Jared Lamberg Reflects on Hands-On Summer Internship
Starting a New Position
Prior to starting my summer internship with The Communication Solutions Group, I had very little expectations. Although I was excited to start a new position, I was not very knowledgeable about what exactly I would be doing on a day-to-day basis for the company. Right when I walked in on my first day of work here at “ComSol,” a nickname for the company, I could already sense the family atmosphere, and a sense of comfort. All of my nerves lifted and my coworkers made the transition effortless for me.
My prior work experience took place last summer when I interned with a local minor league baseball team. My office was a ballpark, which is much different than our headquarters in Jenkintown. I was worried about the change of scenery and felt slightly unprepared for the office environment that awaited me. I will say that I do appreciate the office having less square-footage than a baseball field, as it makes getting around much more manageable.
A noteworthy experience for me was spending the morning at Blair Mill Elementary School. On this morning, I worked from the elementary school and spent time taking photos, asking questions, and getting to know students and staff. The school was hosting a special “Day of Service” event, which featured the entire school taking time outside the classroom to learn more about different charities, local heroes, first responders, military, and many more different community organizations. Students got a chance to ask questions and learn more about what these people do, which really helps them gain a better understanding. I really enjoyed this experience as I brushed up on my skills with children, as well as getting back to an elementary school again, which I had not done in years. Making sure to answer any questions students had for me, I tried to make the day more about them and eased into harder questions with lighter ones. I was proud of myself for being back in a school on assignment and knew my younger self would be proud.
Another memorable opportunity I had working with The Communication Solutions Group took place at the Jenkintown 5K Sunset Run, where I was assigned with talking to serious runners about the race and their running experience. I was eager to help out as I have a sports background, and was looking forward to getting to know more about the local runners. The run is put on by the Kiwanis Foundation of Jenkintown, whose goal is to better the community, the lives of the youth and the world. I was met at the run by my coworkers and received a “ComSol” t-shirt to wear while I interviewed the runners. As an athlete and sports fan my whole life, I knew that this t-shirt was more than just a gesture. This t-shirt was an invitation to be a part of the team, which I proudly wore around the run with immense gratitude. In this moment I felt very included, and this made the experience interviewing the runners stress-free and easy. Our conversations were natural and free flowing. This definitely had to do with the confidence instilled in me when I received that shirt.
When I joined Leza at Harmonville Fire Co. for a video shoot, I was unsure that I would bring much value. I had never been to a formal video shoot before, but I had seen lots of footage taken from previous shoots over the years. When I arrived at the fire station, Leza and her videographer were already mid-conversation with a firefighter, which seemed like it was not being forced at all. Leza was able to ask her questions in a friendly manner while also being direct enough to ease the interviewee into an answer. I have found through this internship that I really enjoy sitting in on people working in person rather than reading about how to interview someone in a textbook. Some of the things I will take away from this video shoot experience are Leza’s eagerness, passion and preparation. While not all tangible, these were easy to see immediately as I observed the interviews. After helping remove a couple of microphones, I went into the fire house to take some photos of the firefighters, which was eye-opening for me. I never appreciated how much gear, the time it takes to gear up and travel to a call, and the comradery amongst the firefighters. It is truly inspiring to hear firefighters talk about why they joined the force and how it has changed them. It would make anyone want to get involved. Being at that video shoot inspired me to make an impact and be the best version of myself that I can be. I am grateful for the experience.
Learning New Skills
Improving my computer skills was one of my expectations of the position this summer with ComSol. I assumed that I would spend time using and learning about Photoshop, Canva, or any other editing platforms that the company used. On my third day in the office, I was assigned with making two different social media graphics regarding 4th of July, and fire safety for school districts and fire companies, respectively. With very little editing experience in the past, I attempted to use my creativity to put the two visuals together. My coworker, Kellie, was both patient and helpful, breaking down the ins and outs of Canva for me in a simple manner. She made it seem easy and I quickly turned these two visuals into quality graphics ready to be used on our social media platforms. Kellie taught me a new skill, and did it in a way that many teachers are unable to do. I learned that in this environment, people ask questions to improve quality of work, and learn. This is not asking for someone to do the work for you, but rather finding out the most effective way to produce quality work. I really do appreciate Kellie taking the time to teach me that day, and I do not plan on forgetting her pointers.
In addition to picking up some new tech knowledge, I definitely have improved my people skills as well. From calling clients regarding current/future business, sending emails to clients, or even just interacting with my coworkers on a day-to-day basis, I can confidently say that I have improved my professionalism overall. Although this is something hard to track, the experience that I have been granted with The Communication Solutions Group has taught me so many skills that I will be able to use elsewhere throughout my entire career.
Whether it has been in the office in Jenkintown or on the move, being a member of the ComSol team this summer has exceeded any sort of expectation I came into the position with. Coming into the role with an open-mind was instrumental in allowing me to feel comfortable right away. Since working with non-profits and using social media professionally are not areas I’ve worked in before, I am grateful to say I was able to diversify my portfolio of work this summer and become more well-rounded by broadening my areas of experience.