My “Ideal” Internship

Before my summer internship with Boelte-Hall began I did not know what to expect. I thought I would just be working on printing presses all summer, which was not my ideal internship. After my first week of work, I was pleasantly surprised that I had only been out with the presses for one day, but I was hesitant to get my hopes up because it was only the beginning. Now that my internship is almost over, I only spent one day out with the presses. I spent most of the summer doing prepress, electronic composition work in the offices. I also did some scanning, filing, creative work and some other random tasks.

I got to sit in on phone calls with clients and go on a sales call. I also got to work on a multichannel marketing campaign, which means I got to use some of my coding skills and learn more about multi-channel marketing. I also got to go to Skills USA as well as visit a few places where our works has been on display. It’s so cool to see a job go from beginning to end.

I have been beyond happy during my internship at Boelte-Hall this summer. Everyone has been very kind, helpful and welcoming. I have had a blast working there and I look forward to coming to work everyday, which is something that most people do not have the privilege of saying.

This internship has definitely impacted my future career experiences. I definitely want to work at a company that has a work environment that is similar to Boelte-Hall. BH has set the bar very high for internships with the numerous things I have learned and the way I have been welcomed into the family. The more everyone has gotten to know me, the more I’ve been involved with jobs that relate to my degree and interests. When I get back to school I will definitely be sharing my summer story with the other students and encouraging them to strive to get this internship next summer!

Since I will be graduating soon, this internship won’t really have an affect on what classes I choose to take but I do think I will have the upper hand in the preflight class I’m about to be taking this fall. I also feel like this internship has showed me how the real “career” world can be. You have to pay close attention to everything you do – or else. If you mess something up then you are only costing your company money and that is a serious consequence. That has been my biggest fear all summer so I have been sure to take detailed notes and ask lots of questions.

I definitely think that one of my personal strengths include communication. I would have failed for sure if I was too shy to ask questions or ask for help. Another strength would be determination and persistence. I work hard and do a lot during the school year so working long days and being busy was nothing new for me – I enjoyed it. Another strength might be curiosity. I’m a pretty curious person and I really wanted to know how they did a variety of things at Boelte-Hall. I am also a very patient person. Being patient came in handy while working with clients who change their minds a lot or don’t know what they want to order to begin with. After hours and hours of working on a job you just want it to be approved so it can move on to the next stage. I think that a weakness would just be a lack of experience. There were multiple times when I felt like I didn’t know how to do something or didn’t feel completely confident in choosing a certain way to complete a project. However, I know that I will never stop learning and that confidence comes from lots of experience, which takes time.

My biggest challenge was probably just trying to take in as much information and learn as much as humanly possible as quickly as I could. I didn’t want people to have to explain things to me over and over so I took lots of notes and gave them my full, undivided attention. Another big challenge was learning how to use their software scheduling system. This software drives the company and it is one thing to have to learn how to use it once, but then after a few weeks they updated and changed the entire system so I had to learn how to use it again. Most of my challenges came from running into bugs in the software and dealing with them. Another big challenge was working on jobs from clients who had sent over poorly made files or graphics, that and clients who don’t know what they want so they change their mind a million times. It gets very frustrating.

I also used a lot of skills from my InDesign and Photoshop classes. There were multiple instances when I had to use one or both of those software programs and I was very grateful for my previous education with them. Whether it was setting lines for cut or cleaning up noise in the background and anything in between I felt pretty confident with my skills from those classes. Another class I used a lot with this internship was the printing technologies class. A lot of the terms and equipment we used was also the same stuff we reviewed or did hands-on projects with in class. I would have been completely lost without that knowledge and I might have not even gotten the internship without it because some of those terms were mentioned during my interviews.

I think that I learned a lot about how to design things and see it go from just a graphic to a job to a finished file and then to print. I think that some of the details that go into these different stages would be useful for students to learn now before we enter into our career fields. I also think it would be cool to introduce variable data into one or more of our classes. This would be especially useful for those of us who are marketing minors or graphics management majors. There are a lot of tricks and tips that you can use InDesign alone to process variable data and I had no idea about any of it before this summer. Every part of adding and editing the variable data has to be done properly so that none of the information gets mixed up and so that each field transfers properly to the postcards in an aesthetically pleasing way. It is all very detail-oriented but I found it to be very intriguing.

I think that I already had pretty strong communication skills but I definitely used them in a different way. I am used to being the leader in my organizations and I have worked hard the last four years to earn those positions but this summer I was back at the bottom of the totem pole. Instead of giving orders I was taking them and trying to learn more and receive answers to my questions. I sometimes struggle with teamwork because I am stubborn and don’t really trust other people during class/group projects – but working with professionals was different. It was cool to see how our teams work together – from the upstairs and downstairs teams to the press room team to the bindery to shipping and so on. Everyone really has to work together in order to be successful so I really think that my trust and teamwork skills have improved this summer.

My initiative during work this summer came from multiple things. Making money and earning a good grade were big reasons but I learned that the most important thing was working hard so that my co-workers wouldn’t have to spend more time and effort making up for things that were messed up. I really just wanted to make them proud. That was a big part of my drive to work hard this summer.

I am really going to miss it at Boelte-Hall. I am very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to work here and become a part of the hilarious, unique and caring family that is Boelte-Hall.

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