After my shoes finally wore in, I got used to turning everything into an acronym, safety glasses didn’t make me feel like a total geek and black and blue were starting not to erk me as a color combination, it was over.
My internship with BMW Manufacturing in their Corporate Communications group was the sunroof to my continuing journey as a student. It allowed for a strong breath of fresh air that I was not used to, it pushed me to stretch my bounds and extend me out of my comfort zone. I got a glimpse at what being in the “real world” was like and man was it an eye opener.
So much was gained professionally through this term but at the same time, so much was also garnered in my personal life. To begin with the professional, I think the key to all the knowledge I gained was the combination of people I worked with in my department.
Just like the X5 and X6 BMW’s we build at Plant Spartanburg, everyone was of the same quality of mind, yet all the variations made me stretch and reach to adjust to the different ways, voice and behaviors of each individual.
I saw what it was like to collect and write daily executive news summaries, draft and edit articles for the internal newspaper, properly reply to a sponsorship request, how to manage a fleet of vehicles and took on the responsibility of special projects.
Beginning with project number one, it was not your usual intern task. I was asked to be a part of the BMW Relay for Life committee and plan their first ever “Womanless Beauty Pageant” from the sign-up all the way through to being the MC. As I crowned our “Misster Relay” the success of the pageant and the knowledge of the money raised for cancer sent a wave of accomplishment through me.
My wave continued to build as I created a document deemed the Spartanburg Brief, to be sent to all managers and section leaders. This was a combination of the multiple news sources, summaries and happenings within BMW, a project attempted by many an intern before and finally completed.
A sustainability display for the BMW Zentrum museum was next on my list, testing my ability for writing in the short-but-sweet-but-interesting-but-neat arena. Picking statistics, pictures and text with my colleagues I was proud of the final product, knowing that our public would benefit from the knowledge of our sustainable efforts in all vicinities.
These projects accompanied with the smaller more common tasks such as assisting with events and organizing the other interns and co-ops kept me busy and engaged. If it wasn’t for Bunny, Steve, Kenn, Amber, Roberta, Greg, Pam, Max, Bobby, Brigette and Kelly I would have never learned how to work and adapt to so many varying, vibrant and unique personalities and for this and everything else they so patiently taught me, I thank them!
Many challenges presented themselves outside of the office as well this semester, such as the death of a close friend’s father, my car being totaled, a fraudulent check written from my account and a whole mess of other things. Yet through it all, the support of my family, friends and co-workers helped pull me through. If I was ever to point out a time of significant growth in my life this would be it.
Still, my tires continue to happily roll along and I feel as if I have upgraded to an X5 frame of mind and have a new shiny tool belt of abilities. Although thinking back, the dark blue-black-grey uniform combination may actually forever haunt the fashion sector of my complex frame of mind.