I have worked this internship site for more than a year, and I have had the opportunity to experience both academic conferences and summer special events. During the academic year, I worked on conference prep materials including signage, speaker bios, conference programs and registration materials. I was also able to help with the execution of these events. This gave me valuable experience with directing and talking to large audiences, working with conference chairs to ensure the event was running smoothly and checking room setup and catering.
The summer season provided a different type of experience because the events were larger and required more planning. In addition to creating print materials and signage, I was able to coordinate travel for conference registrants and organize evening events for youth groups. I also had the opportunity to update the website with new events, create proposals and work on conference billing and budgeting.
I had the opportunity to work on the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals. This event brought thousands of guests to Ames to compete in creative competitions. I was originally hired as a member of event staff, and they later decided to hire me as an intern. I was immediately assigned to work on signage plans, call volunteers, cross check registrations and work with accommodations and transportation. It was a very hectic week, but it was the most valuable and hands on experience I could have asked for.
After my first summer at Conference Planning and Management, I knew this was a great place for me to gain experience. I was asked to stay through my junior year, and I was assigned projects that gave me even more responsibility. I was asked to serve as the transportation coordinator, and I was given duties such as creating the entire signage plan for a conferences. I found myself continuously learning new things and gaining new experiences. I know this will continue as I finish my final semester in December.
Work hard, stay positive and always ask for more. Your first internship will give you valuable experience. It will also give you an idea of what your first job may be like. Impress your supervisor by working hard and learning as much as you can about the organization. If you find yourself with down time, take advantage of it and ask other co-workers if they need help with projects. This is a great opportunity to work with and learn from professionals. In the end, always keep your head up. Internships can be stressful and long hours, but know that everything always works out in the end. If you work hard, the experience will pay off.