Building Creative Confidence
As a junior in college, I found it rather daunting when family members, friends, professors, and others asked me what my plans were after graduation. I decided to look for an internship sooner rather than later in hopes that it would give me some experience and career direction. Growing up, I watched my parents work hard to make a difference in the lives of others. I witnessed the power of social entrepreneurship firsthand as they started a business to help women in the Middle East. I was interested in making a similar impact in the world and wanted to find an internship where I could integrate what I was learning in school with my desire to be creative when a friend pointed me to Access Ventures. After looking through their website, I appreciated the value they placed both on creativity and on making a difference within the community. I decided to apply and I’m now an intern with their creative marketing team.
When I was a kid, I loved to write, draw, and paint. As I got older, I would stay up late at night to write poetry and short stories. Creativity has always been a big part of my life, but I wondered whether I could merge my desire to create with my future career. Several of my marketing and communications classes have sparked an interest in graphic design and through this internship, I’ve had the opportunity to learn some design basics and produce content that gets published. It’s exciting to have responsibility within this organization and know that my contributions are valuable, not just busywork.
Creativity has always been a big part of my life, but I wondered whether I could merge my desire to create with my future career.
I have recently figured out that I learn by doing. Because of this, it can be hard for me to sit in a classroom and just take in information. It’s difficult to have someone explain how to do something and then expect me to know what I’m doing without practice. This internship has allowed me to have hands-on experience creating and producing content. By doing these projects, I’m connecting class material to real-world situations. I’m able to see how topics I’ve studied, such as internal communication and marketing strategies, play out in the workplace. For example, in one of my classes, we researched various internal communication platforms and best practices for social media marketing, and now I get to participate in these things for a real-world organization. I’ve created brand style guides in a few classes, but now I see how useful they actually are because I refer to them when I am creating documents or designs for Access Ventures.
Without much experience outside retail and foodservice, it was difficult for me to imagine what a communication job within a company looks like. Thus, one of the most valuable parts of the internship is watching how an organization operates and how different departments work together to accomplish the overall purpose of Access Ventures. I have benefitted from seeing the structure and workflow of Access Ventures and its employees. From internal communication channels to task assignments to video calls, I’ve been able to witness firsthand the daily in’s and out’s of this organization. Through scheduling meetings and getting to know fellow interns and employees, I’ve enjoyed being an active participant in a company culture that fosters community.
This has given me some context for what a job in my field could look like. I know that not all organizations operate the same way, and there are many avenues I could take with my degree, but my experience at Access Ventures has been an affirmation that I’m in the right major and what I’m studying could lead to a satisfying job. This opportunity has encouraged me to always be a learner no matter what I do. I should embrace the journey of taking initiative, asking good questions of those more experienced than I, and pursuing knowledge and creativity wherever I go.
While I don’t know what type of company I’ll work for when I graduate, this internship has taught me to care about organizational culture, not just the tasks I’m responsible for. I’ve also discovered what it can look like to have a creative career and work for a business that takes social impact seriously. This sense of pursuing social impact has been ingrained in me since I was small, but I am just now realizing how important it is in my professional life. While I started this internship interested in learning graphic design and marketing skills, I’ve realized a career can be about so much more than just skills.
This opportunity has encouraged me to always be a learner no matter what I do.
Though I still have a lot to learn, I now have a sense of direction for my life after college. I am encouraged to know there are jobs out there that will challenge my creative abilities while giving me purpose at the same time. Through my internship at Access Ventures, I have truly learned so much about communication, design, and creativity in the workplace, and I know I will take these lessons with me everywhere I go!
Access Ventures is currently seeking applications for our 2021 Summer and Fall cohorts. To learn more and apply check out our internship page.