There are no words to properly describe my experience at KSA Marketing + Partnerships this summer. Finding your first internship can be pretty daunting, and I was terrified to be quite honest. Going into an internship, you have no idea what your interests are or what you’re capable of without any previous experience. My only knowledge of the intern experience was from the millions of movies I watched set in offices. In most instances, the interns on screen would run and get coffee, staple papers all day long, and weren’t often acknowledged by name. They were nobodies.

Another concern was accepting an internship at a marketing firm, even though I had not taken a single marketing class yet in my time at Fairfield University; so, I really had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. Fortunately, my experience at KSA totally exceeded any of my expectations.

I have to begin by talking about the team here at KSA, because working with these people was definitely the best part for me. I felt so welcomed from the very beginning, and now I feel like a part of the team. I was not treated as some little intern. Everyone contributed their specific skills to each project, and I was given opportunities rather than simply observing everyone else work. I helped where I could and felt like I was a contributing member throughout my four months here.

The team gave me the confidence to ask questions and share what I had on my mind, because my opinion was valued. I even earned a team nickname with a coworker by the end. With our matching banana office pillows, I’ll always be part of #teambananas. The relationships I made with this team made it almost impossible to say goodbye.

Besides building a bond with this team, I also learned a lot about the marketing field. I was thrown into many different roles during my time at KSA, and I found this extremely valuable. I was able to develop a diverse skill set, while also learning what I was good at and liked doing, versus what I was maybe not as good at. From working on research for RFPs, to coordinating volunteers, to even dabbling in graphic design, I took on much more responsibility than I thought I would. I was also able to reach my potential and see what I could do. More than just learning how to work at a marketing firm, I also learned how to interact with people, and I think this is the most valuable skill I learned. In order to be a good agency, learning how to interact with your clients and other people is essential. I quickly learned the proper way to communicate with others and the importance behind establishing relationships. I always thought I was relatively personable, but now I know how to cold call with ease and talk to clients more smoothly.

Being raised in Rhode Island, I have always loved the state, but one of the coolest things I have gotten to see is the kind of relationships that have developed here. Katie has a passion for RI businesses, and I have seen how she incorporates that into her work. Everyone in RI knows each other and wants to help each other succeed and that allows very unique relationships to develop. Working in a field which depends on your interactions with others has been such a great experience for me because I know I will use the skills I have learned here no matter where I end up.

One of my favorite experiences was the Ride ‘Round Rhody weekend. Nothing will compare to seeing my hard work and lessons I learned come to life. Getting to work on this project all the way through and build those relationships with the people I worked with the whole time brought together everything I had learned.

I simply could not have asked for a better first internship. I was able to learn so much, while also finding my place within Team KSA. I will take the lessons I have learned here, and use them no matter where I go or what I do. I cannot thank everyone at KSA enough for welcoming me and allowing me to be part of the team for the past four months. I truly will treasure the experience, and I will most certainly be back.