The following blog post was written by former Talley Management Group, Inc. intern, Caroline Woodside.
As a student, especially a student approaching the dreaded upperclassmen years, internship horror stories from roommates, classmates and even professors are widespread. And, for a long time, these stories deterred me from applying to a lot of places out of fear; fear of filing papers in a haunted basement or facing backlash for bringing back the wrong coffee order, to dare I say it, doing it all for free.
But now? All I can say is I’m sorry I didn’t apply to Talley Management Group, Inc. sooner. I’m also sorry for those who didn’t have the opportunity to experience an internship like mine. From the beginning, every single person in the office greeted me with a smile and the warmest of welcomes. The marketing and communications department offered me responsibilities which both challenged me and encouraged me to grow, not only as a communications student, but as a young professional. An added bonus? Unlimited coffee. AND the Keurig cups were recycled. It was an internship dream come true.
Today, I sit at my cozy and now decorated desk, and remember the first time I came to the office for my interview. I approached the historic office building in a flurry of nerves. You would think a Southern New Jersey native of 21 years would know where Mount Royal is… but somewhere between my unnaturally poor sense of direction and the building’s inconspicuous location tucked neatly amidst towering greenery, I found myself lost. Not only was I running late for my first in-person interview at my first internship… I was also sporting an unfortunate coffee stain on my decidedly professional (and formerly pristine) interview attire. The combination of lost, late and disheveled foreshadowed imminent failure, or so I thought.
But that all changed as soon as I walked through TMG’s doors. Once out of the brisk January air and in the warmth of the softly lit corridor, I heard what I thought was the faint pitter-patter of a dog trotting up the hallway. But I remember thinking, why on Earth would there be a dog in the office? Little did I know, I would be greeted by a pup almost every day in the office thereafter. (And if you’ve never been on interview with a 90-pound golden retriever, I highly recommend it.)
TMG never made me feel like the “intern” instead, I felt like a part of the family that is Talley Management Group. When I needed help, a hand was always offered. When I had a question, no matter how clueless, it was always answered, and without judgement. When I tried to work through my lunch break, I was encouraged to take it and enjoy it. My supervisors always acknowledged I was also a full-time student and ensured my schoolwork was never overshadowed by office work. In addition, if a professor held class past normal dismissal or if a roommate blocked my car in the driveway, I was never chastised for being five minutes late to work. In this way, TMG consistently demonstrated understanding, which was not only stress-relieving but contributed to my feeling respected, valued and appreciated, daily.
I am happy to say I am not one of those students who will pass along an internship horror story. Instead, my story is one filled with learning, growth, dogs, sustainable coffee and the joy of becoming a part the Talley Management Group family.