September 24, 2014
Don’t Judge an Internship by its Location
By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65
When you live in a small city, the last thing that you want to do is stay there for an internship – I was no exception. Being from a small, rural community, Marion,OH was the last place I wanted to go to get internship experience for the summer before my junior year – but that was where I stayed. By the time I started looking for internships last year, I was out of luck in finding myself an internship. I did get interviews, but I kept getting the same feedback from them: we want someone older. Feeling discouraged and upset, I settled for a social media internship at my local visitors bureau in Marion.
I quickly realized that this was actually a blessing in disguise. My whole life I have been told that my hometown wasn’t a good place to live and had nothing to do. Working at the visitors bureau really opened my eyes to what my community really has to offer its people. Marion was actually rich with history and museums of all sorts that no one seems to recognize or even know about. I had friends coming to me for making plans because I always learned about events going on and new coffee shops that were opening.
The bureau had a summer campaign called “Marion’s Amazing Treasures” which featured about two-dozen places around Marion to visit. Every place that you visited would give out stickers to put on your grid. They let me do the Amazing Treasures activity, and had me blog and write for the Marion newspaper about my experiences at all of the different places. I became a better writer from all of the blogging that I had done, and had gotten my own blog as a result!
I was also able to do some great networking, as well as meet a lot of great people. One of the women that I blogged with working on the Amazing Treasures project, worked with the Ohio Historical Society for a long time, and has some great contacts with a lot of Tourism PR people – including a woman that does PR for the whole state of Ohio, which is the area of PR that I want to do! She also has great connections with Discover Ohio (the tourist magazine that Ohio puts on to attract business).
This was definitely a diamond-in-the-rough kind of internship, and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. The women that I worked with were incredible people inside and out, and taught me things outside of PR like the importance of family and love. My summer really showed me not to discredit any experience and make the most out of it – you never know what you may learn or whom you might run into.