My internship at AWP was enlightening and fun, worts and all.
Nobody really changes. When I was five, I wove my path through large retailers with the swift agility of a seasoned athlete. I was unafraid. With my headquarters inside a different circular-rack of Wrangler jeans each visit, I managed to scour every inch. 16 years later, the wanderlust has grown in scale. I feel ambitious, and my ambitions feel physically pointed in all four cardinal directions. Soon I will leave the colorful city of Ithaca; and even sooner Ancient Wisdom Productions. I leave this retrospective as a letter to the future interns.
If you’re unfamiliar with Ancient Wisdom (AWP for short), have no worry: there’s literature. In a recent blog post by AWP President, Christopher DelCollo, he describes what it is they do. His descriptions are thorough, humble, and demonstrate knowledge of a responsibly cyclic creative process. These ideas are clearly presented in everything they do, which is what drew me to the shop as 2012 came to a close.
My duties included running direct marketing for the local State Theatre of Ithaca, discovering social media opportunities for Spider Holster as well as managing Facebook, and assuring quality for entire websites produced for clients in an extremely popular content management system (Drupal). To ensure relevancy, search “content management system” in Google; you’ll certainly see Drupal in the top 5 or 6 links. My other tasks took me through concepts of graphic design and even beer brewing (not kidding).
Prospective interns, you may be wary to make the initial step through their teal double-doors. I can assure you that the AWP helping hand is a gentle but sturdy one. Not only was I given tasks that subtly reinforced task queueing skills and web content management, but I was trusted with my own projects. And it all starts with some simple briefing. Right from the start, I was asked to apply concepts that I had learned through my coursework. Detailing modern ideas about target audiences and examining the process and strategies of branding, I felt challenged. And very early in, you may feel like you could handle things yourself, but there will be some more important coaching. Luckily AWP is capable, if not adept, at fine tuning your communication skills. I communicated with clients on a regular basis, sometimes responding to emails on the go. My experience has always felt like I have been learning at a comfortable pace and without fear of approaching any team member for help.
Importantly, I felt included here. Everyone is extremely bright and friendly to the team and clients alike. I’m nearing my last day here at AWP and as I swivel in my chair, I can see the faces of people whose youthful curiosity is a clear juxtaposition from their senior-level experience. So keep your ears and mind open because everyone has something to offer. Even on the rainy, glassy-eyed days where I would step up to the double doors balancing a coffee and a true white whale of a headache, I would be prepared to learn something.