Every Meridian Group intern has had a different experience, but ultimately we shared the same goal – to gain knowledge and grow as a professional. The spring 2016 intern team came to Meridian Group wide-eyed and unsure of the next step in life. With the guidance of our leader, Sarah Taylor, we have all forged a path that will lead us to success.
The crew included Spenser Bullock, Kate Read, Courtney Hunka, Alexis Greene and Chrishaud Hawkins. We all came from different backgrounds, but we all banded together while completing our internships here at Meridian. Here are our stories:
Spenser: I am from Lorton, Va. I will graduate from Virginia Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s in business and a minor in philosophy this May. I play for the school’s varsity tennis team and enjoy working out and relaxing on the beach in my free time.
Kate: As a “military brat”, I’m not really from anywhere in the traditional sense. I’ve been really fortunate to live around the world and experience cultures very different from my own. That being said, as a beach bum and taco-holic, I definitely consider San Diego to be my hometown (Chargers fan for life!).
I graduated from Old Dominion University in December with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. This came after a long hiatus from school while I was working to build a career in the horse industry. A lot of people will tell you to “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” They should probably follow this up with “unless what you love is horses, then prepare to work 12 hour days and be poor. Very, very poor.”
Alexis: Born and raised in Hampton, Va. Moved to Norfolk to attend ODU. (GO MONARCHS!) In spring 2014, I received my Bachelor of Science in communication and a minor in women studies. I’m a fan of kicking butt in trivia and rock climbing.
Courtney: I am from Virginia Beach and have lived here my whole life. I am a rising senior at ODU with a major in communication. Taylor Swift is my spirit animal.
Chrishaud: I’m from Maryland. I attend Virginia Wesleyan College and I am majoring in business. I am also captain of the track team.
Pictured: Spenser Bullock
Spenser: My favorite moment would have to be going to the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo in Richmond and being able to represent a client and interact with other people in such a positive environment.
Kate: I think my favorite moments have been getting to know the other interns. We all have varied backgrounds and it’s been a lot of fun embarking on this crazy adventure with such a great team.
Alexis: I actually enjoyed going to the PRSA meeting. I was able to learn a few things from professionals and get to know some of the PR ladies more. Hearing their stories was very motivating and inspirational. Bowling with the agency is up there too.
Courtney: When we went bowling and got to see everyone outside of the work atmosphere. It was really cool to be included in the work fun day and see everyone make the effort to get to know you.
Chrishaud: My favorite moment was attending the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo.
Pictured: Courtney Hunka and Alexis Greene
What you’ve gained from this experience?
Spenser: It is impossible to list all of the tangible and intangible experience I have gained through interning at Meridian Group, but I have gained a lot of confidence in the public relations and marketing field, developed better writing skills, and enjoyed working in a team environment while still being able to individually get a task done. There is a lot more that could be said, but I think those are the ones that stood out the most.
Kate: I’ve gained a better understanding of the daily operations of a PR firm. I also have a better appreciation for how unpredictable your workload can be. You might start the week with just projects A, B, and C, only to come in midweek to find that project D needs to be done pronto!
Alexis: Sarah asked us to list our goals for this experience in the beginning of our internship and a huge one for me was gaining confidence in my work. Not only have I gained confidence in my work and in the field, I’ve also gained so much knowledge that I will take with me into the work world… (Thanks, boss!) Also thank you to Vanessa, Kerry and Jordan for taking me under their wing and helping me figure out what I want to do with my life!
Courtney: I now have the extra confirmation that PR is definitely the field that I want to go in to. I have learned insane amounts of information about the field that you wouldn’t get in a classroom setting. You are actually doing real-life work and it is so much different than school work. I got to see the nitty-gritty small steps that go into every piece of work Meridian does and I think that is really cool.
Chrishaud: I’ve experienced different aspects of how a marketing/public relations firm operates. I was able to see how the owner conducted himself daily. I attended my first business trip. I also contributed work that was used by the company and provided valuable input during client meetings.
Pictured: Chrishaud Hawkins and Kate Read
Spenser: Currently looking for a job in the area with a focus on public relations, marketing, or management in particular.
Kate: Finding a job!
Alexis: FINDING A JOB! I also started up a music blog and I’m super excited about that. I get to polish up my writing and create a social presence in something I love!
Courtney: GRADUATE!!! And then attempt to get a job in this crazy job market. I may or may not do another internship, I haven’t made up my mind yet, but ultimately, I just want to graduate from school with a wealth of knowledge and a strong resume to make me more likable to employers.
Chrishaud: My next step is to graduate in May and join the marketing industry as a young professional while developing my career in real estate.
Spenser: Thank you, everyone, for everything you have done for me. You all made it feel like home, and I am going to miss coming in here every day and seeing all of you! Especially going to miss donut Fridays!
Kate: Keep up the phenomenal work!
Alexis: Thank you so much to the whole agency! I was super nervous walking into a different environment and you guys made the transition so easy and comfortable. I actually feel like I can be myself! I guess I’m not that weird, but seriously thank you so much! I can say that I am leaving this experience with my head held high and ready to work because of you all.
Courtney: I can’t say thank you enough to not only the PR staff, but to everyone in the agency. They have been nothing but welcoming since I started and really made me feel included. Thank you for being patient with us when we had questions about projects. I will be incredibly grateful for the opportunity and knowledge that I have gained here and I really hope to see you again someday!
Chrishaud: I am extremely thankful for the opportunity. Joe and the Meridian team found a way for me to achieve every goal that I created before beginning my internship and I couldn’t be happier with the experience I received.
Meridian Group is an agency of hard-working professionals and they expect nothing less from their interns. This internship has helped mold us into the best marketing professionals that we can be. We know that we left our mark just like the agency has with us. The experience kept us on our toes, but we didn’t expect anything less and we’re all thankful for the opportunity.