Weirdly enough, I have less than two weeks before my dad and I stuff the Prius with an assortment of living essentials at 6am and make the long drive back for Round 2. This summer has taught me a lot about myself — in the context of my internship, returning to my hometown, and often times, steeped in waves of endless boredom, left to combat even greater waves of laziness. With a full course load and extracurricular shenanigans just around the corner, I don’t think I could feel more ready for the rampant productivity that awaits.
I’ll keep this post short, because frankly, the only things left standing between me and sophomore year are a (((First time!!!))) weekend trip to NYC to visit my brother, a whooooole lot of packing, some resume-adjusting, and as many breakfasts/brunches/lunches/summer night adventures as a human can possibly pack into a two week period. Still, I suppose a brief summary of the summer / my takeaways from it is in order, for the sake of organizing my thoughts and your reading pleasure.
This summer began with an internship at WQED, our local public broadcasting station for PBS. It is the home of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, plus myriad Pittsburgh-centric documentaries, BBC reruns, and more. While I gained some valuable insights into an actual marketing job, I also realized that something in that realm of the working world is not necessarily what I’m aiming for after my Hopkins years. I learned the ins and outs of Google AdWords software — the brainchild behind those ads you see beside your search results these days — as well as how to summarize things briefly for press release purposes and work with piers to accomplish other tasks. Regardless, working in a nonprofit environment taught me a great deal about the importance of community presence and support, which was easily the most important part of my experience at WQED. Interacting with our viewers/listeners/donors at various events throughout the summer proved to be integral to my understanding of both the nonprofit world and my own communication skills, and ultimately, I’m grateful for the experience in its entirety, both in and out of the cubicle.
In between intern duties, random daughter responsibilities and the occasional spot of seemingly endless boredom, I found some time to write/work with a lovely group called Dear Pittsburgh. As a new online arts journal started by recent post-grads, DP gave me the opportunity to work on an arts-related “start-up nonprofit” so to speak, from the ground upwards. We spent the majority of the summer planning and brainstorming new ways to grow as a regional presence, meet new artists, and be a more accessible cultural platform in the city. I got to explore the new / “up and coming” Pgh arts scene, write about it, and actively take part in its growth (however small a role I may have played in the grand scheme of things — holla #SproutFund). After all the work we put in this summer, I’m so excited to see how they move onwards and upwards from here.
Of course, I found time for friends, fun, and food, keeping things #fine and #fresh and #frolic oriented. Quality time was spent with Mother and Pup, an actual gym membership was used frequently, and I finally learned to drive in and around the city without iPhone support. Pittsburgh –> NYC –> Pittsburgh –> Baltimore, all in two weeks. Bradford –> classes –> Gilman on repeat for the next nine months. I think I’m ready.