My name is Kristen DeCosta, and I am finishing up my brief, yet rewarding, internship at SRG Creative. I am a junior at Iowa State University studying Public Relations. Tom Stoker is a good friend of my mom’s, and I made a connection with him through that friendship. At the time I came in contact with Tom, I was not necessarily looking for an internship because I believed I did not have the time nor the expertise to begin making career strides. I began to look into SRG Creative and was quickly drawn in to the work they were doing. What really caught my attention was that SRG is not merely a marketing or advertising company but a “Creative Solutions” company. My interests are geared more towards creative work involving writing, researching, and discovering new and innovative ways to help clients. When Tom offered me the opportunity to a month long internship, I was beyond thrilled (and a little intimidated as well!). Coming in, I had zero work experience and zero professional experience. I came in assuming I would be a silent intern of sorts, shadowing and learning in the background. I quickly learned that, not only was that not the case, but that I was much more skilled than that. My internship at SRG Creative has really opened my eyes to what I want to do as far as my future career is concerned, what I am and could be capable of with my skill set, and how I can continue to learn and grow despite my fears and uncertainty.
I became much more active than I predicted.
I was given my own projects and allowed to learn and grow on my own through these projects. Primarily, I worked with Arborlawn United Methodist Church and the re-creation of their website. My first assignment was to research not only Arborlawn’s current website, but also the sites of some other churches in the area to determine what I did and did not like about the sites, what did and did not work, and what interested versus what frustrated me about each site. After this research, I collaborated my findings and ideas to create a simple list of recommendations for Arborlawn’s new site that I believed would make the site user friendly and appealing. Based on these findings and recommendations, I was given the opportunity to create a possible site map for Arborlawn’s new site. I took my research findings and applied them in order to plan out what I thought could be a functional and appealing way in which the site could work and flow
This project with Arborlawn’s website was both very intriguing and fun. I enjoyed being able to look through a multitude of sites and generate many ideas to in turn collaborate them into one complete idea. It was gratifying to be able to see my hard work coming together into a final website product. I was able to see the best of both worlds: rigorous research and creative innovation. I learned how to take my scattered data and creatively and successfully put it together to make a final product. It was very rewarding to see that, although I was not a professional, my opinion not only mattered, but was also valued and considered.
This internship with SRG Creative has given me a new found sense of self-confidence. I now feel that I can walk into an interview with a sort of poise and eagerness to learn that I was too afraid of having before this internship. The agency was beyond helpful and inviting. I was able to learn and grow as a person as well as a professional through my communication with everyone. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity I have been given, and will forever attribute Tom and the SRG Creative team with helping me break out of my shell and jump start my career.