Making it Happen in Boston: My Summer Internship at W2O
Nicole Benedetto '18 on Being a Successful Marketing-Communications Intern
Spring Semester Junior Year: Getting Ready!
My spring semester of Junior year consisted of countless trips to Career Services, sending out nearly 30 internship applications, and preparing for many phone interviews. The process of securing an internship for the summer almost felt like an additional class to my already heavy course load! However, I discovered it was much easier to land an interview by utilizing the many resources offered by Marist: applying through Marist FoxQuest or CareerShift, reaching out to Marist’s Alumni Network or co-workers from previous internships, and chatting about opportunities with Career Services and the Internship Program directors. The work I put into my applications felt well worth the effort when I accepted a summer internship with W2O Group, a marketing and communications firm, in Boston, MA.
Leading up to my internship start date, I grew increasingly nervous. Despite having been offered the position, I was worried that I was not qualified and would not be successful. During this time, I voiced my concerns to several mentors and professors, and they willingly shared their advice and guidance - it helped immensely, and I felt much more confident in my skills and abilities.
Summer Hits: Time to Make it Happen
I was so full of nerves and excitement as I took the subway into Downtown Boston on my first day. I couldn’t believe that after months of anticipation, the day had finally arrived. When I took the building elevator up to the sixth floor, I was greeted by a welcoming team of professionals. Everyone was so friendly and kind; I felt myself letting go of the stress and self-doubt that I had internalized for so long.
My first day at W2O was the first of many exciting days. While the demands were high and the work extremely fast-paced, my co-workers were always willing to answer questions and offer help when I was struggling. There were times over the summer when I was not sure if I would meet the challenge of a project, but with the guidance from my manager and co-workers, I always did. It was a great feeling!
Being the only intern in the Boston office, I was always jumping onto calls with my team, and even the final presentation was one that I gave remotely through a video call. Learning how to collaborate with people in different offices over the phone was a skill I didn’t realize I needed to develop, but one that I am very happy I did.
The intern project I was brought on to do involved putting together an integrated communications plan for a client and presenting it to a group of judges at the end of the summer. This project was very similar to one I worked on in my Junior year course, Communication Campaign Management. I was excited that the skills I gained during this course prepared me for this project and allowed me to serve as an asset to my team.
There were times when my workload was light, and I had to speak up to ask for more projects. While it can be awkward at times to ask for additional work, as soon as I would reach out to my co-workers, there was almost always someone who needed me to take on an assignment. I quickly learned that the best way to succeed as an intern is to be proactive!
Fall Semester Arrives: Taking Lessons Learned Back to Marist
By spending nine weeks interning with this fast-paced agency, I learned so much about the marketing and communications industry, and so much about myself. As an intern, I started off with the knowledge I had learned in the classroom, and that prepared me for reaching new levels of expertise over the duration of the summer.
Through my internship, I also made gains in my professional skills. It's easy to forget that a huge part of working in an office can be sending emails or frequently conversing through phone calls. While these skills might seem silly, I know that learning how to manage my inbox and successfully communicate in the work environment will help me down the line when I move from intern to employee.
While I loved my time in the office, working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week on top of a 40-minute commute made me think about “work-life balance.” Managing my time so I was able to cook meals, exercise, spend time with friends, explore Boston, and get a full night of sleep so I could be productive on the job was a bit overwhelming at first, but I learned how to handle it all while still having fun.
Now that I'm back at Marist for Senior year, I truly believe the internship at W2O helped me transition from a college student to a public relations professional. This final year at Marist will go by fast, but I am confident that the experiences I have gained so far have prepared me for life after graduation.
Written by Nicole Benedetto '18
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