About a week before my summer internship at Curley Direct, I asked my Dad to take me shopping. This internship was my first real experience in an office setting, and quite frankly my wardrobe was looking pretty weak. There was absolutely no way I was going to establish myself as “that guy,” the one who wears the same outfit to work each day, and causes co-workers to question whether his pants actually made it through a wash cycle since their last use. Excited to start work my first day, I walked into Curley Direct sporting a shirt and tie, ready to take on the new challenge of an internship with a marketing firm. Almost immediately, I was told by the owner, John, “we appreciate you getting dressed up, but it won’t be necessary during your time at Curley Direct.” So before I even managed to remove all of the annoying pins that manufacturers insert into new dress shirts, I was told I didn’t need them for the summer. Slight frustration aside, not a single person heard a complaint from me for “having” to wear polos and boat shoes all summer.
Prior to my start at Curley Direct, I was asked to set goals for my duration with the company. These goals included:
• Gain confidence in a business setting
• Learn new skills that are practical to my aspiring career
• Strengthen my network
• Expose myself to uncomfortable situations
• Approach every task with enthusiasm and best effort
• Have a positive and professional attitude
• Have fun
Looking back on what I set for myself, I am happy to realize that my goals were accomplished. My internship with Curley Direct was nothing like prototypical internships I had heard about from friends in the past. Despite having to work in the warehouse from time to time, as well as occasionally filing, I am happy to say I was never once asked to retrieve coffee (Curley has a Keurig brewer) for anyone in the office. The truth is, I was given a great deal of responsibility working with Donna, Curley’s Director of Marketing. One of the benefits of working for a smaller company compared to a large corporation is that I was given a great opportunity for hands on learning. Because of this, I played a significant role in numerous large projects. Whether it was a business pitch to a large client, event planning for a seminar like “Marketing 2.0: Digital Trends and Technologies,” or anything in between, I was always excited for the opportunity.
This summer went by incredibly fast for me. It seems like only a short time ago I was just walking into Curley Direct for the first time as the sharpest dressed person in the office. I am thankful to everyone at Curley for being so welcoming right from the beginning, but especially Donna and John Sr. for giving me the opportunity to intern at Curley and gain this invaluable experience. I am confident that I will look back at my time here at Curley Direct someday as the kick-start to my business career. I am excited to go back to Umass Amherst for my final year in college much more prepared for my future business career, not just because of my depth of experiences but my new (lightly worn) wardrobe as well.