This is part of a continuing series of "Summer Intern Chronicles" that Cape Cod Today will publish throughout the season. Many local college students undertake internship experiences during summer break. These internships can truly form a young person as a professional in their chosen career path. For many, the internship is their first work experience in the career they hope to pursue. These internship stories are intended to give the students an opportunity to share their experiences, showcase the work of their sponsoring organization and put in a plug for their college. The stories are written in the students' own words and published verbatim as submitted.
If your Cape & Islands or Plymouth organization hosts summer interns and you'd like them to participate, please email [email protected] and we will send you the project guidelines.
Katie Jones from Lasell College
My name is Katie Jones and I was born and raised in Dennis, Ma right here on Cape Cod. I am entering my Junior year at Lasell College, in Newton, MA. As a communication major, I have benefitted from everything I learn at Lasell inside and outside of the classroom. I added Event Management as a minor this past semester as I know, no matter what career path you may choose, events will always be involved whether it’s as small as an office meeting or as large as a festival, which is the case for my internship.
This summer, I have interned with Agway of Cape Cod as their Marketing Assistant. Agway is a family owned business with three locations; Orleans, Dennis, and Chatham. Owned by the Wile/ Thomas family, I have had the pleasure to work with people who truly care about their customers and support the Cape community fully.
I was originally hired with my event management skills in mind to help put on Paw Palooza, the largest dog festival on Cape Cod. All the proceeds made at Paw Palooza are donated to the Animal Rescue League of Boston: Brewster location, and the MSPCA in Centerville. Eventually, I helped with some marketing projects for the Agway stores, as well. Throughout my internship I have managed the social media pages for both Agway of Cape Cod and Paw Palooza. I have also made promotional videos for Paw Palooza using my video production skills. I spent a lot of time going to Paw Palooza sponsors to give them all the Paw Palooza marketing materials they needed. This included posters, lawn signs, rack cards, and raffle tickets. Another, bigger project I was in charge of was making sure we got the in-kind donations we needed from local businesses to help support Paw Palooza. Being the point person, I was able to get Shaw’s to donate 200 gallons of water and 1500 water bottles to make sure both humans and dogs were hydrated at Paw Palooza. I found that the two weeks leading up to the event was the busiest. About a week prior to the event, I was able to experience crisis mode for the first time as an event planner. Several of our food vendors cancelled on us so I spent almost 4 hours calling and emailing various food vendors, trying to convince them to come to our event with such short notice. In the end, Paw Palooza was of course a success and we were able to enjoy it fully.
Aside from in the office, I have been able to attend many workshops and seminars with Agway’s Marketing Director, Ally Piper. Ally has had a great impact on me as I have been her assistant. She has been positive with every assignment she’s given to me and helped me become a better communication student. One of my biggest fears with my first internship was the fact that I would be working with a real company doing real work that reflects the company, I didn’t want to be the one to represent Agway in a negative way or mess up any projects given to me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I got to know Ally on a personal level which made the atmosphere at Agway that much easier to work in. Ally never forgot I was a student and taught me some things that I hadn’t yet learned in the classroom. One of the biggest things I learned was not everything goes by the textbook. Sometimes improvising is necessary and sometimes there are no rules at all on how to go about a situation.
I found a part of myself doing this internship. I found that I really enjoy philanthropic opportunities. I find myself at school donating my time and energy into giving back to the community. After being a part of an event like Paw Palooza, giving back to such a great cause like animal welfare, I want to continue working with these types of events.
I often joke with Ally and the Agway owners about me not going back to school and to just continue to work for Agway as an intern forever. I do have to go back to school in the fall, but I am leaving Agway knowing that I have made great connections, I have networked with many people, and I have a potential career path that I didn’t think of prior to working with the Agway team. I do plan on moving back to the Cape once I graduate from school and knowing the relationships I have made with Agway and the family, I know I have a new network to utilize when it comes time to finding a job. My advice to anyone looking for an internship is to relax and stay open minded. I was so nervous my first few weeks being the “kid’ in the office, worried about not knowing anything. I had to take a step back and remind myself that I am still a student while everyone else has been doing their work for many years. Having an open mind also helped to network and learn about other careers I never thought of. This hands on experience has been crucial to me as a student and I now can’t wait to jump into the work field.