It is the unexpected that changes our lives.
The internship experience this year changed my life.
I love sharing knowledge and experiences. I believe there is reciprocity in everything if you are open to accepting it. When I approached UNCG a year and a half ago, I knew I needed to be open to learning from the younger generation. They are learning the newest & freshest ideas and skills. I have also come to understand they have a different perspective.
Going into this I did not know what to expect but I was excited to learn what the experience would bring. I wanted to include him in the decision-making process and to talk through ideas and strategy. I wanted to create an immersive experience that would help catapult him into the next phase of his life.
When Antonio walked through our doors, I was filled with excitement. I was ready to look at things with a fresh perspective but I had no idea what this year would hold. I didn’t know how it would affect me. Antonio’s willingness to listen and to push us both to our limit is what made this year so special.
Once the internship started…
His eagerness to learn and drive to succeed and to make his family proud was inspiring. He was applying his technology studies to our marketing strategy. He was a huge part of our strategic planning sessions and offered valuable insights regularly. I was blown away by his confidence and willingness to fight for what he believes in. He sat in customer, sales, and production meetings to learn the industry. He was able to articulate ideas easily and as the second semester came around; he was working independently and contributing daily. I was so impressed that I made him our social media coordinator. The second semester flew by and we created content at a faster pace.
Antonio and I have been a great match. Our enthusiasm for what we do each day runs through us like an electric current driving us forward. We have fun, we love to think big, dream big. Our discussions ranged from life and career advice to advanced textile manufacturing, the state of the economy and the impact it will have on us here in NC. We discussed current events and seamlessly wove it into our daily tasks as we worked together to create a body of marketing materials, both digital and print. I would like to believe I helped shape this incredible young man, but I know I was the one who changed for the better. I grew with each interaction. I was given the gift of a fresh perspective. I was able to take my experience and layer it with his unaffected views.
As the internship draws to a close…
I will be sad when he walks out of our doors for the last time, but my excitement that his time here has led him down a new path and into a career fills me with pride. I am so proud of what he has accomplished, shared, created, and the impact he has had on our company and on me. I am grateful for the reciprocity.