Last semester, I attended Loyola’s bi-annual Career Fair where, armed with multiple copies of my résumé, I joined many of my peers in visiting tables, talking to recruiters, networking with local and regional employers, seeking a good fit for a paid internship for the second semester of my senior year at Loyola.
One of the tables I stopped at was Power Plant Live!, Baltimore’s downtown entertainment district in the Inner Harbor. I knew I was interested in having an internship second semester, so I mentioned that to the recruiter.
Following the Career Fair, I followed up with an email to the recruiter thanking her for her time and consideration… and a few days later, I received an email from two women who work for The Cordish Companies.
The Cordish Companies are a global leader in real estate development headquartered right here in Baltimore.
They said they received my résumé from Power Plant Live!, one of the many venues they have built and operate across the United States. We had a 30-minute phone call, and I went to visit their offices in the Power Plant building downtown, pictured above.
After meeting Cari and Dana, my future bosses (though I didn’t know that at the time), I knew I had found the right fit. They offered me a paid position and we worked out the details of when I would be available to work based on my class schedule.
I chose to not receive credit for this internship, because I have the credits needed to graduate. However, I have many friends with internships receiving class credit for their time at work, growing their experiences and having thoughtful discussion in class one hour a week with peers interning at other businesses in Baltimore and D.C.
I work Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. making it back to campus in time for my 3 p.m. class, and on Fridays I am able to put in a full day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
I have to say I really look forward to going to work on those days, because I enjoy the people I work with and the work I do. I am very fortunate to work for a team of people who trust me to complete work that can actually benefit the company.
I get a say in what happens and what I work on, and I know that the work I contribute is important. Plus, being a marketing major, I am learning so much every day. I am getting hands-on experience not just in the field I plan to pursue a career in, but real-time feedback on my work and experience in a corporate office setting in an internationally known organization.
I have found myself referencing things I’ve learned in the classroom, turning them into applied skills. That is invaluable to my ability to succeed in a full time position post-graduation.
Another cool thing Cordish has created is a co-working space called Spark. Located in Power Plant Live!, Spark is a space for startups and entrepreneurs. It features a shared kitchen, conference rooms, and common space. Businesses can rent small spaces (as little as a single desk for one day) and larger spaces (a suite with room for five or six employees on a monthly basis).
This collaborative, energizing space full of new, interesting ideas and lots of room for those ideas to grow as well as work with other startups in Baltimore fosters other projects. One of these I had the opportunity to be directly involved in. I helped with a photo shoot of the space to help promote it when it first opened in January. It was such a cool way to be involved.
The Cordish Companies is a unique and exciting company to work for because the developments we build are changing the communities they’re built in. They create jobs and economic growth, as well as allow culture to flourish, bringing in new restaurants, attracting talented chefs, and hiring local, talented staff to keep the restaurant and entertainment districts attractive for locals and visitors to these communities, boosting tourism and the economy.
Being a part of a corporation that works so hard to transform communities is inspiring, and seeing the impact Cordish developments have in cities is pretty incredible.
I am not only cultivating my marketing skills in the business world; I am a part of the positive difference Cordish is making in cities across the country, which is something not many people can say.
Every internship offers the intern something different. Many are exciting and fulfilling in their own ways. Others provide people skills and lessons for the workplace that students remember their whole lives. I have held internships before, but never concurrently with classes. Realizing that I could handle the course load of a full-time student, work at Cordish 18 hours a week, and maintain my responsibilities as Chief Announcer at WLOY has been so empowering.
Finding the right internship is a big reason I can make this all work; being able to drive myself downtown to my office, enjoying the people I work with, and gaining relevant work experience makes the long days worth it for me.
I am working the hardest I ever have in my college career and I enjoy (almost all of) my 13-14 hour days.
The days when interns were sent with a list of 18 Starbucks orders seem to be behind us, and I am so grateful to be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to ask “how many sugars do you take?” every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Internships are about real job experience, not fetching coffee and making copies.
I feel so lucky to have had such an amazing time at my internship thus far, and I look forward to the month and a half that’s ahead of me!