Monday, August 15, 2005

22 Again

Good Monday. Searching for the Fountain of Youth? Want to recapture the heady days when you’d just started in the business of marketing communications? Erin Bettison has joined Wood Group, so I asked her to draft a few notes about getting into marcom. Here’s what she wrote, fresh from her keyboard:

“Classification: intern. E-mail signature: corporate communications intern. That is what I have been for the better part of the year 2005. I never thought I would be an intern (aren’t they just in law and doctor’s offices?), and as of Monday, August 15, I might never be an intern again.

“In order to graduate from college, I HAD to do an internship. It was required, mandatory, credit hours, nada diploma without it. So I secured an internship at probably any male’s (and many of the fairer sex’s as well) dream place: a Budweiser distributing company. I was a marketing intern, but mostly, I was a paper cutter.

“I did my share of sitting in on marketing meetings, onsite marketing, and merchandising. I even got to help plan the annual company convention. But, for a good two-thirds of my internship, I was in the print shop, standing over a paper cutter or laminator. Such is life and I did indeed learn about all of Budweiser’s products and how they market their beverages to various gender, ethnic, age, etc. segments.

“Then I graduated. Now I would get a job. No more internships, right? I had completed one, and the first experience was not an unpleasant one. I was so scared that I would now waste away my summer searching for that unreachable, but ‘it has to be out there,’ ideal job. Little did I know that an internship would lead me to that position.

“At first I turned down the second internship that was offered. It was only offered as an internship with no opportunity for a continuing position, and my travel arrangements were unreasonable for just a ten-week internship. Fate wasn’t ignoring this naïve, new graduate, however. I received a call that the internship offer had changed. It would now hold the opportunity for a full-time job to follow. I jumped.

“Enter a whole new world: the oil industry. I thought, ‘I can’t write about oil wells and natural gas! I can’t organize events around an industry I don’t even understand!’

“But I did, and I still am. It was rough at first, and the bumps continue to be firmly ironed out. If those ten weeks had served as just an internship I would have been so much more confident if I had to search for another job following it. I have written, edited, designed layouts, had international correspondences, booked flights and hotel rooms, ordered food (of course!), and so much more.

“The internship is over now. I have said goodbye to my mentor and shed my old e-mail signature. My title now reads ‘Corporate Communications Coordinator.’ I never thought I would be 22 years old, out of college, already at a job, and actually using the degree I worked four years to earn. From Budweiser’s golden brew, to the ‘black gold’ of oil, I made it, with two internships behind me.”

The rest will be history. Join me in wishing Erin good luck!

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