A blog by our fall intern, Virginia Blackstone
Wow! It is crazy to think that just four months ago, I started interning here at flourish, and now the semester is coming to a close – time has flown by! When I first thought of what an internship looked like, I figured I would be sorting files, running to get coffee, and if I was lucky, getting the chance to show that I was hardworking, dedicated, and talented while doing so. From the very beginning, I didn’t care what my job would look like day to day, but the thought of having an opportunity to showcase my commitment to whatever I was doing, big or small, was all that I was hoping for.
I’ll never forget how nervous I was on my first day, reading over each email I sent out at least ten times to make sure I didn’t make any spelling mistakes and being sure that I didn’t even glance in the direction of my phone until my lunch break. Little did I know that an internship at flourish was much more than making coffee runs and tying up loose strings at the office that nobody else had the time to do. From day one, I felt like I was as much as a part of the team as anyone else. I always knew I could ask a question I didn’t know the right answer to and receive kind direction.
Each project I was assigned to broadened my skillset in a different way and sometimes even pushed me out of my comfort zone. Whether it was creating strategic social media projects and generating content, picking up the phone to gather important information, helping out with event planning and execution, or how to effectively communicate by writing a professional email on a day to day basis, each day was different, and I was learning something highly valuable in the process. I quickly realized how important Excel is in the business world, how to work a copy machine, and to appreciate going to class every day in a hat and tennis shoes.
As a whole, one of my biggest takeaways of interning at flourish was seeing those around me do “the little things” so well. Whether it was sending flowers to a client to congratulate them on their new office, writing handwritten thank you notes, keeping client and internal branding consistent and fresh, promptly replying to an email, or being flexible with whatever was most important to our clients, I never once saw any corners cut, or a job halfway done. Even internally, flourish never failed to thoughtfully celebrate a holiday within the office, congratulate a team member on an achievement, or make a life event, such as Allison Hall Drew’s wedding, a special occasion to be celebrated. Although at first these things may have seemed insignificant, doing this goes a long way, truly sets flourish apart.
Hands down, my favorite part of the job was the team that I worked with. Every single day, I had the privilege of seeing their individual strengths come to life with the work they were gifted in and passionate about, all in different areas, and then come together to create something much bigger. Amanda, thank you for being my steady “go to girl,” and for being so approachable whenever I had a question. Emily, your graceful leadership and gift for making any event elegant was something that never went unnoticed! Bailey, you never fail to make the person you’re talking to feel as if they are the most important person in the world, and Taegen, your attention to detail and commitment to your job is something that I look up to. Allison, thanks to you, I’m a pro at creating a “mail merge,” and Caroline, your energy and spunk made the office come alive each day. And lastly, Jamie and David, the true “backbone” of flourish, your hands on, flexible leadership style is something I hope to mirror one day. Each one of you make up such an important part of our team, (this doesn’t even cover each talented member!) and what I learned from each one of you, I will never be able to thank you enough for.
And to the next intern, never forget the skilled, individualistic, and lively group of people that you have around you as a great resource to learn from. Whenever you have the chance, ask them what they love about what they do, how they do it, and what their advice might be for you in the stage that you’re in. Even though at times balancing a full-time school schedule as a college student and a part-time internship was difficult, seeing value in an experience that can never be taught within the classroom was something I’ll always be the biggest advocate for.
With all that being said, it was the “little things,” that may have gone unnoticed by others, that made all the difference in my experience as an intern. flourish, I will never be able to thank you enough for providing so much more than a job, or something to put on my resume, and for giving me the initial chance to be a small part of your team. I am sad to leave, but I will treasure the opportunity I was given and take all that I have learned into the next chapter of my career! I can’t wait to hear of all the wonderful things each one of you accomplish – individually, and as a whole.