Brittany Ulman is a senior Creative Writing student at Ball State University with minors in Professional Writing & Emerging Media and Spanish. Currently, she is the marketing intern for International Floral Distributors (IFD). She will write press releases for the company and its Flower Trend Forecast, as well as work on projects to enhance distributor services for IFD’s vendor partners.
My internship at IFD has definitely been a whirlwind to say the least.
Even though I was not completely prepared for the way in which I was propelled into the previously foreign world known as the flower industry, that exact phenomenon is one of the reasons why I have enjoyed my time at IFD.
There is something about not knowing all of the details and the need to learn more about those unfamiliar technicalities that makes this internship so valuable. Simply put, my college education, though wonderful and well-rounded, cannot teach me as much as I would like before graduation.
This is by no means a fault of the university, they have done many amazing things for me both in terms of my education and future. There is no telling where I would be without the Ball State English Department and their helpful and inspiring professors. Yet, college simply cannot teach me everything I need to know before leaving the hallowed halls of Ball State. No matter the size of the university and number of their faculty, it is unfathomable to teach every student every detail s/he will need in the future. This is especially true given that most people continue to learn these details throughout their entire career.
Fortunately though, those at IFD are doing a tremendous job in teaching me about the flower industry and life in general as best they can in a few months. Because IFD is on a much smaller scale than Ball State, its members have more opportunities to guide me and answer my questions.
With this being IFD’s official inaugural year of their annual internship program, they also were not quite as prepared for this summer, but that has not stopped them from giving me a valuable experience.
Like I previously mentioned, my internship has placed me in an unexplored environment, and I have enjoyed that aspect. I love the fact that as an intern, I am not doing busy work. Instead, I am working side-by-side with IFD’s employees on numerous projects.
Catalina Correa and I have recently started the project aimed at enhancing distributor services for IFD’s vendor partners. The entire process will take quite a bit of time and effort, but it will all be worthwhile. Because of tasks such as this, I will leave with physical evidence of my accomplishments, objects that are invaluable when it comes to applying for jobs in the future.
I have also been put in charge of creating and updating several Pinterest pages for IFD as well as maintaining the schedule for the member and vendor email blasts. Other jobs I have been given are to edit scripts for the 2017 Flower Trends Forecast videos and to help create the copies for the value pages for IFD’s 2017 catalog.
The first task concerning the Pinterest pages involves me sorting through numerous images and selecting the ones I believe will best appeal to IFD’s target audiences. The email updates I send out also consist of similar work in which I search for popular trends and new flowers to include in each update.
When it comes to the video scripts, I collaborated with Executive Director Jeff Lanman and IFD’s Trend Forecaster, Michael Skaff, to create scripts that best describe 2017’s trending color schemes, flowers and accent pieces.
Finally, IFD’s annual catalog includes pages, better known as value pages, where a particular vendor is gifted personal pages for their contribution to IFD and its catalog. It is my job to write the value statements to accompany the images on these pages that best represent the vendor and the product we are showcasing on the page.
These projects and many more are sure to keep me busy for the remainder of the summer. In retrospect, it is amazing to see how much progress I have made in terms of specific tasks and information I have gained about myself and my future. When this internship finally comes to an end and school picks back up again, it will all be bittersweet. Yes, I will have to leave a team I have grown accustomed to and will miss, but I will be leaving a more confident, strong and informed young woman ready to take on another semester, graduation and whatever the future holds for me after Ball State.