On June 19th, 2012, Awesome Inc partnered with Commerce Lexington to offer "Recruiting Awesome Interns" - a workshop geared towards those who want to learn how to recruit, select, and retain the best interns possible. I will give my own answers to some of the questions asked of the panel of Awesome Inc and Orange Leaf interns.
What the biggest benefit you get out of your internship?
The biggest benefit I get from being a part of Team Alpha at Awesome Inc is experience.
While I watched my brother graduate college and spend 5 months looking for a job that paid more than minimum wage, eventually settling for one completely unrelated to his degree, I wondered how I could avoid a similar fate. As one who has always hated working low-wage fast food and retail jobs, I had to find a way to improve my stock as an eventual employee... So I got an internship! While I knew I would eventually have to find an internship as required by my major, I knew that the more experience I could gain before I left college, the better.
The personal and professional value I gain from developing myself, my skills and abilities, and my relationships with the people I meet will be something irreplaceable once I leave Awesome Inc (if I ever do!) due to the genuine nature of being an intern - working voluntarily, not out of necessity.
Why did you pick the internship you picked?
I didn't pick Awesome Inc, Awesome Inc picked me. While I had heard back from other internships, I didn't feel that they were a good fit towards my personality and, in one case, heard from someone in the position I would be filling that I would not be doing any practical work.
The task I was given when I first interviewed for Awesome Inc, on the condition that I was interested in moving forward, was to manage their social media accounts in the busy week before the mobileX Lexington 2012 conference. Them entrusting their brand's name to someone they just met to me showed that they obviously had faith in my abilities, perhaps even more so than I had in my own. The trust they placed in me essentially solidified my desire to be a part of Team Alpha due to the simple fact that they made my work feel like it means something. That is enough to attract most people of above average ability – let them be an important part of something bigger than themselves. Let them be essential to you.
Yeah, that and the free pizza.
How did you hear about Awesome Inc?
Awesome Inc does a great job of reaching all of the possible pipelines of recruiting quality talent. Upon deciding to go back to school, I learned that I would eventually be required to find an internship. This was good timing with my decision to seek one as the College of Journalism and Telecommunications at UK has a list of 180+ internships, paid and unpaid, in locations all over central Kentucky and the United States as a whole.
I, fatefully, searched from the bottom up and found Awesome Inc (who was in the first 5 that I applied for) to seem like a great fit for my wide variety of abilities and interests, especially the technology element.
What is your role at Awesome Inc?
As stated, I was running social media accounts at first. I still keep those fed. I have, however, expanded. While I originally wanted to take a more marketing-based approach to my work at Awesome Inc, learning the magic behind advertising, pitching, etc., I was offered a few projects which coincided with other skills I had.
I've got a lot of random communicative and technical skills that I picked up in my technological upbringing... and I use them. In short: I bridge many of the teams. My presence is most strongly noted on the web, blog (much of my work is behind-the-scenes) and social media teams but I have also worked with the multimedia production team in providing creative IT solutions to coincide with Awesome Inc's small budget.
Why do you stay at Awesome Inc?
As previously expressed, I am here for the experience. I can get experience anywhere, though. Aside from the experience, the people, the culture and the work that I am given the opportunity and privilege to do are what keep me around.
Awesome Inc is home to some of central Kentucky's best, brightest and most creative. On top of that, they're very friendly, open and accepting. While I can be a tad eccentric, even weird, I've found a friend in my fellow Team Alpha members as well as the founders of Awesome Inc. Watching Brian, Luke, Therese, Nick and all of Team Alpha work inspires me to work harder and embrace Awesome Inc Core Value #2: be excellent.
Why did you accept a non-paid internship?
Who are you kidding? Awesome Inc pays me in parking, experience, free food (including Rebecca of Premiere Dance's AWESOME brownies) and great friendships.
I'd rather do work that I love for free than do busy work that I am not passionate about for pay. Awesome Inc offered me the opportunity to do just that and that exceeded all other offers and opportunities I have had since joining. The pay is in the freedom, trust and excellence that I am given the privilege to place in my work.
What is your goal after your internship?
Ideally, I'd like to leave Kentucky for a while. While Awesome Inc has made my time much more enjoyable, I want to see what the world has to offer. I've traveled a lot and can see myself settling down to do marketing or even social media management (apparently I'm really good at it!) in the Midwest or perhaps the Pacific Northwest. I'm confident that much that I've learned through Awesome Inc will be of use to me in the future, be it developed "people skills", ping-pong domination (just kidding, I've yet to beat Nick. Darn!), technical skills or just simply the greatly expanded understanding of business and economics in general.
I'd really like to thank Commerce Lexington, Brian, Therese and all of the panel and audience from the workshop. You guys were great! Also, thanks to everyone at Awesome Inc for being Core Values 1 through 4.