This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.
W. P. Carey is a publicly funded real estate investment trust located in NYC. I am the corporate communications intern, so I work for the integrated communications department. I usually spend my days writing pitches, planning monthly content calendars, generating blog and media ideas, and anything else my team may need related to marketing, advertising or public relations.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?
Connecting with your coworkers is so important. You learn so much from being in the office, interacting with all your colleagues, and creating a company culture. It makes the work more enjoyable once you get to know your team better in all aspects. I’ve found that genuine connections with coworkers will get you so far and will definitely make you stand out. Taking the time to get to know them makes the experience better and leaves you with so much insight!
What about this position has surprised you?
I was surprised by the management structure. Executive officers, managers, employees and interns interact constantly so it’s very “horizontal” and there’s no stark hierarchy where executives only interact with each other, or you have to go through three people before you can talk to someone higher-up. I didn’t think that would matter much to me, but I love coming into work and seeing the employees so comfortable with each other and their bosses.
What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?
I really appreciate the company culture at W. P. Carey. It’s so nice to see managers, officers and employees all constantly interacting. I felt so welcomed – even on the first day – by every single person. I can see the genuine connections people have made with each other over their careers at the company, and it’s so wonderful to see. It made me realize that when I start looking for jobs after graduation, company culture and the workplace environment will definitely be important factors!
What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities?
I would say never count yourself out or shy away from an opportunity that seem impossible to get. UGA and Grady equip us a lot for this industry, so we are way more prepared than we might think. Don’t doubt yourself, and don’t be afraid to apply to something outside your comfort zone if it’s really something you want to try out or pursue.
What’s the most challenging part of this position?
I had no idea what a real estate investment trust was until I applied for this internship. I was very unfamiliar with this industry, so it took me some time to really get to know exactly what the company does and the business jargon is especially hard to get the hang of. As the communications intern, it’s important for me to know how to communicate the branding and key messages of the company. I make sure to ask a lot of questions and read articles to familiarize myself with the industry.