Lessons Learned from Working in a Small Town

By: Amy Bardell

In a town with a permanent population of roughly 1,000 people you would think it’d be hard to get your foot in the door to help out. During my internship in Lexington, MI I found that wasn’t the case. I was able to jump right in and put a lot of my creative processes to work while learning a lot from what this small town had to offer.

531403_400768103267815_739669692_nHere are a few things I learned from a small town:

Don’t be afraid to ask. Those who put on events in a small town are used to carrying a lot of the weight on their own. If you want to have a hand in a certain event or know a way you can help out make the offer to your supervisor. They will likely love that you want to help out and can free their schedule for other things.

You can work on a little of everything. Being in a smaller town with an older population during off-season months allows an intern to come in with fresh ideas and social media savvy that hasn’t been dabbled in too much before. Not only was I an event planner and a website moderator, I was also an announcer, secretary and gopher. If you’re looking for a job that won’t keep you in the same place, but doesn’t make you feel crazy busy a small town might be a place to look into for an internship.

People talk. A lot. Very few things take a long time to travel around a small town by word-of-mouth. Rumors can reach people before the truth does, so you have to be careful to check that what you’re hearing is true. I heard a few different speculative stories about one of my supervisors over my summer internship and most of those stories ended up being false.

Just because an internship program doesn’t exist doesn’t mean one can’t be made. I found a place close to my hometown that I had visited as a child. The organization didn’t have an internship program, but because I wanted to help out there for my internship I inquired about it. I was asked what I wanted to help out with and was also given tasks to work on as I was with the organization longer. This option usually affords more flexibility since there hasn’t been an intern before, but by reaching out you can open the door with the organization for future interns as well.

Overall, don’t be afraid to take an experience in a smaller town. You can learn about yourself as far as what you want in a career and you gain an all-around knowledge of how events work behind the scenes.


About ferrisprssa

We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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