I firmly believe that you get what you give. If you put positive energy out to the universe you get it back. I also believe that each person you meet in your life is a blessing and has a lesson to teach. At a young age I discovered that you can learn from other people’s mistakes and their success stories. I also learned how important mentors are to your development as a person and as a professional.
Throughout my life I’ve had many mentors. I’ve found mentors that are family friends, people in my industry, coworkers, bosses, business acquaintances, and friends I’ve made in Rotary. If you take the time to get to know people and learn about their life experiences you can pick up some very good lessons along the way. These people have made a big difference in my life, saved me from making a lot of bad decisions, and made me a better person. Now it is my turn to be a mentor.
Over the last few years I’ve been able to hire summer interns. It has been a rewarding experience for me and my first chance to act as an official mentor. It is very rewarding to share with them some lessons I’ve learned along the way. It has been a humbling experience being a mentor. There is so much knowledge and experience I want to give them, but there is so little time.
The internship is only during the summer event season, which is the most challenging part of the year for my job. They see me at my best and at my worst, all within a few short months. They work in the event trenches with me and they share the pain of working hard and being sleep deprived. They understand the big bags under your eyes and the different phases of tired because we all work so closely together. I’ve been blessed to have four bright and intelligent interns that I’ve enjoyed working with, I swear they teach me as much as I teach them.
The summer internship is a great opportunity for students to decide if they really want to pursue a career in special events and public relations. Within a few months they gain more experience than most event planners because of the diversity of events we produce. These experiences, and learning so much in such a short time frame can feel like drinking out of a fire hydrant. It is a tough summer with lots of hours, but it is well worth it in the end.
The interns gain the most from our life stories, not just the experiences working at special events. We often tell them little stories and then give them the moral of the story. Sometimes we even tell them to “write that down” in our best Van Wilder impersonation. The smart interns take notes, whether they are written in ink or just burned into their memory makes no difference. Life lessons are life lessons.
Alli Williams was one of my great interns. She is a University of Nevada School of Journalism graduate and worked with us over the 2013 special event season. Alli was quiet, quick witted, talented, and extremely creative. She had brilliant graphic design skills and was very dependable. Her portfolio that she developed in school is fantastic! There was one advertisement in particular that she designed for Geico that sticks in my memory years later. I swear she could have received a national award for the advertisement concept. Alli took a lot of my little life lessons to heart and she even wrote a blog post about them. At the end of the summer I just hope I’ve made a difference in their lives and based on Alli’s blog I think she picked up a lot of good life lessons during her summer with us at the Nugget.
Please read Alli’s blog post about being an intern at The Business Casual Life. If you ever get the chance to mentor someone, do it! Being a mentor is a great experience!
How to Impress Your Mentor and Get What You Need from the Relationship
5 Personal Development Lessons from Van Wilder