This phrase basically sums up my feelings about concluding a 13-week internship at stable|kernel. Indeed, it was a good thing, a really good thing for that matter. But all good things must come to an end.
I speak from a seasoned intern perspective in that I’ve had my fair share of internship experience. My experiences have been both good and bad. From the beginning, I was under the false pretense that a company should be happy to have ‘free’ help and interns would be provided work to keep them busy and help them learn. Interns, I assumed, were undoubtedly at the bottom of the totem pole, but still valued and viewed through a compassionate lens. I figured the mentality towards us would be less, “I remember those days…” more “how can I help this newcomer?” As it turns out, there’s a wide range of internships and expectations, and I’ve experienced a little bit of everything.
I’ve interned all over the world, beginning here in Atlanta at MetroBrokers real estate corporate office, then it was KUSI – a private news station located in San Diego where I interned during college. Next, was my foray into NYC media as a trainee, or glorified intern, at the Fox5 news station. After a few years and a career switch, I found myself interning in Jerusalem, Israel, at an equity crowdsourcing company called OurCrowd. Lastly, I’ve come full circle to arrive back in my hometown of Atlanta with an internship that has finally given me the experience and insight into a career I could see myself doing for a lifetime; a marketing position at stable|kernel.
There is no doubt that I absorbed an infinite amount of knowledge at my previous internships. I cultivated friendships and working relationships, I was given good challenges and responsibilities and some of my work was used for or by the company. However, stable|kernel has undeniably provided me with the best intern experience I’ve had yet.
From day one, I was treated as a special addition to the team, even as an intern. I walked into the office to find a brand new MacBook Air and monitor waiting at my desk. I sat with CEO and founder, Joe Conway, who was warm and welcoming as well as managing partner Jason Russell who was equally kind and engaged. I was introduced to all the employees and taken out to lunch on my first day. I sat with my superior and my other marketing colleague and went over the expectations of my internship and actually began to work on those tasks that day.
In the following weeks, I was invited to a variety of networking events where my colleagues introduced me to everyone they knew. I was involved with this company in a way I’d yet to experience in any of my previous internships. My workload grew (and yes, I find this to be positive), my level of comfort and understanding of our company grew. My relationships with the other employees grew. I continued to feel challenged and heard as an equal member of the team, perhaps the most important aspect of the internship. I told a close friend about the positive work environment, the challenging tasks and the overall quality of the internship, and he told me the ‘honeymoon phase’ would soon cease to exist and I’d be disgruntled and bored, once again. That was about 2 months ago…
I can honestly say, the internship has only gotten better in every aspect. I’ve learned more than I could ask for in such a short amount of time and grown as an individual as well as a team member. stable|kernel has consistently stressed the importance of our culture and our values. I thought I understood why when I began, but only now do I fully understand how important those qualities are. To be a part of a company that feels like family and is a support system that creates success and progress is far more powerful than being with a company devoid of those qualities.
Could I find another workplace to do marketing? Yes. Could I find another company that upholds their values? Sure. But, can I find another company that encompasses all of the aforementioned qualities simultaneously? I’d venture to guess it would be very, very difficult. stable|kernel has been the answer to all of my previously contentious internships. While each of them offered me something in return, stable|kernel has certainly given me back the most.
But as they say, the end is just a beginning in disguise.