When I was younger, I had an idea of what being an intern looked like. Most of these depictions that I had in my head could be traced back to books and movies, where the protagonist would be working as the “lowly” intern, fetching coffee and being virtually ignored in every sense. This is something that I was adamantly trying to avoid. In fact, the only reason that I went searching for an internship was that my university required me to do so. My thought process at the time was that I was going to begrudgingly look for something easy that had some slight connection to my studies in school, and have one painful summer fetching people coffee and doing paperwork for the people who actually matter. What I found was that this idea that had been planted in my head by movies, books, and stories from family and friends was far from the truth.
When my junior year of college was dwindling down, I recognized that I had to start searching for an internship. Not expecting to find anything substantial, I started applying to companies that were looking for writers, social media, and communication interns. When I heard back from ScoutComms, I was surprised to hear from an actual person. The other companies that I applied to left me short messages, a mixture of good news and bad news. ScoutComms immediately felt more human to me, a group of people who were genuinely interested in growing their company and providing opportunities for students such as myself. After some email exchanges, phone calls, and video calls with the company, I was extremely excited that my chances were looking promising. When I was informed that I got the position, I was shocked by my own anticipation. I was actually looking forward to this.
Immediately I was overcome by the feeling of comfort that came with the atmosphere at ScoutComms. When I started working with them, the office was in my hometown, Fredericksburg. Being in close proximity to my home was something that I was looking for in an internship, and it provided me with a sort of security blanket. What I came to find, however, is that no matter what surprises came with the job, like multiple location changes, came easily when you trust the people that you work with. We all talked like friends, catching up on what was going on in our personal lives as well as performing in a productive manner. I was pleasantly surprised that I was treated with the same amount of respect as any other employee. I actually felt like I was getting a helpful and reliable experience. I began to gain experience in public relations, marketing, social media, research and working with clients. I also got to attend the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans conference, working with the media team, covering the event. This was the stand out experience of my summer, as I felt a great sense of responsibility participating in something that meant a great deal to so many people.
After a great summer working for ScoutComms, I was expecting to be ending my time with them in order to return to my final year of college. When I was asked to continue my internship remotely during the school year, I felt incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity. Immediately, I accepted. Transitioning from seeing my coworkers at least once a week, to not seeing them at all due to my position as a student, could have been difficult. I was used to attending our meetings in person, and I was not sure if I would start to feel left out or unimportant. Thankfully, this was not the case. Everyone was very accommodating to the situation at hand, and when we began our transition to a 100% remote company, I felt as if I already had a grip on the process. The largest struggle I have had since returning to school was balancing my work as an intern, with my work as a student. At first, I was fearful of communicating this struggle, but came to realize that ScoutComms was understanding of my restraints as a senior in college. The flexibility that I have been offered, along with the experience, has made this year incredibly rewarding.
As my senior year is coming to an end, I have been reflecting on the past year and everything that I have learned. Balancing the amount of work that I have had to do, between working with ScoutComms and learning at school, has taught me how to manage my time and the amount of work that I can handle. I have also learned how to communicate effectively about what I personally need in order to succeed. Throughout my time at ScoutComms, I have observed and experienced what it is like to be in the hands of people who actually care about the people in the company. Fred, Caitlin, Kiersten, Lindsey, and Brittany have been present throughout the entirety of the year, and each and every one of them have been incredibly gracious and helpful throughout this experience. I genuinely could not have asked for a better team to work with, and I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that I was graced with.