Walking into lotus823 on the first day of my internship I had no idea what to expect and was hoping that I was about to embark into my first real public relations experience.

Let me take a step back and explain what brought me to the front doors of lotus823. As a rising marketing student at Virginia Tech in my junior year, I believed it was important to try to obtain some real hands-on industry experience. Many of the senior students I studied with were starting to seek out summer internships. At first I was nervous that these students would overlook me, but I worked diligently to meet with the lotus823 team and eventually secure an internship spot.

On my first day as an intern, my goal was to act as a sponge and absorb as much knowledge as I could to bring back to school and apply within my classes. The team at lotus823 was extremely welcoming from the very beginning, making it very easy for me to ask questions and talk to them about their roles at the agency. They took great interest in making sure I knew how to get the most out all of their internal software programs and made sure I understood all of the marketing and PR terms they used in their daily routines. I could tell how much they love their field and the company they work for through the excitement they exuded in teaching me. The first few days of work were focused on getting me acquainted with their day-to-day processes, as well as a meeting with the owners, David and Allison Hernandez, about how they came up with the concept behind lotus823 and the meaning behind the name. Other internships I hear about seem to be impersonal and the company owner doesn’t often have the time to show interest in the intern activities, but Allison and David were excited to talk more about their agency’s story and it certainly left a big impression on me!

Once summer was in full swing, I stayed in touch with some of my peers to talk about each of our own internship experiences. To me, it seemed that most of my friends were assigned administrative duties or tasks as simple as a coffee runner. For me, I was assigned hands-on projects to work on such as researching and analyzing weekly industry trends that pertained to each of our clients. I was also taught the power of social media influencers and developed influencer lists for the team to utilize in their daily social community management for brands. One of my favorite assignments was writing the content and managing the lotus823 intern Twitter account! All of these different tasks taught me more then I ever expected to learn about my major in one summer.

I am so grateful for my time at lotus823. I loved being a part of a team of genuine, fun, hard-working people. There wasn’t a day this summer that I didn’t learn something new. Most internships can be uninformative, overwhelming, and unsatisfying. My internship experience at lotus823 was the exact opposite and I am looking forward to applying this knowledge in my marketing classes.

Alissa Weisman is a student at Virginia Tech University and is currently studying Marketing with a concentration in Professional Sales.

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