- What challenges did you face?
In my internship with the Matchmaking Institute, one of the most significant challenges was working remotely. I needed to manage my time in a way that left me three hours of the day to work independently from home. I was often tempted to do other work, but I remained accountable to the schedule we agreed upon. In the past, the organization I worked with did not have interns working effectively for them. There was a lack of instruction that required me to figure out how to accomplish the tasks assigned to me, but this forced me to work with my fellow intern, Monica, and improved my independent work ethic.
- How has it affected your career search?
I learned a lot about an industry I knew very little about. I know how experience with event planning in a for profit environment, but I don’t think I want to be an event planner or coordinator in my career. I learned about interesting positions in the matchmaking industry, like recruiters, who are employed by matchmakers to go seek out single men or women to add to a matchmaker’s database of potential clients or matches for clients. Recruiters must be very charismatic, confident, and comfortable with striking up conversations with strangers. They must also be persuasive and subtle, so as not to annoy a potential recruit. The idea of working for someone by going out to socialize is very intriguing, but I see little future for me in this career.
- Have you gained the skills you hoped you would detailed in the 1st journal entry? Why or why not?
I absolutely gained skills in persuasion when I was required to reach out to potential sponsors and guests. I was required to call matchmakers who were not certified by the Institute and explain why attending our conference would be a good idea. In one call, I spoke with a matchmaker who had a poor experience with our organization. I was unexpectedly forced to justify our organization to a professional in the industry. I was caught off guard but it improved my conflict resolution skills. I did gain more experience in how to manage time effectively, which was another goal.
- Did you achieve the goals you set during your performance evaluation? How so?
My goal of improving work ethic was reached. By the end of my internship I had a schedule that I stuck to and I was able to stay on track each day. In addition, I did gain more confidence speaking to professionals in the industry. This included potential sponsors but not members of the press, as I anticipated. I did learn more about how to plan a successful event, but I believe this is a skill that is gained more effectively through the actual experience than through instruction. In other words, I would gain more skills and knowledge from planning more events than I did from just a single conference and the instruction and mentoring that accompanied it. Trial and error paired with feedback from event attendees, and then implementation in the future, would create a more appropriate incubator for learning.
- How do you feel you were mentored
I was mentored well and my supervisor was always accessible to answer questions. This was important to me as I was working from home. She made sure to check on my progress and was flexible with my schedule. She identified my strengths and gave me tasks that were related to them, making me feel appreciated and noticed by my superiors. When I attended the actual conference, I was very pleased to meet my supervisor, CEO, and founder of the Institute when I attended the actual conference, and they made it a very valuable learning experience for me. They taught me how to travel and work out of state by myself, as well as work with international love industry professionals.
- Would you suggest this organization/company to future students seeking internships?
I thoroughly enjoyed my internship with the Matchmaking Institute and I would recommend it to someone with event planning experience and patience. There is a significant amount of independent work, so any student who required more guidance and advice is less likely to succeed and enjoy the internship.
The first assignment I received in my internship was to perform an audit of the conference website. My supervisor asked me to go through the site and check all the links for functionality, as well as check for spelling and grammar in the copy. The format was flexible, and my supervisor responded through comments on the document.
I was also tasked with creating an itinerary for the conference that could be sent to attendees. It needed to include the schedule of the day for attendees, as well as the locations of the events and the expected attire. This will be added to the manual for future conference planning.
Much of my work involved brainstorming and receiving feedback about my ideas. This was one of the early lists that encompasses all my brainstorming about potential sponsors and items to include in the goodie bag. I included links and quotes about how much they would cost and where to order them. This was later edited and added to the Manual for future interns and conference planning.
This is a link to an evaluation survey I created for part of the conference. The conference offered an executive training class for attendees of the conference who bought a silver or platinum pass. My supervisor recognized my affinity for research and gave me this job. I used the knowledge I gained in Public Relations research to craft a survey that satisfied this request.
This is the final piece of work that is the culmination of my internship. The format was provided but I created the template emails, my fellow intern and I collaborated on other sections like the lists.
This spreadsheet encompasses all the drafts of the social media posts that my fellow intern and I created over the course of the semester. We uploaded the drafts to HootSuite for approval from the administrators and supervisor. Some samples are included below. These posts were created to be shared across social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.