Being a student and an intern has its challenges. Prioritizing your must-do’s and want-to’s while trying to meet expectations and learn the ropes of a new job can be tough. However, these experiences are the very experiences that form your future. My internship did exactly that.
In January of 2015, I started as a marketing intern for the Hastings Economic Development Corporation (HEDC), where I was unsure of the possibilities it would hold. Balancing school with work was not something I was unfamiliar with, but economic development, now, that was a whole new realm. It was apparent from the get-go that I would be interacting with a variety of new people, learning how minor things impact the bigger picture of growing a community, and brushing up on my graphic design skills on a regular basis. All of which rang true.
The internship exceeded my expectations, and I was able to do it for two more semesters. Over that year and half, I fell back in love with the community I had grown up in. The experience reiterated time and time again how much potential Hastings has, and made me realize that I wanted to stay in this community after graduation. When I was offered the opportunity to continue working for HEDC as Director of Talent Solutions, I jumped on the opportunity, knowing that it was the perfect time for Hastings to focus on retaining, attracting, and developing talent on a full-time basis.
The transition from intern to full-time employee was easy as well as hectic. Luckily, I had the local and statewide network already in place when I started. I had been able to research what other communities were doing in regard to talent during my internship, and my mind was already flowing with ideas. Not to mention I realized working 8 to 5 with no homework was absolutely great!
On the other hand, all the ideas I had generated needed to start being implemented, marketing strategies needed to be created and executed, and meetings needed to be scheduled. In other words, putting all my ideas into action was going to be the most interesting part.
As I take on this role as Director of Talent Solutions, I am expecting a busy, yet rewarding experience. I plan to work with community leaders, young professionals and students to discover how my role can work together with other organizations, businesses, educational institutions and the community to make Hastings a community of choice. All of my efforts are focused on the goal to retain and attract talent by promoting all the opportunities Hastings has to offer.
This experience taught me one major thing; having a valuable internship and embracing the experience makes the transition into the real world quite enjoyable.