Working the Dream

I really, really love my internship.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Put “internship” and “love” too close together in a sentence and you’ve entered dangerous oxymoron territory. Internships aren’t about love, or fun, or warm and fuzzy feelings. They’re about grunt work. I’m talking coffee runs, copy jams, and the occasional **shudder** dry cleaning pickup. If you think I’ve pulled this vision straight from the scary-chic depths of The Devil Wears Prada, then clearly you haven’t come home to an exhausted, unpaid intern, fresh off the clock at 9pm on a Friday. The struggle is, as they say, quite real.

It’s worth noting that those kinds of opportunities are not without value. Feeling yourself so firmly on the bottom rung of the ladder provides a healthy dose of humility without fail. Best-case scenario, it lights a fire under your butt to help propel you up that ladder. Worst-case? You walk out of there with a hemorrhaging bank account and a fill-in-the-blank letter of recommendation.

Thankfully, I had the chance to get some real-world PR experience this summer, sans drama of Meryl Streep proportions. I snagged a dream gig in the PR sector of TB&C, a full-service ad agency nestled beautifully into waterfront Fells Point. I’ve been raving about all of the gorgeous nooks and crannies that Baltimore has to offer for years, but Fells tops them all. This is my final verdict. JHU_Allison has spoken.

So scenic it hurts.
So scenic it hurts.

I connected with a TB&C Account Exec when she gave a case presentation during my PR & Media in the Big Apple course (Aka The-Intersession-Class-That-Lowkey-Changed-My-Life). TB&C’s rep was brilliant, passionate, and in-CRED-ibly on trend. I was sold. When it came time to finish applications, sending her my resume was the first email to go out. Miracle of miracles, she passed my over-enthusiastic info into the right hands, and the deal was sealed by the end of March.

Thus began my favorite summer since coming to Hopkins. To my amazement, I was given **gasp** actual, exciting work on my first day. My co-workers were knee-deep in several projects (simultaneously planning a media day for the Hippodrome and a concert series for Smyth Jewelers, nbd) and had no trouble tossing me a few of the hundred balls they had in the air. It was so refreshing and gratifying to immediately feel invested in the tasks at hand. By the time the first Smyth concert came around, I already felt like part of the team—anxious, excited, and desperate for a Cream Cruiser ice cream sandwich (10/10 would ~cruise~ again).

Drawn to photo booths like moths to a flame.
Drawn to photo booths like moths to a flame.

If it seems like I’m bragging, it’s because I totally am. I’m very aware of how lucky I am to have ended up at an agency that not only challenged and trained me, but supported me all summer long. Snack Wednesdays weren’t half bad either. (Just imagine the sheer joy of an ice cream truck pulling up to the office, sprinkles ready, at 3pm on a Wednesday.) And don’t even get me started on Bring-Your-Dog-To-Work-Day. I maintain that having a Golden Retriever in half of the day’s meetings did wonders for my productivity. When my supervisors proposed that we extend my internship into the fall, I pretty much abandoned all professionalism in my eagerness to say yes.

Puppies and ice cream cones aside, perhaps what’s most exciting is the incredible relief I feel to be so in love with this work. Up until this point, I’ve been so adoringly entrenched in school that a small part of me was worried I wouldn’t enjoy anything else, let alone be good at it. Yet here I am, feeling ready to return to the homework-free 9-to-5 days of the summer months.

All in good time. Until then, I’ll be at the library, dreaming of Snack Wednesdays.

And perfect, sunny days.
And perfect, sunny days.