TCU Professors are famous for claiming that internships should teach you about more than just a profession. They should teach you about the real world – what to expect outside of the idealistic bubble that is college. I’ve spent more than one internship experience rolling my eyes at that contrite phrase as I re-stock the office coke machine or fetch some Twizzlers Nibs for a CEO with a craving. But from the start, Firehouse was a totally different story.
During my time at Firehouse, I’ve learned priceless things about the industry and gained experience that most college students don’t see until well after graduation day. I’ve helped with the re-branding of a product and presented it to a client. I’ve written briefs that were actually used by creatives who are not imaginary. This internship was not full of projects or tests – on the contrary, it was full of true experience. The kind of experience that lights a flame of excitement for my future – this flame is rarely lit beneath the behinds of college students, but at Firehouse I have been lucky enough to feel the burn well before my stint as a professional.
But, like my professors say, an internship is all about learning life lessons. So here are some of the useful tidbits I’ve learned and memories I’ve made as a Firehouse intern that fall outside of the professional realm. I like to call them my Firehouse Favorites.
First and foremost, I learned that Firehouse is a special agency. Maybe it was Mark waltzing into the intern orientation and knowing each of us by first name that tipped me off. Or maybe it was the fact that people are sometimes invited to drink on the job here. It could have also been all of the friendly faces of employees who care about far more than just the project you are working on. There have been countless moments since my first day that I have sat back and realized this isn’t your average internship.
I learned that it is pretty difficult to re-write the lyrics of a song and make them about advertising. Our rendition of “Hire Us Maybe?” at the first Champagne Thursday was certainly a new and interesting creative activity. And that question will never leave the table.
I’ve learned that saying ‘no’ is really important. For people-pleasers like myself, this is easier said than done. The trip to Wal-Mart before our first Champagne Thursday and the resulting potential stalker taught me the importance of saying ‘no’ the hard way.
I’ve learned that you should live close to where you work. Period. Because no matter how awesome your job is, getting up at 6:30 a.m. and commuting still sucks.
I learned that Firehousers love food. From apple pie to pizza to the occasional kolache, there is always something to be eaten out in the middle. There is also always someone to inquire about the contents of your lunch.
More on the subject of food: I’ve learned that every Sprinkles store gives away 100 free cupcakes. Every single day.
Lastly, I learned that six interns + eight weeks + eight hours a day = an abundance of inappropriate conversations and inside jokes. Said jokes can be forever etched in history by creating a Facebook group that is (mercifully) hidden from the public.
So I guess my professors were right after all. I learned endless lessons within and outside of my profession at Firehouse. Nothing teaches a lesson quite like the resounding sting of a foam dart to the head.