An Intern’s Outlook: A First Day at HLAS

The following is a blog post that was written for Hiscock Legal Aid Society. It was published to their blog site – which I had created and maintained during my marketing and communication internship with them – on June 3, 2013.

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. was not something I have grown familiar to these past three years as a college student. I haven’t woken up in time to eat breakfast with my father and see him off to work since I was a senior in high school. Those were the days when I woke up after a nice eight hours of sleep to take a shower, put on my Catholic school uniform and eat my Fruity Pebbles before another boring day at school. In college a schedule of going to class, heading to work, running to a club meeting, squeezing in an hour at the gym, and then spending the next five hours completing my homework and club duties became my life. I was used to my typical waking up at 10 a.m. and going to bed at 4 a.m. schedule. But today was not a typical day – today was the first day of this young woman’s journey into the real world.

My name is Courtney Henson and as of today I am the new marketing and communications intern for Hiscock Legal Aid Society. I am currently a senior at the University at Buffalo where I major in Communication.  For the next two months, I will be aiding HLAS in writing press releases; managing social media accounts; coordinating with staff, committee members, and the community for event promotion; aiding in writing and editing newsletters, and any other marketing tasks.

I only had one other internship opportunity before this with UB’s Wellness Education Services where I worked as a communication intern. While there, I helped to draft a marketing plan for the campus’ farmers market, create flyers and television advertisements using Microsoft Publisher that marketed the departments and services they offered, table different events on campus, worked in coordination with other interns in event planning and promotion, create and promote an on campus campaign for their Smoke-Free Policy, and even offered my time with the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs’ department in helping students and faculty quit smoking during their open quit clinics. All of the tasks I took on helped to motivate and change the lives of the community on a university level, but I knew that I wanted a chance to help others and experience the world of marketing on a larger, more impacting scale.

Before starting my first day at HLAS, I felt surprisingly more excited and motivated than I was nervous. I knew that I was about to embark on an experience that would allow me to develop more as a young professional and as a person, meet plenty of new faces and to delve into work tasks and opportunities that I would not find elsewhere. It was also exciting being able to experience work life in downtown Syracuse – especially for a girl who lives in the country.

My supervisor started me off on the right track, giving me a list of things to start on right away. All the assignments I was given had me even more eager to spend my summer here since I was finally able to do all the things I have learned in my public relations and marketing classes in the real world. All day I have been thinking about how my education, student government positions and club involvements at both Nazareth College and UB have prepared me for exactly this moment. What really astonishes me is when I think of how my life at HLAS over the next two months will prepare me for what is yet to come.

Hiscock Legal Aid Society focuses their energy on empowering individuals in our community and allowing them to be heard in a legal sense. Little did they know that they have empowered a young woman’s heart and mind, allowing her to be heard by the professional world and her community in ways never before possible to her. I may have woken up this morning in time to share a bowl of Fruity Pebbles with my father and see him off to work like old times, but now I did it feeling nothing but anticipation for the surprises that were about to unfold.