I start working in exactly a week. A week from today I’ll be up at 7:00AM, waking up in the worst state ever (but it’s okay because I’ll proudly bleed maize and blue there).
This year is already different from last year. Last year I was counting down the days from 30 and my excitement level was on a different level. This year, I’m more calm yet nervous. It’s not to say that I’m not excited for P&G, because I am. Getting the opportunity to learn from the best of the best, the inventors of brand management and at a company like P&G? It just doesn’t get better than that.
But I’m calmer. Because I’m not doing cartwheels and back-flips. However, I have more nerves this time I think. Much more nervous than last year. Last year I was going into Digital. Had I ever been in control of a 1 million likes page on Facebook or a 100K follower twitter? No. But I knew how to tweet and facebook for a business already and digital was something I was fairly comfortable in. Sports was a world I knew, and I had an internship with the Athletic Department at Michigan that had taught me the basics of every sport that I didn’t follow (i.e. baseball at the time) and I already had event execution experience thanks to them. It was something I knew what I was doing and something I was extremely quick to learn on things I didn’t.
Last time I won the internship. Like won. A contest. Yes there was an interview but I won it. And after a month and a half straight of tireless and creative work on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. And how can you not be overly excited about something you won!? And that your friends were involved with?! Exactly my point.
This time, it’s brand management and I still “won” the internship, but not in such theatrics. I interviewed in rounds and got chosen as the only undergraduate Michigan intern for brand management. It was a win but this time, it was private, it wasn’t broadcasted and I was happy to have done it on my own. And for brand management, I haven’t had experience other than what marketing classes have taught me and the size and scope of P&G is not comparable to anything I’ve experienced before. It’ll be entirely new to me as it will to all the other interns, but the unknown has always gotten me jumpy.
But I was once told that being nervous is good…it means you care. And I absolutely care. I worked my butt off to get this internship, and I’ll work my butt off there.
I felt like I was naive going into Under Armour. In the weird corporate picture I had painted in my mind sort of way. It turned out to be completely different. Not in a bad or good way. It was just extremely different than what I thought it would be like. Under Armour was very different than I thought it would be as well. It was an incredible experience and I loved everyone I met there, I just wish I hadn’t had that painted picture in my mind at the beginning only to be proven otherwise.
This time, I think I’ll still be a bit naive, but I hope to lessen them by being cautious and approaching P&G with little expectation other than a great learning experience. I want them to paint a picture in my head instead of allowing me to have a pre-conceived idea of what it’s like there. Because really, you never know until you’re there.
There are many, many things I’ll try and do the same this time though.
One is to write things down. In a notebook. Kevin, if you’re reading this, I personally thank you for that one. Biggest thing I learned was how handy that notebook I was given was. Writing things down reminded me of not only what I had to do at the moment but gave me something to look at after I finished my time at Under Armour and sit back in surprise at how many things we did end up accomplishing. It was a really rewarding moment to do that!
Another is to keep making connections. The best part about last summer was the people. It was awesome to just grab lunch with people you admired or wanted to learn more about. Even cooler to get the opportunity to work cross-functionally and get to know them too. I want to do that this year at P&G and from what I’ve heard, I’ll get that chance so I’m excited to seize it.
And the last is to explore the city. I didn’t get as many chances as I wanted to to explore Baltimore mainly because I didn’t have many weekends there but for the weekends I did, it was fun going to the Inner Harbor with my roommates, going to O’s games with a crew, head to the aquarium to see the sharks and even making a trip to DC to see my friends. Cincinnati is one of those cities just like Baltimore. It’s definitely not a New York or Chicago. But this time, I get to be closer to home and in the Midwest. Everyone’s been telling me to get ice cream at Graeter’s and to go to a neighborhood in Kentucky and to see a Red’s game. Will do.
It’s good to be in the Midwest for the summer and I’m excited to see where this summer takes me. Can’t wait to experience it all, and learn from P&G while proving to them that they made a great decision to hire me.
See you in a week, Cincy!
Another year just blew past.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that this school year was over. My disinterest in the topics of the classes I was in (with one exception—shout-out to Dave Mayer and MO321 for a great, great class on Leadership that I highly suggest people take) was getting out of control and I don’t ever remember feeling so aggravated about school. So once 6:00PM hit yesterday and I ran out of my last exam of the year, I was actually jumping up and down. In the excitement that I was finally done with my junior year and that it was summer.
But as always, there’s a catch. With my junior year behind me, which means I’m a rising senior. Which means one year from now, I will be in graduation mode. Knowing me, I’ll be in tears every day knowing that I will no longer be a student at the University of Michigan. I think I’m ready and excited to see what the real world has to offer but the thought of leaving Ann Arbor is a depressing one. I can’t imagine what it’ll feel like but in a year, I’ll know.
Looking back on junior year, as much as I couldn’t stand many parts of second semester, it was the best yet at Michigan. And I learned a lot.
First semester classes were incredible and made me at peace with my career path as well as satisfied that other fields (i.e. finance) truly weren’t for me. Everything about marketing still resonated with me and it was a relief to know it was what I wanted. Couldn’t have asked for a better September through December.
I think getting the internship with Procter & Gamble was hands-down my biggest achievement of the year. I set P&G as my goal so far as first semester sophomore year and I worked my tail off to get it. I joke that P&G is the “Goldman” for marketing and brand management, and while that was the original reason I wanted them due to their incredible reputation, it came down to fit at the end. I just could see myself there when I was at their offices and really connected with the recruiters whereas other places, I just didn’t feel it. Gotta love the feeling of achievement. And relief. I’m really excited to see what P&G and Cincinnati have to offer me this summer. I know I’m going to be challenged and pushed to the limit but I welcome it. I’m so ready to make the most of it.
Something about becoming a mentor to friends and students younger than me is cool. And weird. I had to write a paper at the end of the semester for that MO 321 class and in it, I spoke about my mentors and what I gained from them. But I realized at the same time, I liked giving advice on things I was familiar with. Being a peer coach next year is going to be really exciting and I’m actually pumped to get to coach other kids. I was in their shoes a year or two ago which is crazy to think about. Going along with advice, I can’t believe I got the opportunity to speak to MBAs this year who came to me…for advice. Like…what?! They’re older than me and I complain about them but they genuinely wanted to hear what I had to say. Isn’t that absurd! From wanting to know more about Under Armour to figuring out how to use social media, I’ve had talks with MBAs about everything. The thing is…people genuinely want to connect and hear from other students, regardless of if they’re younger. So I was humbled and quieted my MBA complaints…a little bit anyway.
Moving on, I got to witness and be a part of an insane student government election. Absurdity is the best way to describe it. How fun it was at times to be a part of and how awful it was in other parts. I didn’t even run and I’m pretty sure my emotions were shot by the end of it. So I can’t even imagine what it must of felt like to actually be a candidate (whew! Props to you all!). But the process left me even more stubbornly proud of who I was friends with and who I supported. Honestly though, regardless of if you agree/disagree or don’t even care about the outcome, I think it’ll be an incredible year for CSG. So so soooo many ideas on the table from all sides that can be agreed on, and that can make an impact on campus. All of these kids, regardless of if I personally voted for them or not, are all so damn passionate about the University of Michigan and its students, and the rest of us would be foolish not to support that. I’m actually really excited to see what CSG does this year. if you’re reading this, you should be too. Keep an eye out. We’ll see.
Also, doing the social media part of the campaign was also a lot of fun, no lies there. But it was also one of my last stunts in digital/social media marketing. I believe I will have just one more to do for Ross Career Services, and I’ll be done. I’m really done with it and even kind of sick of it. I thoroughly enjoy it as a hobby and do it during elections was not only fun, but brought out my competitive side, which has always been to my favor with being more creative. Digital will always be in my heart and always be something I’m passionate about, but doing it as a job is both utterly time-consuming (you really have NO idea until you’ve had to go through it) and not something I can see myself doing as a career. So if you’re a looking for a Tweeter or a Facebooker…I’m your girl no more.
Being promoted as a head intern for the Marketing Department for Athletics is something I’m still learning to adapt to. It was an internal struggle I was faced with all year. It was something I had wanted so badly at the end of last school year and didn’t get. But I got offered it in January and obviously accepted. The time commitment this semester was so incredibly hard on me and I wasn’t happy for some time to be frank. But it’s never been my personality to go out on a low note and quit, and I don’t plan on doing that now. And it was partially my fault for so willingly accepting so much right off the bat, knowing that with school and group projects, I might be in a time crunch. But I didn’t leave. That and…let’s be real, I love these the intern crew and the entire Marketing Department to pieces so I’d never abandon them. Just trying to learn and get into a new groove of more responsibility, trying to be more formal, and managing others. It’s a work-in-progress, but something I’m ready to continue to be a part of and work at next year. And besides, we’re an intern fam.
Okay onto more of the stuff that’s exciting and less “deep” if you will. Michigan basketball and going to the Final Four…I don’t even know what else to say than that. I wrote a post about what it felt like earlier but it all just feels like a dream to me. I’ve told people that I have a lot of sports fans goals but the biggest ones are to: 1) go to all 4 tennis grand slams, 2) go to an Olympics, 3) see Michigan Football in a Rose Bowl and 4) see Michigan Basketball in a Final Four. Okay to be completely frank with you, I really thought I’d get the 2) and 3) done before I ever saw Michigan Basketball in a Final Four. But they completely surpassed anyone’s expectations, and to my delight, I got to see them in the NCAA 2nd and 3rd rounds in Auburn Hills, but also in the Final Four. I really will cherish being down there in ATL cheering on my Wolverines forever. Wow. Just wow…That will go down as the best experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of in college (so far).
And so it all ends in a year. There’s nothing to be said or done to make me not cry in a year or be filled with nostalgia. It’s just who I am. I’m so ready to be a big girl with a job. It’ll be tough, but I think I’m ready. It’s the idea of leaving Michigan that’s worrying for me. Not being a student and lounging in Ross every day. Not getting to scream with my friends in the Big House, and Crisler in the student section.
But wait…I still have a year. I always get so caught up with what will happen after graduation that I keep forgetting that I really do have one more year.
I plan to make a bucket list this summer for my last year in Ann Arbor. A mix of things I want to do again and of course things I haven’t done yet. There’s just so many things to still do and see here, and making a list will force me and remind me to go out and do it.
A year from now, I hope to be sitting here typing, mascara mixed with tears running down my face, sniffling and hicupping…with no regrets. With nothing I would rather do over. With only things I wish I could relive exactly the same. With more happy memories. With gained knowledge both in and out of the classroom. And with the happiness of knowing that I graduate from the best damn university in the whole world, the University of Michigan.
2013-2014…bring it on.
Last day. Tough day. Emotional day. But good day.
Get to Baltimore next year if you’re a college student. You’ll learn more than you ever thought you could at UA.
It was a very strange feeling when August came around. Throughout this entire process, it has been “Oh, August 10th is our last day. That’s so far away from now!” But right now, as I type this, it is August 9th, 2012. And by this time tomorrow, my internship will be over.
It’s a bittersweet thought because I’m so excited to go home. I’m excited to see my friends and family, get back to the Big House in Ann Arbor and getting to sleep past 10am more than once a month. But honestly, this experience has been absolutely incredible. I’ve gotten to learn so much in social media and the metrics behind it. I’ve been privileged enough to travel, representing a brand at so many events and in many different cities.
These last two weeks kind of brought it all together.
For one…it is super cool when you go to a school like Michigan which has the largest living alumni in the world. Naturally, the Michigan alum and the Michigan interns went to lunch together. So props Adam and Nicole for graduating from the best school ever (no bias…ha) that Graham and I are more than happy to represent in the intern class at Under Armour. Second, I FINALLY, after 10 weeks in Baltimore got to go to the aquarium. Every person I know told me I had to go to the aquarium while I was in Baltimore. And despite not having any penguins and sea otters (my favorites), it was still very cool. Sharks, dolphins, poison dart frogs and everything in between.
And after a great week in Baltimore, on Tuesday, we went to Sagamore Farms, a horse breeding farm owned by non-other than CEO of Under Armour, Kevin Plank. And I’m not that big of a country girl, but it was absolutely beautiful. The Sagamore party marked the “end of the Summer” get-together and it was the last time the entire Summer League got to be together as one. We got to have dinner together and play some games. And to top it off, Kevin Plank showed up himself to talk to us and had genuine interest in what we did this summer. He also gave us a final talk, if you will, answering a few of our questions about the company as well as telling some of his old stories. And hearing those stories inspired us all. I wouldn’t do his story justice so I won’t tell it here—all the more motivation for you college kids reading this to intern at Under Armour next year. But moral is: don’t give up and chase your dreams. Don’t ever be denied. And that’s something I know I’ll take away from this.
It’s cool being at a company where everyone is so willing to help and so willing to tell you what they do and willing to have lunch with you…the list goes on and on. It’s cool being at a company where the CEO is visible, and you know the values he holds are true. It’s cool being at a company where what you do actually makes an impact—a visible impact—on the brand. And it’s cool being at a company that has as amazing as a culture as Under Armour.
Over the last few days, people have been asking me what the best part was about Under Armour while I was here. And the answer is simply, the people. The relationships I’ve made with the teammates at Under Armour is really something I’m not about to take for granted.
I don’t need to list all your names because I think you already know who you are but thank you to everyone at Under Armour who’s made an impact on me during my time here. And a special thanks to Colin, Dan, Jimmy, Kevin, and Cara—you guys made this experience that much more amazing.
Nostalgia just hit me as I wrote this and I assure you I’m one of the most nostalgic people ever. It’s been a summer full of fun as well as frustration but I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much in just 3 months. I know that because of this experience, I can contribute more in whatever situation I am in. It’s a high-paced (faster than you can ever imagine), intense, fun, competitive place…and I loved it.
To those who are looking to become a Summer Leaguer next year: work hard and just keep pushing to get here. Because it is so so worth it when you do.
Time to enjoy my last day at Under Armour. And here we go.