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8.17 groupToday, it is with great sadness to say that I have walked through the front doors of Wawa for the last time of my internship. For the past 9 weeks I have gotten to take part in a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience with a company whose values and business plan is one of a kind. The hands-on experience and knowledge gained through the internship will be beneficial to me for the course of my career. This internship set in stone the foundation of my career and I plan to use techniques and advice gained from the past nine weeks with future employers.

For the past nine weeks, I have spent a total of 360 hours at Wawa, beginning my day at 8:30AM and ending it around 4:30PM. The drive to Media, PA is about 1 hour without any traffic. So, I have had to wake up at 6AM for the past nine weeks to drive an hour for an 8-hour work day to turn around and drive another hour back home. The third day of my internship, I totaled my car on the way into work, still managing to make sure that I came to work instead of taking the day off. Each week, I went through about 30 gallons of gas which at an average of $3.45 per gallon, racks up to a hefty amount just in expenses excluding the $5.00 daily toll to cross the bridge. But in the end was it all worth it? Yes. It was the best experience I have ever had. I cannot begin to thank Wawa and the Risk Management team enough for the opportunity they gave me and for the chance to sit in on important meetings and complete lengthy tasks. Wawa is truly one of the best companies out there: They care about their customers and certainly care about their associates. Even after only nine weeks, I felt like Wawa has become my family away from home.

For anyone reading who has not had at least one internship during their college tenure, I urge you to network to the best of your ability to find a company to intern with. Of course I would say to apply with Wawa for any open internship opportunities, but any experience with any company will be worthwhile in the long run. An internship is a chance for you to not only make a name for yourself but also for you to gain hands on experience in a field relatively similar to your intended degree. Through Wawa, I got to see what it was like to work in a Risk Management department, working with Risk Finance analysts and attending weekly strategic business meetings. Experience is the greatest teacher in the world and we must jump on any opportunities presented before us.

 
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8.15 Exit FormI can’t believe that this summer is already over. This has been such an amazing internship experience that truly made this the best summer ever. When I turned in my badge on Friday and said goodbye to all of the awesome people I’ve met this summer, I didn’t want to believe that my internship was over.

#NASMlove and #teamNASM are hashtags that the Air and Space interns have taken to using on social media, especially within our NASM Summer Intern group on Facebook, whenever something really cool happens that has to do with our internship. For a while, I refrained from using them due to denial that hashtags are now on Facebook, but as I reflect on this summer, I realize that the sentiment these hashtags represent are just too true not to use.

It’s crazy to think that one minute I could be at my computer writing pitches, and then 5 minutes later I can be in a crowded museum checking out an exhibit, taking a tour with tourists from all over the world or listening to an astronaut speak. I have these awesome “is this real life?” moments on a fairly regular basis, and I’m sure that my fellow interns do as well. It is because NASM is such a cool place to work with such amazing opportunities to learn and experience new things that makes this one of the coolest summers of my life. #NASMlove

I have loved being able to work with all of the people at NASM. The people in the Communications department have been absolutely amazing to work with and the way that the museum embraces its interns made NASM such a great environment in which to work. I am so proud of all of the work that I did this summer and the work that other interns and departments did as well, including a new exhibit, the announcement of a major temporary exhibit focusing around a work of genius by da Vinci and a variety of events at the museum. #teamNASM

Before this internship, I never really would have considered working in a museum, but after this summer, I think that working for the Smithsonian would be such a fulfilling career path. I love that the Museum has helpful information that can be of great use to the media and that makes the communications efforts of the museum organic and the relationship between the museum and reporters real and true. And what’s amazing about the Smithsonian family is that so many people I worked with at NASM started as interns. To be able to return to NASM in a year or two would be a dream come true. So hopefully, it’s not goodbye, it’s see you after I have a degree! #teamNASM #NASMlove

 
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6.19 AmyYou’ve been able to hear all about how I pitched the stories for my Hometown Stories project and I am happy to tell you that I had a lot of success! When I first started the project, my office told me that the intern last year had a lot of luck and got four stories placed and that was the current record to beat. And I started getting nervous that I wouldn’t do as well and that I would be a disappointment. It turns out, I had no reason to be nervous. I actually ended up getting 17 placements with more still to come! I got a few photo credits in some of the articles and I was so happy that I was able to get some of the interns the recognition they deserved.

You can check out the story placements here: http://amystamm14.wordpress.com/smithsonian/

 
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8.12 Janel ParrishJanel Parrish. Gosh it feels awesome to finally share it. My big interview that I had to keep a secret the last few posts was with “Pretty Little Lairs” star Janel Parrish. She was an absolute treat to talk with and it was completely surreal. I actually took a moment during the interview to just go ‘wow, this is awesome…’ Not out loud of course, just in my head. You can read the full Q&A here.

Her interview did have some restrictions, one of them being how long I had to talk with her. Once I set up the interview, I was told I had absolutely no more than 30 minutes to speak with her. This meant taking the time to 8.12 Parrish Questionsnarrow down questions, and hope that I can ask as much as possible in the time I had. When you deal with time constraints, I found that typing out every question I could think of asking her and then ranking them from most important to least important was a huge help.

When I finally got on the phone with her, the interview only lasted 12 minutes and I was concerned I hadn’t gotten enough 8.12 Diamond Candlesinformation, but after reviewing the transcript she gave me a lot. I asked about 12 questions and thank goodness she spoke fast and was to the point. Someone else could have made this interview double the length, if not longer, and it would have meant sacrificing questions that really made the Q&A unique.

You can see in the picture of my desktop set up prior to the interview that I have marked something in green. This was one of my back up questions to help move the interview along in case she didn’t mention a certain thing. And if you actually read the interview on the website, you’ll see that I got to use the question the green was referring too, and she allowed me to elaborate on her new movie “The Concerto” that’s coming out hopefully this year. Interviewing is an art, and it does take a lot of adaptation for bigger clients. Knowing when to pipe in about something they said and then just moving on is a skill that I’m still working on, but I think I’ve gotten much better at it. The part about “Concerto” was just too good to pass up, and I’m glad she spoke more on it because it sounds like a cool concept for a movie.

In other news, I’ve been writing an awful lot for The Daily Quirk and while only one article other than my Janel interview has been posted, I have two more that are still waiting to come up.

I wrote an article about Diamond Candles, which is one of the coolest things ever. It’s a candle that comes with a ring inside. These rings range from $10 to $5,000 and I ended up getting one for an anniversary gift. That was awesome, so you can read that article here and of course, check out Diamond Candles.

I also would like to mention that my full-time position just got real, because I got an actual Daily Quirk email. That was an awesome day for me and since it really becoming official; I have gotten to deal with a lot of new things, such as talking with publicists and retrieving photos for articles. It’s been great, and I couldn’t be more thankful!

So as school starts to come back into session, my submissions for The Daily Quirk will slow, but I hope to share my next few articles before we say goodbye to the blog.

 
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8.12 DaVinci AnnouncementThings were really busy in the NASM Office of Communications my last few weeks because we were gearing up for a major announcement: for 40 days a da Vinci masterpiece will be on display at the museum. Da Vinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds is a notebook filled with Leonardo da Vinci’s musings on the flight of winged animals and also the idea of human flight. The codex will be displayed in September and October in the Wright Brothers gallery right by the Wright flyer, the first plane and the start of a century of flight advancements.

We created a video announcement that was sent to our media list and it has gotten great pick up. I mean, how often do you get to see a da Vinci in the United States? Not often, so it’s pretty big deal. It was exciting to be here while the announcement was being brainstormed and put together. And I’m excited to come back and see the exhibit during Fall Break.

You can read the article in the Washington Post here.