When you’re in college, the only thing anyone ever tells you about beginning your career is that you need experience. Experience is needed when applying for jobs, experience is needed for getting a job, and experience is needed for keeping your job. Take it from me, when you’re in school collecting experience can be hard to find. It was hard enough just trying to balance my school, work and social life.
To be honest with you, it wasn’t even until after I graduated that I started looking for employment, but once you graduate your whole mindset changes. First, all you can think about is the paycheck; you don’t care what you are doing or if the job correlates to your major, if they pay you, you’re happy. Then a few days go by and you think to yourself, I just spent four years of my life in college learning how to do what I’m supposed to love to do! I’m not going to just settle for any job! But for that perfect job you need one very important thing, experience.
After a few weeks of going through the same routine, I started researching companies in the St. Louis area with great reputations. I Googled “best places to work in St. Louis” and “best marketing firms in St. Louis”. This led me to a company that caught my eye and heart, Abstrakt Marketing Group. I kept seeing this name over and over again on every website I clicked on. I thought to myself “Wow this place must be the bee’s knees, I better check it out”. I looked Abstrakt up on Facebook and I read their website over until I was convinced I needed to work there. Everyone looked so laid back yet fun, and all my research highlighted how successful they were. They seemed to embody the “work hard, play hard” philosophy. I was sold. I immediately sent in my perfected resume and cover letter and I tried to convince HR, via email, how interested I was and that I was the best fit for this company.
A few days later I got a call saying Abstrakt wanted me to come in and interview for an internship position! I was so excited I said yes with no hesitation. I was a little disappointed at first because I didn’t necessarily want an internship. I’ve only ever heard horror stories about internships, companies using these college students and recent graduates to grab coffee and do paperwork no one else wants to do. I was nervous but I went into my interview with an open mind.
The first second I walked off the elevator and into Abstrakt’s lobby, I felt as though I was embraced by a big Abstrakt hug. I felt so welcomed from the second I walked in and while I was sitting in the lobby I could feel the positive energy from every single person who worked there. While I was interviewing, all negative connotations I had associated with internships were completely wiped away. I was informed that I was actually going to learn everything I needed to learn and I was going to be able to do everything I wanted to do with my major, not to mention I was going to be able to work with the best people ever. I left that interview so excited, I kept thinking to myself that I didn’t want anyone else to call me, I didn’t want to go to anymore interviews. I even found myself feeling relieved when I received rejection emails from previous interviews, because it meant I was going to be able to say yes to Abstrakt if the opportunity came.
Early one morning, around 8:30 am, I got a call from HR offering me the Spring Marketing Internship at Abstrakt. I was half asleep but when I heard the news I immediately woke up and said yes! I told my parents the good news, we celebrated, with margaritas of course, and I prepped for my first day. Life was good.
Internships sometimes get a bad rap, but even after just a few days of working here, I love it already. The environment and the people make me want to succeed. I don’t want to let anyone down and I want to show everyone what I can do. I long to be here working and learning on my days off and I am always thinking of ways to help out even when I’m not in the office. I am so blessed and thankful to be able to have an opportunity that lets me shine and learn all at once, not to mention all those years of college I never thought would pay off, they are. I am starting to realize just how much I actually learned in those three and half years at school. When you graduate it’s easy to feel lost. There’s no more staying up until 3am with your friends, there’s no such thing as “syllabus week” or not having class on Fridays, there’s also this time in the morning called “6am” that you probably haven’t seen in years, but for everything you lose, you gain ten more things. You gain a sense of accomplishment, you gain that satisfaction of actually having a set schedule for yourself, and if you’re really, really lucky like me, you gain an amazing opportunity at the best company ever.