I can’t believe that my semester at Philadelphia magazine is coming to an end. I only have two days left of my internship in their sales department and it seems like just yesterday that I started there. The end of this semester also means the end of my junior year. This time next year, I will be finished with my college career. Crazy, right?
This semester has been, in a word, insane. Two jobs, my internship, and a full time course load. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I gained so much valuable experience through my internship at Philly mag. I learned how all of the ins and outs of how sales operate in a magazine. I was able to help with everything from contacting leads to fact checking ads to creating recaps to making and sending counter cards for advertisers to display. My boss, Danielle, was wonderful about ensuring that I was never bored and could experience the full range of opportunities. While I adored my internship, I learned that I do not want to pursue a career in advertising sales for a magazine. As I have stated previously, it is not a kind of stress that I could handle day in and day out.
Watching the interactions between my coworkers at Philly mag was awesome. All of them supported each other. If someone was struggling to get something done, they would go to bat for each other and make sure that they didn’t take the heat. They were willing to ask each other questions and not feel inadequate for doing so. It wasn’t just for work, though. When Danielle’s dog died, one of our coworkers brought her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. If someone needed to talk about something personal, they all seemed willing to do that, too. If a couple of people were having a quick chat around Danielle’s desk (where mine is attached) they would always include me. I really felt a personal connection to my coworkers. With that personal connection came a professional respect. They knew that I could handle more complex tasks and that I was a hard worker willing to do anything they needed. I owe that connection and respect to Danielle. I stated in a previous blog post that Danielle made sure that I was never just “the intern.” That promise continued throughout the semester.
Before I started at Philly mag, I had essentially no expectations. I knew things about the magazine, but I knew absolutely nothing about what I would be doing at the internship. In my interview, I was told that I would generally be assisting the sales department. I pictured constant coffee runs, errands, photocopying, and hours of sitting doing nothing. Boy was I wrong. I was constantly stimulated, which was great. It meant that when I did have to run errands, it was a welcome break. But as I said earlier I wouldn’t change a thing.
I loved that they trusted me with responsibilities. When I worked at the Whiskey Festival, I worked alongside the full time employees and checked in VIPs (who spent $150/person to get to sample additional reserve brands, free shoe shines, a Chima cooking demo, and special tours of the Linc). I felt like such a bigwig. I knew that they trusted me and had respect for me because I was the first face that the VIPs saw. (I am going to attach some pictures of Whiskey Festival so that you can appreciate how awesome it was). The event was massive and seeing it all come together was very impressive. Infiniti sponsored it and dozens of stands represented hundreds of liquors. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the event was that the club level of the Linc was so packed that they had a folk band on one end and could have a mariachi band on the other end without any interference of sounds. (The mariachi band was part of a Jose Cuervo tequila bar with a Union Taco stand). The event space was set up with a great flow and I was astounded by the magnitude and beauty of it. I can’t wait until next year so I can be an actual guest!
All in all, I gained real world knowledge about the sales industry. When I am working on the creative side, I can use that knowledge when I must interact with sales people. I learned how to grow in a professional setting. I wasn’t afraid to ask for more tasks and it made people trust me with more. More practically, I learned a lot about Excel, MAX, and ACT. I have had an amazing three months and Philly mag and I am going to savor my last two days there!
Running out of VIP wristbands is never a good thing. Hence, my intense face.
Folk band on the “whiskey” side
Mariachi band with Jose Cuervo
On site Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store (VIPs got $15 gift cards).