As I mentioned before, I’m interning this summer with an event planning firm in DC.
I’m about one month in, and I’ve docked 54 train rides, 6 weddings (2 of which were destination!), and more hours spent stalking vendors on Instagram than I care to admit. It has truly been a whirlwind, full of constant lessons, challenges, and moments where I’ve surprised myself. I’ve learned how to coordinate complicated transportation patterns, that a BEO is the Bible of any event, and what on Earth the difference between chiavari, cane back, and Tuscan bentwood is.
I really took a plunge with this internship; I stepped out of my comfort zone of advertising/marketing/film/writing and totally immersed myself in the—as I’ve come to learn—not-as-glam-as-it-seems world of wedding and event planning.
It’s been tough, man. Commuting about three hours door-to-door total every day is exhausting, and spending weekends guaranteeing that somebody else’s day goes perfectly is tough. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t rewarding.
Firstly, I’m so proud of myself that I totally navigated away from the standard canon of college internships. While my friends are doing amazing things at their respective finance firms and marketing agencies, I’m psyched that I’m wielding my abilities and interests towards something that is so hands-on, different, and challenging. I’ve been able to lend my graphic design and marketing skills to some really awesome projects (that I’m not allowed to talk about!! Wow, I feel so important) that forced me to think outside the box and think creatively. But I’ve also been exposed to so. much. stuff. I went from having no idea what a wedding looked like on the vendor side to being able to command vendors.
Even moreso, I’m really excited by how people have been so positive and complimentary about the work that I’m doing. Other people’s approval isn’t anything (never has been to me), but I think Hopkins gets a bad rap for being this buttoned-up, narrow-minded school where everyone is all medicine or whatever all the time. It just ain’t true. People have been excited—no, envious—of my internship, and are so quick to pitch in their own two creative cents. The other day, my one friend, a distinctly science-minded girl, sent me a timelapsed videos of beautiful cakes being decorated. It’s really showed me how people at Hopkins respect each other’s line of work even if it isn’t for them.
I’m proud of how this internship has forced me out of my own little bubble, my own comfort zone. I’ve absolutely mastered the MARC train timetable, and I could probably walk Union Station blindfolded. I used to be intimidated by the commuters, with their monthly passes and ability to wake up right at their stop. Now I’m one of them. And I’ve come to know and love DC, or as much as I can in my relatively limited excursions around the city running errands and grabbing lunch. Having Baltimore as my home base, though, has provided some necessary stability and comfort.
And, finally, I’m proud at how this internship has forced me to confront the real world. I’m someone who ardently denies the fact that they are entering the workforce (or whatever ends up happening) in less than a year, but this internship has been a great opportunity to dip my toes. It has clarified my goals, developed my skills, and allowed me to have some important introspective moments where I can evaluate myself as a Working Gal.
I hate painting internships as the end all, be all. There are a ton of ways to gain experience and develop personally… It just so happens that my internship has been a catalyst for these personal and professional advancements. A big thank you to Karson Butler Events and the Second Decade Society for granting me this growth.
Informed by the world of caterers, calligraphy, and cakes, I’m ready to soul search (just a little more, I promise) and settle down.