Leah HendershotAugust 13, 2018
Topics: News

An Open Letter to Phenom People About My Internship Experience

Dear Phenom People,

Waking up for my first day of work I was overwhelmed. I was filled with excitement, anxiety, and anticipation. I was waiting for this day for what seemed like forever, and I honestly had no idea what to expect. After all, I had only completed a video interview so I had not even seen the office yet.

Most of you know me well, and won’t be surprised that my first day was a little bit of a mess. I had to do one of those nerve-wracking, “I can’t miss the train, I can’t miss the train” run/walks down Main Street to the train station just barely making it, even though I woke up with the sun, ready to take on the world.

I made it to my stop only to get off and not be able to find the shuttle to my office building. After some minor panicking, I resorted to calling an Uber and therefore was late on my first day. Great first impression right? On my ride over, I had a gut feeling my whole summer was going to go this way, just one unlucky thing after another - a feeling of regret that I had moved so far away from Virginia just for an internship.

Little did I know that the culture, experiences, and people here at Phenom would help me grow both professionally and personally, providing me a summer I could never have imagined. It was an internship that would make leaving to go back to school so bittersweet.

Phenom interns

Professionally, I learned exceptionally more than I could have expected. The marketing team did a fantastic job at welcoming me right away and getting me started with projects. I learned how to write blogs, complete SWOT analyses, perform audits, optimize social media, use Photoshop, and much much more. A personal thank you to marketing for helping me feel right at home and embed me into the team immediately.

One of the most critical things I learned overall, is that it is okay to ask questions, and it is okay to approach leadership about questions or interests you have. Yes, you may be an intern but you are still of value and your opinions and thoughts matter. Communication is key and shying away from learning is a disservice to yourself and everyone around you.

Personally, I grew into a better version of myself. Working in an environment where everyone encourages you to do your very best, and challenge yourself is something that I have not experienced in other workplaces. I grew into someone who wants to work harder even on the tough days, who doesn’t mind doing the “intern work”, and who will stand up for myself when challenged.

I also learned that you can actually love where you work! Who knew?! And that co-workers can turn into friends. Thank you to the #Phenom5 (the other interns) for becoming some of my best friends and taking on this summer with me. I do not think that any of us expected to go to an internship and leave with these friendships, but I am so thankful for them! This truly would have been a tough summer without you guys.

So thank you Phenom for the summer full of new friendships, laughter, life, and career advice. For providing me with the opportunities to grow, learn, and prepare me for a future in business while allowing me to realize how special of a place Phenom is to its core.

With deep gratitude,


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