Nerves and excitement are all I felt walking into the office on my first day. My Kent Companies internship carried a lot of new things: new coworkers, a new industry, new tasks and a new environment – all of it a bit overwhelming. Those nerves were quick to subside as I was welcomed into a team filled with hard-working professionals dedicated to the work they perform. It was clear from day one: This organization puts its people first and fosters an environment encouraging continued education, growth, friendship, and collaboration.
I had two goals I wanted to accomplish during my internship – to advance my knowledge of marketing in a corporate setting and to fully immerse myself in the construction industry.
I can tell you that my knowledge of marketing has grown exponentially because of the team I have been surrounded by. The support operations team coached me and gave me opportunities that have expanded my abilities beyond what I thought was possible in twelve weeks. I never thought that I would be confident presenting my research in front of department leaders or writing content for the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, but I can say now that I am.
I have two pieces of advice for students entering their first internship – be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible and lead every project, task, or conversation with confidence. You got this.
As far as immersing myself in the construction industry – I accomplished that goal as well. It was not until I saw our crews working on site that I truly understood the world of concrete and the scope of what we do. It is tough work, and our guys are out there every day putting in their best efforts and working as a team to get the job done. I have a newfound respect for the craftsmen of this entire industry.
I also had the opportunity of attending many networking events and golf outings. You will quickly learn in the business world that these types of events are golden opportunities. Do not make the mistake of thinking this is an easy time away from your desk and responsibilities. It is a great opportunity to build relationships, extend your network and make industry connections.
Kent Companies’ people-first focus extends beyond their internship programs. Each semester, Kent’s business team partners with Calvin College and Grand Valley State University for real-world management projects. The Kent team lets student consultants see “behind the curtain” and have an opportunity to solve a real-world problem facing the business.
Kent Companies’ education focus extends to their team too. The Make It Happen scholarship program has awarded over $40,000 in scholarships in the last five years to the dependents of full-time employees. The application process is very competitive, and the recipients are students that show initiative and drive to further their education. This year’s recipients include Kelsey Lester, Isaac Lapekas, Miriam Arvizu-Mancilla, Austin French, and Georgia Greenland. Congratulations to all of you!
I want to thank everyone at Kent Companies for making this internship something that I will never forget. I appreciate the generosity and coaching that allowed me to gain confidence and be prepared to enter the workforce. I will always continue to Build Something More.