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Sarah Rowan shares her experiences as Mel's former intern

Editor’s note: The following is a guest blog post from Sarah Rowan. Sarah interned with MarketingMel from January 2011 until recently when she was hired by the Johnson City, Tenn. Chamber of Commerce to be Director of Sales for the CVB. Congratulations Sarah who graduates May 5!

You know those experiences in life that get to the core of your being and make a huge impact on who you are and how you operate? I have come to know these experiences as “life shapers.”  One can have many life shapers and, if you are smart, you will recognize one from a mile away.

That is how I began my most recent life shaping experience. A chance connection from a classmate brought MarketingMel and I together. I knew from our initial phone conversation that if given the opportunity to work with Mary Ellen, the experience would be invaluable. My interview was set up as a consultation session in which I researched CRM systems and reported my findings. The chemistry was immediately present as Mel and I embarked on what became our first of many brainstorming and creative planning sessions.

The thing that struck me most, other than Mel’s true and genuine kindness, was her strong connection with her core values. As I learned, and many others know, Mel is true to her values in both her personal and professional life. This, I believe, is a true testament to her character and has helped her achieved her many successes in the world of communications.

Among the tasks and sometimes demanding daily grind of PR, Mel taught me one of the most important things of all, networking. I like to call Mel ‘the great connector’ because she is queen at networking her tail off. It comes natural to her and she really actually enjoys it! Her outgoing personality is one of her strongest assets and she truly helped me to meet the right people and be confident in myself when doing it.

Of course networking isn’t all she taught me. Hard work, dedication, persistence, and passion were all consistent and reoccurring themes of our professional relationship. I also learned that a true PR person never stops working! Don’t be surprised to get an e-mail from Mel at one in the morning with a follow-up the next morning at five!

Little did I know that what was supposed to be a six month internship turned into a year’s worth of learning and growing with one of the best in the business. However, the most important thing that I have walked away with from this experience is a lifelong friend.

Sarah Rowan may be reached through her web site.

Follow me on twitter @MarketingMel.

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12 Responses to “How to Get An Internship and Where it Can Lead”

  1. Mel, it sounds like you had a great intern working with you! That apprenticeship is invaluable for both sides, seems to me. I hope to meet both of you in person in the coming months.
    Sue

  2. What a great post and a testament to your servant leadership style Mel – congrats to you and to Sarah on your new appointment!

    • maryellen says:

      Thank you Heidi for your very kind words about servant leadership. I had not thought of it that way before but I suppose you are right that describes a positive intern/mentor relationship.

    • Sarah Rowan says:

      Thank you Heidi!

  3. It sounds like the internship was very beneficial and Sarah had a great mentor. I have seen internships where the opportunity was squandered by the company. This was certainly not the case and both sides grew from the experience..

    • Sarah Rowan says:

      Yes, Bill! We need more professionals like Mary Ellen to nourish and teach the next generation. Thanks for reading!

  4. When internships work well for both parties, as they clearly have here, both the intern and the business benefit. Great perception, Sarah about Mel’s commitment to her values–she walks the walk!

    • Sarah Rowan says:

      Mel certainly does walk the walk and I think that has attributed greatly to her success as a business woman! I greatly enjoyed working with Mel and growing with her the past year+. Wonderful experience!

  5. Congratulations, Sarah! I wish you much success! What a great example of what to look for in an intern, internships and mentors. Sounds like the two of you were lucky to have found each other.

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