After living in California’s coveted East Bay for 13 weeks, my Summer Internship with the Berkeley Running Company has sadly come to an end. While sitting thousands of feet in the air on my plane ride back to Wisconsin, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share with my family, friends, and classmates what this truly unique experience entailed.
On May 25th, I flew out to Berkeley, California to begin a Summer Marketing Internship with my family’s running shoe and apparel store, the Berkeley Running Company. As I have never lived outside the state of Wisconsin, I was initially very hesitant. However, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to adventure out of my comfort zone, and continue to grow as a Young Professional.
Living on the other side of the country presented a plethora of challenges. These challenges included having to make new friends, not seeing my family for months, and becoming accustomed to a new culture. However, this reminded me of another journey that I already embarked on: heading to college.
Like with any opportunity, a number of strengths can be developed. During this short 3-month internship, I have been able to grow immensely in many facets of business. I strengthened my digital marketing and IT skills by managing the social media and website content, enhanced creativity skills through developing in-store merchandise promotions, sharpened my sales skills while working with customers, and improved my teamwork and interpersonal communication skills by working alongside four other coworkers. I was fortunate to learn new skills during this internship, while applying other skills that I had already acquired through my academic coursework and previous job experiences. I also became very efficient at answering the question “if the store is named the Berkeley Running Company, why did your family start the business in Madison, Wisconsin?”
Heading into my last academic school year, I was extremely motivated to obtain and develop different skills that are necessary for my post-graduate job hunt. One of my biggest challenges, however, was finding enough time within my hectic schedule to explore the Bay Area. Besides working 40-hour weeks, I also was training for my senior cross country season at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Despite the lack of time, I was not going to let this small challenge interfere with my summer aspirations. With the help of a lot of coffee (from the dozens of delicious local coffee shops in the area) and the Bay Area Railroad Transit (BART), I explored much of what the Bay Area had to offer.
While reminiscing over the past three months, I feel as if I visited all the gems that the Bay offers, including iconic landmarks, local favorites, and main tourist destinations. Whether it was visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, attending sporting events at the Oakland Coliseum and AT&T Ball Park, or eating at the heavily sought out restaurants, I felt as if I truly did it all and lived out my life motto of “no regrets.” Although I enjoyed visiting the well-known tourist attractions found in the Bay, my favorite spots were the ones I discovered off the beaten path. By being able to visit these hidden places, I came to appreciate the uniqueness of the culture and have a better understanding as to why so many flock to this area.
As my plane begins to descend back into Wisconsin and the flight attendants ask passengers to put away their large devices, I will always keep this summer in the back of my mind. With this influential chapter of my life coming to an end, I am greatly appreciative that my family is fortunate enough to be able to call Madison, Wisconsin and the Bay Area our homes. Unlike this descending plane, I’m looking forward to more opportunities when I can push myself out of my comfort zone and ascend as a Young Professional.