Guest Blogger: Allison Moon


CommunicationsInterns_IMG_1910When I think of my summer internship at Lakeside, the first thing that comes to mind is pure happiness.

Let’s run through a typical day.

I wake up in a house full of 10 of the most driven and enthusiastic people I’ve ever known. We get to take a short walk or bike to the office, passing gardens, quaint cottages and even get a glimpse of Lake Erie.

After some morning coffee and a catch-up session with my colleagues, I head out to a Lakesider’s house to interview them about their experiences and connections to the community.

Back at the office, I check out a new invitation my office mate designed before participating in a social media brainstorming session. Next, I catch up on thank you letters to donors and assist with planning the next donor event.

Before you know it, it’s time for lunch. A group of us walk down to a picnic table by the lake to eat, take in the breeze and watch the boats go by.

After lunch, my afternoon may consist of researching millennial travel trends or interviewing a representative from another Chautauqua over the phone. Then, I start translating the interviews from the day into compelling stories to share with the rest of the Lakeside community on The Front Porch blog or in the Lakesider newspaper.

At the end of the workday, I meet with my support system, also known as my supervisor, to discuss the day’s accomplishments and the rest of the week’s goals.

As I’m walking home, I already have someone asking me to go play tennis and another person wanting to take a swim in the lake. If it wasn’t tennis or swimming, it may be a trip to the nearby state park or attending the evening show in Hoover Auditorium.

The evenings were just as busy as the workday—but in the best kind of way.

Although impressive, a typical day at Lakeside barely scratches the surface of what my internship at Lakeside meant to me. I grew personally, intellectually, interpersonally and professionally.

Personally, I was inspired to try new things and revisit old hobbies, like painting ceramics. I successfully learned how to play shuffleboard and unsuccessfully attempted to paddle board (it’s not as easy as it looks).

The Hoover performances I attended were unlike any I had ever seen or heard, including a family of fiddle players and an improvised comedy musical.

One of my favorite personal experiences was biking around the Marblehead peninsula with stunning views of the lake for almost the entire ride.

Interpersonally, I met people with the same drive for success and excitement for life that I have.

There was never a dull moment in the intern house—whether we were watching a movie, having an impromptu fish fry, heading to the dock to watch the sunset or playing a game of sand volleyball.

I couldn’t have asked for better people to have by my side to cease all of Lakeside’s opportunities. I will remember the true friendships I made in just one summer and hope to cross paths again as our careers unfold.

Professionally, I was able to sharpen many of my communication skills, including writing, editing, interviewing and social media. My thirst for creativity was quenched through researching for various projects, planning events and designing publications.

I also had amazingly supportive, kind and attentive mentors. My supervisors constantly ensured I was getting opportunities that were meaningful to me. They were also always open to new tasks I wanted to take on to gain experience in different areas.

It may go without saying, but I could not have asked for a more valuable internship. There aren’t many internships where you experience growth in so many areas in just one summer, like the Lakeside Leadership Academy.

We may have worked hard all day (and some nights), but at the end of the day it was really just another day in paradise.

The Lakeside Leadership Academy is currently accepting applicants for the 2015 internship program. Help spread the word to college students and recent graduates who would benefit from this hands-on learning experience.

Visit the Lakeside Leadership Academy page to view available positions, job descriptions, pictures and more. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 6.