During my interview for the position of Marketing Intern at the San Antonio BSA headquarters (the Boy Scouts of America, Alamo Area Council Main Service Center) I was told that every day would be different and that my duties would be constantly variable. This was reaffirmed to me on the first day and hasn’t been disproved subsequently.
I have always felt positive about the message and methods of the Boy Scouts!
When comparing my skills to those listed as necessary for the job I felt fortunate that I had experience with many of the pieces of software and equipment required, despite them being relatively disparate (at least as far as the sub-fields of “digital media” are concerned, they all broadly fell under the umbrella of “tech”). It seemed that I would be tested on a broad section of my skills, and I wasn’t wrong. On my first day I found myself working audio and taking photographs for the historic “launch” of Scouts BSA, a program change that allowed troops of girls to be formed in the previously boys-only Boy Scout program.
From there, my main focus became The Adventure Guide, an internal magazine to provide information to Scouting troops (packs, crews, etc.). However, I wasn’t wanting for additional things to do, from press releases, to video equipment seminars, to editing videos, to working tech at the stage show for the annual “Council-Wide” campout, I was wrapped up in a swath of marketing and technical jobs.
This suited me. As stated I have experience in a wide variety of areas, and I was eager to gain more wherever I could, and things were made easier by my appreciation for the material. During my time so far I’ve been asked frequently if I was in the Scouts when I was younger, and while I wasn’t in long enough to enjoy many of the activities (or did I not stay long because those activities were unavailable where I was?) I have always felt positive about the message and methods of the Boy Scouts. And I’ve personally applied many aspects taught in scouting to my life and career (preparedness, courtesy, determination, et al). This understanding helped me parse the new terminology I was learning, as well as communicate it to others.
I have been able to apply my pre-existing skills to the necessary tasks of this internship and grow them while at the same time planting seeds for a whole slew of new skills. Recently I became an Adobe Certified Associate in InDesign, a piece of software that I was familiar with, but no expert in before I began working in this position, and it is thanks in great part to the work I have done at the BSA that I was able to accomplish that.
And, of course, there’s working with people, something that I’ve had… less than average experience with being an “entrepreneur” from a small town. The people I’ve met here have all been helpful, hardworking, and interesting. Even with their obviously busy schedules they’ve been entirely willing to give pointers and answer questions, as well as provide feedback on my work. And when going through the building, despite the fact that I only know most of the people by a handshake from my first day, they’ve always been courteous and available, and I look forward to expanding the list of people whom I can identify by name and can carry on a conversation with as my internship continues.
In most ways, my internship has been what I hoped it would be (and the one I hoped I would get at the beginning of the year when I was searching, creating a resume, and applying). It has been an enlightening experience that has tested my skills and ability to learn while allowing me to work with and for an organization that I support.