Annnnd we're BACK, with another spring intern's story of her spring experience. If you didn't see the first post of this series, check it out here. Other than that, let's dive into what Claire took away from her experience with TAM. Spotlight's on you, Claire. 🥁 Emily out.
Hi I’m Claire, and I recently completed an internship as a Creative Strategist at TAM. I’d love to tell you a bit about my experience, but first, let me set the scene:
Rewind to the beginning of 2021. Things are still weird with a mix of covid isolation, people starting to get back into a sort of normalcy, and a lot of unanswered questions about what the future looks like. I graduated college through my computer, but the end of that chapter still felt like there was a missing epilogue. I knew what I wanted to do with my career, but I was having trouble finding opportunities and knowing what to do to connect with the right people. Isolation + online applications was not a great combination for someone who loves to collaborate with others. It was tough.
I heard about TAM through a friend. She was always going on about the TAM team and how uplifting it was to work in such a supportive environment. An internship position came up at TAM, so I applied after some encouragement from my friend. I was happy to interview with Arnetra and Cat; they were immediately easy to communicate with. After completing a mini design project as part of my interview, Arnetra called me on a Saturday to offer me an internship. I was surprised because it wasn’t for the role I applied; Arnetra had looked over my portfolio, spoken with me once, saw my design submission, and determined that I would grow more if she created a new internship position for me: Creative Strategist. That sort of attention to the individual is just the tip of the amazingly specific and wonderful support that I received while being an intern at TAM.
As an intern for a position that hadn’t previously existed, I spent a lot of time with Arnetra going through possibilities of what my role would look like and what I wanted to focus on. I was quite literally able to build what my internship would look like based on what skills I personally wanted to develop.
Similar to a lot of opportunities now, TAM is a 100% remote team. There are several challenges that come with a remote team, but none of those seemed to impact TAM. The creativity that exudes from everyone is exceptional, and I am proud to have worked with TAM so closely. I hardly felt like an intern because it was clear from the start that we were creatives that had wonderful ideas to explore. I always felt supported and encouraged to speak up and provide insight on all the projects I had a hand in.
The internship itself was full of opportunities to grow my skills and abilities. Interns participate in a series of intern sessions where we cover topics like project management, presentation and packaging, storytelling, and ideation. Everyone chose an OKR to lead based on our skillset and what we thought would leave a positive impact at TAM. I led the creation of our community forum. I researched and organized my ideas into an outline I discussed with Arnetra before moving forward to begin building it on the TAM website. Arnetra and Cat noticed I had some project management potential and gave me a project to manage start to finish: our intern celebration party. Both aspects of my internship left me feeling confident in my ability to communicate and organize and understand a project with several moving parts. I also had the opportunity to look at the big picture of many internal and external projects, participating in the different types of sessions TAM uses as part of their model. Focusing on the strategy aspect of my role, I met with and learned as much as possible about all of TAM’s internal and external projects. I listened and came to understand how everything at TAM ties together, from the big picture to each program.
My experiences at TAM were incredibly positive, and I cannot wait to see how they continue to innovate and inspire!