The End of My Internship at Small Army

This past Thursday, I finished my time as account services and social media intern for Small Army and Small Army For A Cause. So it’s safe to say the end has been very bittersweet for me as it is never easy to say goodbye to a place I genuinely enjoyed being a part of. I already miss being a part of the Small Army team and being able to work with all of my coworkers there. I will especially miss all of the .gifs and memes exchanged in the office email chains. That being said, the end has really made I appreciate all of the experiences I’ve made along the way. Every experience has taught me many valuable lessons and created new opportunities. Through these new lessons and opportunities, I can thankfully say that I transformed from a student who originally felt like I was not for ready for life after college into one who can now comfortably say I feel confident for life in the workforce.

 

Since my last blog post, these last few weeks have flown by. My responsibilities at Small Army slowly transitioned into focusing solely on the Be Bold, Be Bald! cancer fundraiser. As most of the planning had been completed, I focused mainly on customer service, social media, and scheduling our emails. For customer service I worked to finalize commitment from beneficiaries, handle orders from the Bald Shop, and to answer questions from participants. One of the things I’m most proud of was securing Lowell General Hospital Team Walk for CancerCare as one of the beneficiaries of the fundraisers. It was exciting to be one of the major contributors behind bringing on board such a large and successful non-profit foundation, especially since it is located 10 minutes from my hometown of Dracut. As for the social media and email scheduling my assignments were to run the Be Bold, Be Bald! Facebook event page and to use our email marketing service provider MailChimp to schedule every email we had written to be sent out leading up to the event. In the last few days, I had two exit interviews with different Small Army coworkers. They were very helpful and were perfectly representative of Small Army’s goal to make each intern have as worthwhile an experience as possible. I hope my exit interviews will help Small Army make future internship experiences even better than mine.

 

I would like to end by giving many thanks to all at the Small Army team and by listing the top 15 lessons I learned as an intern there. I will be forever grateful for having the opportunity to spend this summer as a Small Army intern and I am thankful to them for making this such an invaluable experience.

Foo Fighters – Learn To Fly – YouTube

Thank you Small Army. (This is a Foo Fighters reference for KC Cole in the media department)

 

 15 things I learned this summer:

  • Be Nice to everyone: You never know where your life will take you
  • Smile: Smiling is contagious and has a positive impact on the workplace.
  • Be Organized: Take notes, keep a to-do list, create a calendar for deadlines and meetings.
  • Network, Network, Network: Attend company outings and strike up conversations with other people at the event. You never know whom you will meet.
  • Understand that you are not perfect: You are going to make mistakes. However, what is important is what you learn from the mistakes and how you use them to make better decisions in the future.
  • Have confidence, but stay humble: Confidence can be very rewarding, but it is important to stay humble and to understand what crosses the line.
  • Keep Learning: Whether it’s new technology, research techniques, or job skills, the more you know, the more of an asset you are.
  • Find a role model(s): Learn what they have done and continue to do in order to be successful.
  • Understand how tasks get done: How does a project start and what is the process to complete it?
  • Understand and Meet deadlines: Completing work when it is due will solidify coworkers’ trust in you. If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you cannot meet a deadline, it is important to take responsibility to effectively communicate that information to your team. Being aware of the situation will allow the team to adapt more effectively.
  • Take on extra tasks, but do not overcommit: Helping coworkers complete projects is great, but if you overcommit on projects it will be difficult to meet deadlines.
  • Call people on the phone: If email is not successful, pick up the phone and talk. Phone calls allow you to give a personal touch.
  • Make the most out of every job: You never know what you will learn. Even the most monotonous jobs can have hidden benefits.

– James Machado ’16

3 thoughts on “The End of My Internship at Small Army”

  1. I really liked reading your list of 15 things that you learned this summer. Though our internships were very different in what we did and the focus of our organizations, I saw so much of what I learned in your list, especially the comment about the value of networking. Though I found it strange, sometimes awkward and foreign, in the end, pushing myself to do it as I’m sure you did as well, made me a batter and more confident person. I also think it goes to show that no matter the career paths or jobs we may explore in our future after Brandeis, there are so many common things that together make a successful employee, and in this case intern, experience.

  2. I really loved the “15 things I learned this summer” because even thought I was doing something completely different, everything you have stated has really resonated with me and I think is great advice for anyone trying to get an internship or currently in one. I think your point on understanding how tasks get done is huge. I was working in a different country this summer and the process and way “things got done” was completely different than what I was used to. Observing and communicating/ questioning was really key in trying to figure out how things were done so that I was actually useful. It sounds like you had a really meaningful summer and learned a lot about how much work goes into fundraising! I learned it is very hard especially when you have no experience, and it’s so awesome that you connected a wonderful nonprofit! Hope this year is as good as your summer!

    Paulina

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