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Internship: Impressions WHQ
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Christopher Damiano

Hometown: State College, PA
Major: Communication, Arts, and Sciences
Minor: Business

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this internship through word of mouth and networking. My father is friends with a business owner who is a client of Impressions and he has them manage all of his marketing, advertising, and trade show exhibits. I was put in touch with my father's friend who gave me the contact info for Impressions when I told him I was looking for a local internship. I sent my resume and cover letter to the company and was invited in for an interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Impressions is a full-service marketing and advertising agency. In my internship experience, all the interns participated in orientation for the first couple days we were in the office. We all had different schedules based on our classes, but we were in the office at least 15 hours per week. We were given assignments based on what the staff decided to task us with. I participated in the account management internship and therefore took part in planning a couple events hosted at the office, made sales calls, and developed and executed sales campaigns. As time went on my administrative skills were recognized and I was able to retool the company's properties management system that governed the distribution and return of rental trade show displays.

"This internship has given me insight into how businesses operate and communicate within themselves, amongst other businesses, and eventually to customers."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Some of the things I learned included proper business communication etiquette. When corresponding via email, I was always encouraged to respond to every email I received even if it is just a confirmation of receipt of the message. A simple, "Thanks for letting me know, I will take care of this immediately." is like grease between the wheels and lets other people move forward with the knowledge that their message was received. I also learned how to develop campaign strategies and tactics. I was doing this mainly in regards to sales, so tactics often included emails, phone calls, and drop-ins to businesses. The entire semester I was watching the inner workings of a business-to-business company operate and I was able to compare and contrast this with a business-to-customer company, which would seek to expand in different ways.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I hope to move into the entertainment and music industry after I graduate. Specifically I would like the position of a road manager to a major musical artist; I possess the skills necessary to operate audio mixing consoles, manage merchandise, and design stage lighting. This internship has given me insight into how businesses operate and communicate within themselves, with other businesses, and eventually to customers. The interaction I have had with clients at my internship gave me experience in how to comport myself when communicating with other business professionals. This will be greatly applicable in the music industry as I will constantly be working to expand my personal network and maintain relationships. Recently I was offered a position as a merchandise manager and lighting designer with a nationally touring band. With inventory not always being a commonly understood task by those who have worked with this band in the past, I was able to highlight my experience constructing the properties management procedure at my internship site in order to convince my interviewers that I understood the importance of record keeping and logistics and was able to implement these skills usefully in the position I was later offered.

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