In 2018, “being an intern” doesn’t mean making copies. It doesn’t mean going on coffee runs or being an assistant. Interns now provide much more value to an organization.
Think about it. An intern is in the midst of their college years. With the latest concepts and strategies fresh in their minds, they are ready to solve real world problems that businesses are facing by providing new insights.
When I began my internship at Phillips Edison, also known as the PECOI (Phillips Edison & Company Internship Program) experience, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I heard about PECO from friends who had interned with the company the previous summer and I knew that it was a great place to work. The type of place where teamwork, collaboration and a work hard/have fun mentality sit high on the totem pole. Throughout my experiences with the company, these qualities have proven to be true.
During my first week I was welcomed into a project that has helped to define my experience thus far. I started my first day meeting with our Non-Traded REIT team (NTR team). Through this experience, I was able to meet people who come from nearly every corner of the company. As a marketing intern I had no idea I’d be learning about investor relations. However, not only have I been able to learn about a subject I was unfamiliar with, the people I have met have been extremely helpful to my development. After an NTR meeting, Michael Koehler, our Director of Investor Relations, pulled me aside and offered his help in understanding the material covered in our meetings. While this was a small gesture, to me it spoke volumes about the type people that work here at PECO.
The PECOI program focuses on developing interns. Not only are the people of PECO helpful throughout the process like Michael, but interns at Phillips Edison are given real work and real problems to solve. PECO understands that in order to keep a business growing, you need out of the box ideas and fresh perspectives. This has been proven with my involvement in developing a content strategy for PECOI summer and fall internships. With this project, I ran a brand audit on our PECOI brand. From there I was given complete autonomy on where the project would go. I presented my comments and recommendations to my marketing team, our CMO, Cherilyn Megill, and our recruiter, Danielle Brindisi. Now that content calendars and project plans have been set, soon I will be able to see my ideas come to fruition with the help of the awesome team that I work with at PECO.
In the time that I have been here, my expectations have been both met and exceeded. I don’t feel as if I am just “the intern.” The marketing group has accepted me as an extension of their team. Interactions with full time associates outside of my marketing team have also really spoken to me. Although I do go out of my way to meet co-workers, other PECO associates will also go out of their way to meet me (like the Executive Vice President, Mark Addy). In the past, I’ve had the privilege of interning with great companies and worked with great people. However, as whole the people here are truly unmatched.
I don’t know what PECO puts in the coffee, but it sure creates a great work environment.