Why Internships Matter
As the curtains close on 2020, I’ve found myself reflecting on this past year, and although it was a challenging one, I’ve still found much to be thankful for. In particular, I’m thankful for my internship here at Parklife. I joined the team back in August and haven’t looked back since.
Internships are often seen as just a professional learning experience. However, they provide so much more than that. They give students like me an avenue for applying and developing the academic concepts we’ve spent the past four years learning. They pave the way for achieving meaningful success and a full-time job in the future.
It was around the end of my junior year at the University of Arkansas’ Walton School of Business that I really started to look for internship opportunities, like so many other upper-level college students. I was frantically completing numerous applications in hopes of finding any internship opportunity I could. Having no luck, I sought out a different path and began to reach out to friends and family within the business world who might know of opportunities.
My luck finally shifted, and I was able to score an interview with a digital marketing agency based out of Nashville. Unfortunately, like many opportunities that came before, I wasn’t quite right for the job. Although disappointed, I tried not to get too discouraged because I know that in life, we all hear no hundreds of times—but we only ever need to be told yes just once.
A month or two passed, and with nothing in my sights, I caught another break. My dad, who has been in the marketing industry for years, connected me with a colleague of his—Brian Castle—who needed extra help at his marketing firm. From there, we set up an interview. I managed to impress the Parklife team enough to be offered the job and, well, the rest was history.
On a more serious note, I realized how important it is to utilize the network of people you know, and that many of them are happy to help you through a process like this. Looking back now, I’m so thankful to have been told no that first time, because I truly believe I was meant to meet these wonderful people that I get to learn from and call my colleagues. The entire team at Parklife make up some of the most dedicated, hardworking, creative, and innovative individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and it’s truly been a blessing to work alongside each one of them.
So, my advice to any college students out there looking for an internship would be to start with your family, friends, professors, or anyone you know that could put in a good word for you. From there, just be yourself and you’ll eventually find the job that’s meant for you. Lastly, don’t be afraid of hearing no, because you will be told no a lot. But speaking for myself, I’m so grateful for those “no”s because they brought me to where I am now, and I wouldn’t go back to change a thing.
About the Author
Taylor Farace handles project management and creative support at Parklife.