It's been three years since I began my first-ever internship at Kuder, Inc. As a big step up from my grocery store gig, I was excited to put on my blazer and get to work. Throughout my year at Kuder, I learned to work hard to improve my skills. Most importantly to me, I had great mentors there to teach me to believe in my talents and capabilities.
I’ve never stopped working for what I want.
After graduating from high school in May 2015, I wrapped up my Kuder internship and entered the University of Iowa in August 2015. I’m on track to graduate in May 2018, with a major in marketing and a certificate in event planning. Yes, I’m finishing college in less than three years! I attribute this achievement to having solidified my interest in marketing while still in high school, which meant that I didn’t change majors several times like many of my friends have done. I also took AP classes in high school and earned college credit for them. This enabled me to test out of some classes, so I was able to focus on courses related to my major in my first year.
Not only have I worked hard to get through school, but I balanced my academic priorities with various internships to gain more work experience. Before I got to campus my first year of college, I was already job-searching in the area. Thankfully, I ended up interning for two years with the University of Iowa Alumni Association, conveniently situated on campus. There, I got to apply my marketing, social media, and design skills in a different setting and to a new kind of market.
I gained valuable experience through short- and long-term internships.
During the summers, I interned for various organizations and my roles dealt with marketing, graphic design, and business processes. While I loved getting to work with a Kuder for nearly a year, and I spent an extended amount of time at some positions, I found that even spending three months with an organization was enough time to gain relevant experience – and working with new people and in different types of work environments has helped diversify my skills. So even these short “stints” have been valuable to me.
Now, I’m working at a local development and construction company as a marketing intern. Compared to my previous internships, this role allows me to be independent with less oversight and more autonomy to make decisions, which I attribute to the experience I’ve gained thus far. From working on email campaigns, to social media strategies and planning events, I love what I get to do.
I’m dreaming big, and planning accordingly.
As I reflect on my past, I realize what has helped me immensely is that I began working on identifying (and pursuing) my career field early on – before I even entered college. I focused on my future career as I pursued my major as well as during summer and winter breaks. I’ve learned so much in the past three years from each and every internship, marketing course, and the professionals with whom I’ve interacted in my growing professional network.
As I look ahead to my future, I’m excited for what’s to come, I won’t stop working hard and leaning on the support system that I’ve built along my journey.
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