I learned that account coordination requires diplomacy, teamwork, and, perhaps most of all, precise email communications. Fortunately, it turns out that well-worded emails and fifteen-page English papers draw on pretty similar skills. In time crunches, a background in clear and concise writing helped me communicate critical points to a creative team. In a high-energy office where email inboxes filled up fast, I realized how essential it was that emails be easy to read and easy to act on. As an English major in a corporate setting, I was happy to pull from my liberal arts background in my everyday work. From pinning down the full picture of a client’s request to researching social media trends in the television industry, I was fundamentally analyzing ideas and synthesizing them into some sort of logical form — a process that felt very natural after three years in the College of Arts and Sciences.
I loved being part of a massive intern class of more than a hundred young people. I not only learned so much about the company by chatting with them about their work and their departments, I also made friends who became my summer-long lunchmates! The intern program lined us up with great speakers including Discovery’s CEO, David Zaslav. He taught us that you should always dress as nicely as your coworkers — unless you’re the CEO, in which case you have free reign to wear a vest and jeans.
I jumped on any chances to volunteer. I manned a carnival game at a corporate picnic where I networked with executives’ children. At an internal Shark Week event, I took photos of Discovery employees as they popped their heads into a photo-op cutout of Rob Lowe. I fared much better that day than a friend of mine dressed as Chompie, Shark Week’s iconic shark, who was playfully mauled by a service dog. On the last day of my internship, I volunteered at a Shark Week screening in Silver Spring, and saw my photos published in the local paper the next week. It was bittersweet to leave before Shark Week actually kicked off, but I was proud to break out my extensive Shark Week wardrobe the following week and play my part as walking advertising.
As an intern, I never expected that to feel so genuinely like part of the team and to be given such valuable project management experience. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun or rewarding summer. I gained fantastic exposure to the industry I hope to work in and a company I’d love to work for. I’m grateful to have met so many wonderful friends and mentors — and happy that I live close enough to Silver Spring that I can drop by and see them over Fall Break!