Written by Sturk
Recently, I was given the privilege of interning for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s Communications and Marketing department, learning graphic design and public relation teachings from the likes of Rob Vollmar, Jessica Jackson, Katey Chambers, Adam Heilman and Taylor Barron. This essay will document my likes, dislikes, day to day activities and how everything I experienced, relates to communication, my major. My secret goal of the writing is to give the reader a sense of what can happen, if you stay determined, listen, apply and create your own good luck in life.
My day usually started around 1:30 p.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m. I would walk into the Communications and marketing office; greet Rob Vollmar for a small chat, followed by him giving me my assignments for the day. I would work on my assignments, getting help when needed, until it was time to go home. Assignments included critiquing a school magazine, designing a soccer poster, critiquing the schools main social media outlets and taking photos. The whole staff was as hands on or hands off as I needed them to be on any given assignment. If I ran into difficulty they were there, if I didn’t need them, they backed away, checking on me from time to time.
Ninety five percent of my being wants to tell you that I loved everything about my time interning for the communications and marketing department. It is very hard for me to not appreciate and find the good in things involving a privilege. I’ve got to be honest; this college experience was never supposed to happen for this black kid, who was never encouraged to go after high school. In my appreciative state, it is hard for me to find things that I truly dislike, concerning higher education. I’ve conquered dyer situations of pressure in my 29 years on earth which created my outlook on life. But for the sake of writing the essay, I’ll be knit picky, but only after I tell you the many things that I did like.
For starters, I would be discrediting the readers and the man himself, if I did not start the like’s portion with USAO media writer Rob Vollmar. From the very outset, Rob established himself as the point man or go to guy as it pertained to my internship. I remember walking into his office to talk to him about interning and he already knew my nickname, Sturk. Rob had checked out my music and commented that he liked the lyrics, on Facebook, around 2010. This instantly established a connection because it let me know that Rob was cool and not some stuck up office worker with a stick up his ass. Mr. Vollmar passed along knowledge to me in an unorthodox manner, intertwining sense of humor with life stories. Oddly enough, after laughing your ass off, you still came away with knowing how to pop the color of a picture on photo shop, how to handle a crisis in public relations, and how to organize your previous work so you can get to it when needed. You leave a Rob Vollmar conversation wondering how you learned the first rule of crisis management in a freaking conversation about a rapper. The brilliance of Rob Vollmar’s teachings is his conversations are done in a way that the intern (me) is learning, although you don’t realize it. You realize that you learned from his conversation when you go to do your graphic design assignment, and you already know how to do certain things because he told you in the course of a conversation about something completely random. Rob is a really good person and one that I felt I could trust. I am really quiet when around a person who feels two faced or untrustworthy. I don’t open up unless I feel like you are going to be cool when my back is turned as well. I really opened up my personality to Rob because of the positive vibes he gave off in his personality. In my career, I will be a person who my employers or employees can trust in conversation and action. That is the most valuable thing that I learned in my internship, which was taught to me by Rob.
Adam Heilman, the printing service manager, is also an awesome cat who doesn’t take himself too seriously. My first real interaction with him was when Jessica Jackson, sports information, assigned me the task of creating a poster for the USAO soccer team. After I completed my version of the poster, Adam came in and placed the finishing touches onto the poster. I thought damn, he is good at graphic design and I hope he shows me some tricks at some point in my internship, which he did. I watched Heilman Photoshop a visible award from a picture, onto another picture.
Katey Chambers was really fun person to have in the office because of her bubbly personality. Originally, it put me off because I did not know if she was a trustworthy person, but ultimately she was really cool and we became friends in the office.
My dislike about the internship was never really getting to know Cody Dracars, besides the time I did work in his office because the office computer was being used already. I was very curious to know his personality, throughout my time as the intern, but ultimately I never got to familiarize myself with him.
I’m sure you, the reader, noticed that my likes and dislikes were all dealing with getting to know or not getting to know people. That is because my interaction with people is the deciding factor on if I enjoy something or I don’t enjoy it.
From the beginning of the internship, I felt prepared for my work in the office, because of my background with handling my own music. I am constantly designing album covers, writing blogs, sending emails, handling issues, taking photos as it pertains to music. I took that same drive for music and applied it to my time as intern in Communications and Marketing. If Rob gave me a long assignment, I sat at the computer and chopped the assignment down little by little until it was done. The personalities in the office were also motivating factors to work hard and do a good job on assignments. I must credit the class lectures of professors Dr. Hargis and Dr. Casey as reasons why I felt experienced as an intern. Hargis and Casey’s class lectures about giving more than 100 percent, are always lingering in my head, even when I’m away from USAO.
The internship related to the communication field because every day I worked with the same people day after day yet we still figured out a way to never argue, even on tired days or times when we’d rather be at home eating cinnamon toast crunch and watching The Simpsons. Graphic Design and P.R. related to the communication major, first off because we are required to take classes dealing with the two. Interning in communications and marketing department allowed me the chance to apply many of the things I already know from being a communication major. Making a poster or communication a message, in a way that I am being understood are things that I used in my internship and learned in communication classes. I often recall the bow tie diaphragm.
Personally, I don’t know if the internship could have been better or improved because I think that it is exactly what it needs to be in order for current and future interns to learn. The internship is rewarding in that you are instantly apart of a team, contributing to the schools well-being.
Future student interns will excel with the communication and marketing department if they attend each day with a mind that is willing to learn and a positive mental state. Do not be the student that pretends to be enjoying yourself but are really bored out of your mind. Find a connection to what it is that you are doing. Connections may include the staff or a particular thing that you love to do, like graphic design. Communicate that connection to Rob Vollmar, and he will definitely keep that in mind when assigning you different task.
I was very privileged to intern in the communications and marketing department alongside Rob Vollmar, Adam Heilman, Jessica Jackson, Taylor Barron and Katey Chambers. The knowledge they have given me, will be used in my career, long after I exit those USAO doors, upon graduation.