My name is Tarah Carter, and this summer I had the pleasure of being a business leadership intern at Allen & Gerritsen. The business leadership team at A&G is similar to that of an account management team. I assisted the team with daily tasks, but as you can imagine, no day was the same. Some days were filled with client meetings frantically trying to meet deadlines, and other days were mellow days spent researching industry trends. Whatever the day held, I was more than happy to be a part of the A&G team and assist in any way possible.

A weekly assignment I participated in was called the “Weekly Pop-Culture Round Up” where myself and five other interns from various departments got together to present what was going on in pop-culture, and how it related to our clients. This was one of my favorite projects for a plethora of reasons, the first being that it made me so much more educated about what was going on in the world. This project allowed me to go on news websites, and read things that I later happily preached to anyone I came across that day. At one point, I told a lady at Panera that a study found playing certain video games is actually good for people’s mental health. Why did I disclose this random piece of information to an innocent lady just trying to eat her sandwich on fancy bread? Because for the first time, I felt like an informed citizen, and I wanted nothing more than to share my new knowledge with everyone. Another thing this project left me with is the ability to see a piece of news and relate it to a client in some way or another. I can’t aimlessly scroll through my social media feed now without seeing something and relating it to a client. This has made me use my brain in ways I didn’t know was possible. This internship has taught me that almost all things are connected somehow. I think this skill of always connecting what I see in the real world to my work will be something I carry with me for life. So, to A&G for giving me the space to unlock this ability within myself, I am eternally grateful.

One of my favorite Pop-Culture Round Up topics that I reported on was that Dolly Parton sleeps in a full face of make-up every night just in case an earthquake happens during the night. Not only is this fact fascinating and bizarre, it also related to one of our clients. In this Dolly Parton article, she mentioned that since she sleeps in her makeup she attends to all of her skincare needs in the morning — including removing her makeup with a product similar to a product one of our clients makes. I had an idea for the PR team to send Ms. Parton a package with our client’s product in it to see how she liked it, in hopes of her eventually switching to our client’s product. The PR team loved the idea, and said they would reach out to her! I may not be two tectonic plates rubbing together, but I hope in some way I will alter the path of Dolly Parton’s life (by way of improving her skincare routine, of course!).

My internship at Allen & Gerritsen has been so beneficial for me in more ways than I could have imagined. Not only has it sharpened my analytical eye, but it has boosted my confidence in my work. This internship has given me a fresh perspective not only about my work, but about myself in general. I am so grateful for this experience, and I hope I changed Dolly Parton’s life for the better (probably not, but optimism never hurt anyone).