March 11, 2011
Sold on a Worthwhile Experience
For the summer of 2010, I worked as an advertising and marketing intern for Classic Properties in Dunmore, PA, a borough of the Scranton area. This was an unpaid position that I volunteered to take on in order to gain professional experience and to add some extra material for my resume. Since I was a freshman, my instructors at Penn State had stressed the importance of an internship experience and its attractiveness to employers. Thus, I felt as though my last summer before graduation was a crucial time to fulfill this commitment. The reason that I chose this particular position at Classic was because its relative ...view middle of the document...
I also needed to earn some money over the summer to help pay off my student loans, which I would hopefully do by getting hours at my local CVS store and by booking gigs at bars with my band, Pat & Mike. While lamenting my situation, Phoebe interjected, â€œYou can always help out at my (real-estate) office. We could definitely use the extra help! Iâ€™ll talk to my boss to see where youâ€™d be most helpfulâ€¦you probably wonâ€™t get paid for it, but hey, an internship is an internship.â€ Indeed, it is, and Iâ€™ll take what I can get at this point, I thought. I wanted to become a business manager when I left Penn State and not a realtor, but I felt as though I could somehow tie in a relevant experience at any kind of internship to the field of management when I interviewed for jobs. I told her that it sounded like a great idea to me and I would be thrilled to help out in any way that I could.
After Phoebe contacted her boss, Steve Ferrell, he forwarded my contact information to Amy Gearhart, head of the advertising and marketing department at Classic Properties. We arranged a face-to-face meeting for the week I returned to Scranton from State College. When I walked into her office, I was blindsided by her initial question, â€œSo what interested you about real estate that made you come to us?â€ Obviously, I couldnâ€™t tell her that I wasnâ€™t particularly interested in real estate, so I leveled with her and told her about my situation with school and work, as well as the fact that I wanted an internship for experience in a professional atmosphere. She responded, â€œAs long as youâ€™re willing to learn, maintain a good attitude, show up, and can use (Microsoft) Word and Excel, weâ€™ll be happy to have you.â€ I breathed a sigh of relief as I shook her hand and got up to introduce myself to the other members of the office. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming to me, and I felt at home right away. At this point, any doubts that I had about my ability to contribute to the office faded away, and I knew that I would have a valuable experience on my internship.
For the first few weeks on the job, I was mostly assigned to housekeeping tasks rather than any hands-on marketing or advertising work. I organized files of former clients, both buyers and sellers, which included house specifications, deeds, contracts, and pricing information. Then I boxed up files from three years ago or more and moved them into the businessâ€™s attic. I also updated company media that listed statistics that were severely outdated, as in they showed comparative real estate market values among competitors for the year 2002. Then, I would make sure that there were plenty of copies available of the forms realtors would need to deal with buyers and sellers. Even though I was worried I would leave my internship with little more gained knowledge than how to operate the copier and how to properly remove paper clips from a vacuum cleaner, I kept a positive attitude and...