The first half of my summer was full of Weddings (in one, worked one, went to several), a garage sale, the Whitt family reunion in Florida, and visiting friends and family throughout Arkansas! After I had my fair share of "play" time enjoying being a College Graduate, it was time to get busy. During this time, I had several leads in both the event and marketing industries in Little Rock. However, I felt I would always question myself if I settled for either.
I was wanting to land an internship in one of the top "Event Cities," and to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible about the industry. I knew if it was meant to be, it would happen. Just on God's timing, not my own. I had come to the decision that I would give myself July and maybe August to find an internship. Then I would be crazy not to accept a Marketing job in my hometown. I could always accept something in Little Rock and work on events in my spare time. If you know me, you know that I would only be "Okay" with this idea if I had tried 110% to get an internship. So this "internship" was my new task and what I would concentrate on for the next few weeks.
The week of June 29, I began researching all of the ISES (International Special Events Society) Esprit Award Nominees. I researched the websites looking for certain characteristics that stood out to me. Then I emailed different contacts to see if they had internships or any advice from me. One of the responses came from AOO Events, Inc. President and Creative Director David Merrell.
"...My advice is simple. . . “do what you love and the money will follow!” That may sound a little esoteric, but it’s fairly simple. . . if you truly love this business, it will take you exactly where your dreams lead you. It’s true for me. Other advice would be to do exactly what you are doing now, research the companies that you like in the part of the country you are wanting to live and go after them! And finally, wherever you land, be a sponge. You can learn only so much from books (which is more than I learned, I have a degree in accounting), but what you will learn from being in a company will complete you. Dive into whatever company you work with and learn learn learn, there are different methodologies on how every company provides services and how they treat their employees. It’s hard to say what is right and what is wrong as that answer will come to you. But learning both lessons of what to do. . .and what not to do. . . will be the best schooling you can possibly have...." -David Merrell
I received Mr. Merrell's email on June 30, 2009. Less than a month later, his VP of Operations has literally bent-over-backwards to help "some girl from Arkansas" get an opportunity of a lifetime.