.
Now that I have gained that experience over the last three months, I am sharing my three main takeaways here:
The first week of my internship was definitely overwhelming. Thankfully, Corporate Ink’s onboarding process was super detailed and there was incredible support from my colleagues. As time went on, I got more comfortable asking for help and communicating with my co-workers when I didn’t know how to do something (I’m sure my manager can vouch for the many daily messages). Being an emerging professional means there’s a learning curve – taking advantage of that and asking questions does not make you incapable.
At Corporate Ink, you have a mentor along with a manager that you meet with to help guide you through personal and professional development. The mentorship program is implemented to ensure employee success. Every Monday, I meet with my manager, Lane, to discuss my priorities for the week and to create a plan for how to accomplish those tasks. Every other Thursday, I meet with Abbey Fletcher, my mentor, to chat about what I’d like to get personally and professionally out of my time with Corporate Ink and discuss strategies to achieve that. It’s really beneficial to have someone I can talk to about work-related things as much as our lives outside of work. Corporate Ink makes a point to foster a healthy work-life balance (as evidenced by bi-weekly team ‘Wine Downs’, professional development days and a kick-ass holiday party). This standard has set an amazing precedent for any future job I may have. Having Lane and Abbey as sources of guidance in all aspects of my career is something that I’m incredibly grateful for and don’t take for granted.
I came into this internship doubting if I was ready for this level of responsibility. After my week of onboarding, I was getting more comfortable with working remotely, the PR pitching process, creating media lists, and more. As my comfort level grew, I started seeing a noticeable increase in the amount of work I was given. While I may have balked at the responsibility initially, having proof that my colleagues trusted me enough to be a key contributor to the accounts they work so hard on was an incredible vote of confidence. Knowing that they believed in me was definitely something that I took pride in and will stay with me as I enter the workforce after graduating.
My time as a Corporate Ink intern has proven to be invaluable in terms of the confidence, knowledge, and skills I’m taking with me. This experience has been the perfect ‘launching pad’ for my career, and I can’t reiterate enough how grateful I am for it.
Corporate Ink is always looking for talented, passionate, and driven individuals with an interest in marketing and PR. If you have a desire to be part of an amazing company that values employee’s personal and professional success, check out our current opportunities here.