The basic expectation of an internship is to apply your education, enhance your education and prepare you for graduation from your education. After completing my internship with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, I can say these expectations were easily exceeded.
My very first day at the hospital, I was blown away by the work environment and employee culture. I was a complete stranger to so many, but every person I encountered that day never failed to welcome me with a warm smile or simple greeting. I knew within hours that this was going to be a life-changing experience—and oh my, it was.
I reflect back on everything I accomplished this summer and it’s impossible to fit it all on paper, but I guess I’ll start with the marketing team… It’s hard not to brag about working in the same room with these incredibly talented, kind-hearted and successful people. There aren’t words even big enough to describe how much I learned from them.
I would have to say, however, the most important thing I learned from this team is that good marketing focuses on the big picture, but great marketing depends on the small details.
For instance: changing ‘discharge’ to ‘graduation’ communicates a warmer vibe; adding that one hashtag may gain us a new follower; an up-close, unique angle makes a photo more eye-catching; embedding that link will direct them straight to the registration page (the small, but mighty list goes on).
I not only enhanced my digital marketing skills, but gained hands-on experiences out in the community as well. I would have never guessed to be doing social on the finish line at the Fifth Third River Bank Run or help judge the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant. I met incredible people and progressed as a professional in public relations all while doing remarkably meaningful work.
Working as an intern at Mary Free Bed allowed me to enhance my marketing mind, but also helped shape my character as well. With new experiences comes new challenges and boy, did I doubt myself. I had never attended a press conference or ribbon-cutting before, let alone live stream these events on social media. Everybody could probably see me sweating, but being thrown into the fire surprisingly helped burn away my doubt.
Of course, I failed at times (okay, a lot of times), but that failure would have never allowed me to seek success. I made connections, strengthened my portfolio and gained the confidence I needed to move forward in my career.
Thank you, Mary. You’ll always have a special place in my heart.