Finishing My First Internship and the Lessons I Learned

It’s official.

As of last Saturday, July 17, I am no longer an Events & Exhibits intern at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I was fortunate enough for them to allow me to stay through the summer in order to get additional experience working in special events. Though I wouldn’t ever want to leave MoBot–I could seriously work there the rest of  my life–I have taken away some valuable lessons that will stick with me for a long time.

  1. Self-Starting: I never realized the importance of being a self-starter until my supervisor, Chelsea, brought it to my attention.  I was aware of my skills and abilities through being involved on campus, yet when Chelsea wrote on my evaluation that I was a “self-starter,” I discovered how essential it is to be the one to take initiative–even if you’re at the bottom of the food chain.
  2. Leadership: As I just mentioned, it is sometimes essential to be the one to take initiative, regardless of where you stand in the hierarchy. There will be times when those in the higher positions are unable to be the one to step up and take control. It is at these moments that someone, anyone, needs to step up and say, “It’s time to make a change. And I’m going to be the advocate for it.
  3. You can’t like everyone, and not everyone will like you. Myers-Briggs, True Colors, StrengthsQuest; if everyone in your organization took all of these tests, you’d realize how different everyone truly is. Nobody will agree on everything all the time. Even if two people working on a project have complete opposite ideals, values and goals, that shouldn’t prevent them from getting things accomplished. If it means making that project their one common trait, it’s still better than wallowing over the preexisting personality conflicts.
  4. Work can be fun: This isn’t the early 20th century. People don’t go to school then go to work for jobs that will make the most money anymore. Our generation consists of people whom go to school and find jobs in what they love and are passionate about. So if we’re passionate about our jobs, that means we should love the work we do. It’s okay to have fun, as long as the work still gets finished.

As I continue on my path as a future public relations and events specialist, I am certain that I will learn more important lessons. Yet these will continue to stay fresh in my mind, and hopefully in yours, too.

What Good TV Teaches Us about Marketing

Let me  start off by saying, I love Netflix. Especially since I can stream it on my Wii. Holy cow.

Anywho, recently I began watching the Showtime series Weeds.

In a nutshell, the show follows the life of a single suburban mom (Mary Louise Parker) who supports her family by selling marijuana. The show puts a greater emphasis on the main character’s production and distribution than it does on the consumption of marijuana, setting that aside for the occasional humorous scene.

When people think about marijuana, they immediately associate it with its consumption. For this we can blame the media, not to mention all the anti-drug campaigns circulating on television for as long as most of us can remember. So when you take an idea or concept from a perspective not familiar to the majority of viewers, i.e. Weeds, you produce unique content with higher end results.

Nowadays,  providing a new perspective on a product or service is a must. Without an altered point of view, you might as well make a commercial reminiscent of a 1950’s laundry detergent ad. If you want attention for your cause, keeping inside your box won’t do you any good. Now is the time to step it up; don’t just step outside the box…

…destroy that damn box.

I believe John Keating (Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society) called that “Carpe diem.”

So let’s not be afraid to stand on our desks and see the world in a different way. With a fresh mind seeing endless new perspectives and possibilities, our boundaries are limitless.

Independence and Emancipation

As we celebrate the 234th anniversary of our country’s independence from Great Britain, we must remember our roots and the foundation upon which our nation was built.

The first settlers arrived here to free themselves of religious restraint. And when the Declaration of Independence was signed, we were freeing ourselves of the influence of our then-ruling country. Because of a strong backing for a common cause, we were able to emancipate ourselves.

Emancipation is the key to all major movements in this country. The freeing of the slaves, the repeal of Prohibition, the women’s suffrage movement, the movement to end segregation, the Stonewall riots, and all the marches on Washington throughout the year for various causes are all a part of our society being able to free ourselves from any constraint or influence  and saying what we believe is right.

So while you’re out enjoying your barbecue and fireworks with your friends and family, remember what you stand for. One person’s opinion is equally as valuable as a large group’s.

Whatever it is, let it be known. Emancipate yourself. Make your voice heard.

Celebrate today by appreciating the freedoms you have.

Happy Independence Day.