By: Samantha Goodman

Internships are great learning opportunities for students to gain insight into what a future career could look like. When I was offered a strategic communications internship with Strategic America (SA) for the summer of 2021, I immediately accepted. I knew I wanted to work for an agency in the future and SA was the perfect place to gain insight and see if it was for me.

At the time I accepted, the country was approaching almost a year of precautions and life-altering decisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My internship was presented as virtual with the possibility of going into the office if it was safe and allowed by the company in the summer. Regardless of the location where I was working, I was excited to meet fellow SAers, work on clients and jump into an agency position.

My time with SA has been nothing short of an educational and memorable opportunity. My team and supervisor were aware of my previous strengths, but also asked me where I wanted more experience. It was daunting working with real-world clients and providing content they would implement. I felt underqualified being an intern, but my team provided teaching moments and support which is exactly what I wanted and needed in an internship.

In addition to working with my own team members in the strategic communications department, I was introduced to the three other summer interns in other departments. We were all part of two summer intern programs through the Des Moines Partnership and the West Des Moines Chamber. Both programs held events, workshops, networking opportunities, and social experiences for interns around the Des Moines area. I wasn’t aware of these opportunities when I accepted my internship with SA, but they have been a beneficial addition to my summer. Not only am I learning industry-related skills and getting insight into an agency, but I’m also receiving information on mental health, how to negotiate a future job offer, interview tips, discovering my Enneagram and more.

As my time with SA comes to an end, I feel more prepared for my future career and have the insight and experience to excel me forward. I am grateful for the relationships I have created, the projects I have been a part of and the experiences SA has provided me.