Geneva Heerschap is currently enrolled at Butler University where she is studying Marketing. In 2015, she spent a semester abroad in the Netherlands. Heerschap is the spring marketing and public relations intern at Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America.
As person that likes to be the one who knows it all, it can be rather frustrating to come into an internship and realize you know less than you thought. The purpose of an internship is to grow and become more knowledgeable about a chosen field of interest. Facing the reality that you know less than what you thought can be hard to grasp.
For one my first projects, I had to write a press release. Once completed, I felt confident in my work, but when I got it back I realized I still had more to learn. It was a bit shocking at first since I hadn’t met this kind of feedback in my college classes. To find my Scouting voice, I knew I was going to have to dig deeper and learn more about the organization. I was given a booklet on Scouting values, terms and traditions. I am still working on incorporating Scouting knowledge and style into my writing, and it is something I will keep on working on throughout my internship.
I initially thought I was moderately skilled at editing photos. However, my past experience only extended to Carousel, a free program that helped me edit more than 200 photos for my fraternity’s senior books. To edit the images, I used basic settings to brighten, sharpen and crop to make them look decent for printing. When I started this internship, I found out it would require more than just the “basics.” I had to learn how to fix photo imperfections in Photoshop and design material in InDesign. The first time I edited a photo in Photoshop was with my headshot, and it took me about two hours to finish. As this internship continues, I hope in time I can better master these programs with help from online resources, ongoing practice and internal office resources. This is something that takes practice to master, so I’m continuing to explore the program and try new things.
The purpose of an internship is to grow and become
more knowledgeable about a chosen field of interest.
The next challenge I faced was with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. My previous experience with social media entailed personal accounts and managing company pages during a previous internship for Maja Arnold Design, a jewelry company focused on creating custom monogramed pieces. While working at Crossroads of America Council, I’ve found there is more to social media than simply posting what you want to post – like creating a social media script and planning posts ahead of time. Furthermore, the organization has a voice. Learning how to properly use that voice is equally important.
My final realization was that I did not know how to convey the voice of the organization, and it can take a lot of time to learn that. One of my favorite things to do before an interview is to research the organization. With the Boy Scouts, I felt I already understood their voice because my brother was an Eagle Scout, my sisters were Girl Scouts and I was a Girl Scout for 13 years. Even though the Girls Scout are a different organization with similar morals, I soon found that knowing their morals doesn’t mean I know how to write for them.
The best advice I can offer other interns is to not take the feedback you receive personally. It is okay to take criticism and if takes you five minutes to process it, go for a walk or listen to song that makes you happy. When you get back to work, make it better than it was before. For interns tackling social media, it is important to keep calm and learn. You will get the hang of it.
My overall experience with Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America has been good so far. Those in the marketing department (Cara Wagner and Emily Elliott) are mentoring me and willing to help me learn. They are providing me with networking practice and opportunities; just recently they took me to a networking lunch with Indiana INTERNnet. They are providing me with skills and knowledge that I will use in my career and are truly preparing me for life.