Stranger in a Strange Land

I spent the latter half of August and the first two weeks of the Fall 2015 semester hammering out the details of my internship with Independence Blue Cross Foundation. It was a long road, with many phone calls and emails exchanged but eventually everything worked itself out.

I don’t remember what I thought going on. I wasn’t too worried about the relevancy of an IBC Foundation internship to my future advertising career. I’m of the belief that you can connect nearly anything to advertising and that there’s no such thing as an “unhelpful” internship. If, at the end of the day, one feels that their internship doesn’t truly apply to their interests than at least you’re able to tell the world,”hey grownups! I know how to hold my own in an office!”

I felt my experiences falling somewhere within this loosely defined scale of professionalism and experience. I knew I’d be helping out with communications based on what I’d learned in emails and our interview but I didn’t know the real scope of those duties. My first week was hectic considering I started the week of Pope Francis’ visit to the city. I can recall having to navigate barricades and the beginnings of checkpoints on my way to the office. That Thursday, my second day at IBC, was even spookier as the city felt nearly deserted and the sidewalks were almost entirely blocked off.

But once that event was passed I settled into what I thought would be normality. I was truly surprised at how many different communications-related affairs that I was assigned to. That’s not to say that IBC Foundation did not have its act together – quite the opposite, but that there were many different facets of what corporations classify as “communications”. Over time I found myself creating comparative documents of other corporate foundations’ social media, writing inter-office memos, and even aiding the foundation’s leadership in a conference regarding nursing professionals and leadership in the nursing field.

There’s something about the advertising field that keeps one always focused on the future. There’s a quote, often plastered on Tumblr posts and motivational twitter accounts, that reads “if you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backwards” which I feel perfectly captures the drive shared by all advertisers, both professional, aspiring and retired. I think this internship will be great to bring to agencies in the future as I have first hand experience of working with a client that has very little experience advertising and promoting and needs a guiding hand in these affairs.


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