4 weird and wonderful things I did NOT expect when I started an internship at Wildwon
It’s so scary to think my internship has already come to an end, but as the saying goes - “time flies when you’re having fun”.
Fresh out of studying events, with the aim of attaining as much industry knowledge and experience as possible, I was lucky enough to be taken on by Wildwon Projects as their full time intern over the past two months.
I was part of the "Wildwon Fresher" training - a program carefully designed to ensure that by then end of my internship, I had gained something other than monetary benefits, in exchange for my time and efforts towards the company.
As part of the program, each week had a focal learning area, where I’d learn anything from social media, experience design and user experience to project management, blogging, content management systems, content marketing and everything in between.
As opposed to the office coffee runs and hours spent at a photo copy machine I had anticipated, I got the opportunity to be involved with two amazing events in partnership with Sydney Living Museums and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. I worked at my own lovely desk, had my own computer and would enjoy a breakfast, lunch or coffee date with the founders on a weekly basis. My experience has not only defied every assumption I had for being an intern, but it has raised the bar in terms of what I would expect from an employer.
Here are my top four weird and wonderful highlights:
Discovering the Bible
Well, sort of. During my first week, with the simple task of settling into my new office space, exploring blogs and completing some light reading, I came to discover the Holstee Manifesto, also known as my newly appointed Bible and go-to guide for all future life-changing decisions I ever make. For such a simple publication, it puts life into perspective by outlining what really matters most.
Watching light shine out of people's faces
There is nothing more inspirational than meeting new people, listening to their story and watching their eyes and face light up when they discuss what they're passionate about. You can sense their drive, their job satisfaction and their happiness. Whether it was Wildwon co-founders Sally Hill and Yvonne Lee telling me the story of how and why Wildwon came to be what it is today, or Kristen Allan explaining her journey to discovering her calling in life was cheese, it was one of my most enjoyable experiences during my internship that has influenced my motivation to finding my own passion and drive.
Gaining an appreciation for cheese
How many interns get to say they spent an entire day in the cellars of one of Sydney’s finest historic living museums, taking polaroid pictures and watching an artisan cheese maker produce washed rind cheese before their eyes? My guess is not very many, if any at all. I got to take part in the planning and implementation of the amazing event that was Stories from the Cellar in the beautiful Elizabeth Bay House - an event responsible for my newfound cheese knowledge and appreciation. Now conscious of the time, care and love that goes into making a tiny round of cheese, it is needless to say I will never waste a crumb of cheese for as long as I live.
Having to think
What a weird and wonderful highlight of an internship experience, right? But it truly was! I was always provided with links to blog posts or encouraged to click away and browse articles on Feedly - a process Wildwon like to call “Mind Apples”, where you’re always feeding your brain and learning something new.
Alongside having to think, having to write eventually became a highlight for me too. Throughout my internship, I had the daunting fear of having to fulfil the task of writing my first blog post, reflecting on my experience as a Wildwon intern. It’s probably not that dramatic for some, but for a girl who enjoys writing any type of material for people to read as much as she enjoys getting vaccinations and blood tests (I have a fear of needles), it was a stressful task that I would never have considered being a highlight. So to my surprise, what I found to be a challenge in the beginning, became something I really enjoyed creating in the end and a fear I’m pleased to have conquered.
My profound involvement in all aspects of the events we worked on, as well as the knowledge and experience that was so willingly shared with me by my mentors is something I will be able to take away from my internship, and apply to all future endeavours. During this rewarding experience, I've developed a new way of thinking and established a new appreciation for the world around me. Meeting inspirational people and discovering inspirational publications has had such a positive impact on my perspective of what i'm doing, where I'm headed and what I might become.