Monday, June 25, 2012

True Life: I'm a JG/PF Intern

 Written By Oscar Sanchez, Jr.

           Like thousands of other college students, I’m spending my summer as an intern; gaining some “real life” experience in the field that I’m interested in: event planning. A rising senior at Monmouth University, I am a…get ready for it…Communication major with concentrations in Public Relations and Journalism, as well as minors in Business Administration and Information technology. In short, I’m interning at different places until I figure out what field is right for me.
I discovered Jes on Rocco’s Dinner Party on Bravo last summer, and fell in love with her design capabilities. After following and messaging her on twitter for a few weeks, she asked me to send her my resume for a possible internship. A year later, here I am!
Here at jesGORDON/properFUN, I have had the opportunity to get my hands into almost every aspect of what the company has to offer. So let me break down my experience into a few sections: Company Atmosphere, Design, Production, Event Management, and Overall Experience. Feel free to skip to the one that interests you the most.

Company Atmosphere
            When you have six people and a dog in this New York City office, things are bound to be more interesting than most television shows. No two days are the same. I could spend my entire day searching for props for an event, setting up venue tours for a potential client, or working on flower conditioning in our production room. It’s great because you get to be involved in so many things.
Some days are really quiet in the office because everyone is so into their own work, while others are so hectic that I literally have ask them to slow down because I can only do so much in an eight hour period. I go through way too many emotions in a week – happy, annoyed, excited, irritated, stressed, relaxed, and hyper. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions, but I get through it.
On Friday’s, we have company lunches where we get to order in and relax for a few moments as our crazy week comes to an end. There’s bound to be an inappropriate conversation at least once a day that would make great television. And if Shamon, our productionDIRECTOR’s dog, doesn’t rub up against your leg at least four times during the day, something is wrong.
So hopefully that gives you an overview – we’re a fun group of people with lots of stuff to get done. Sometimes being an intern is overwhelming and stressful, but mostly it's a learning experience and the day feels worth it when I leave.

This is the area that I probably have the least involvement in. A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to tweak a proposal for one of our clients to make it fit her personality more. With no real knowledge of floristry or design, I had to do some research to understand the different terms being used.
A big part of my job is to look for materials that we need for an event. I spend a great deal of my time “Googling” and compiling images and websites that fit the description of the item we need. It’s a simple, yet strenuous task. It can be a little disheartening when it’s not exactly what the other peeps in the office are looking for, but it’s so great when you find the holy grail of what they want.

I attended the flowerARRANGEMENT workSHOP that we held and got to take home my own creation!
I am definitely a colorful personality.

I have a love/hate relationship with production. There is a LOT to production, but  basically, this includes taking the design and bringing it to life.
My second week here, I was flown out to Los Angeles for a concert event (Check-out our blog post: Neon Paradise). I was super excited! After finally meeting Jes (she had been in LA when I started interning in NYC), I swam in Venice Beach, took a 2-hour hike in Santa Monica, and met Jes’s amazing friends.
When the day of the event came, we were up at 4am and I was like, “Okay, I can handle this.” I don’t know how I made it through the next 23 hours. It was so hectic and I got shifted from one area to the next and then to another. Between unloading a truck of materials, branding giant orb balls, hanging sticks of ribbon, and then all the breakdown starting at midnight, I was so over it. I was ready to throw in the towel.
Luckily, after I got a few hours of sleep, I talked myself off the ledge. Since then, I realize that I enjoy the preparation for events (i.e. putting things together, organizing, making props), I just despise the day that we need to put it all into the event space. This has all helped me to realize that maybe large scale decor production isn't for me.

eventsMANAGER suzieSANTOPOLO and I were very excited to head to LA!
Testing out some equipment for an event. It's a tiring job. Ha!
Event Management
            This aspect of the business is what Jes and our eventsDIRECTOR, suzieSANTOPOLO deal with. It’s the whole client relations aspect of the business. This is what I think I love getting into the most. It’s the public relations guy in me that wants to just talk to people and get to know them. I love listening to how Suzie interacts with clients because she’s so charming! I’m definitely more of a learn by watching kind of guy. So if I can sit back and just take everything in rather than being thrown into it or reading off a manual, that definitely helps.
            The less involved part is just office management – picking up phones, taking messages, getting our office space ready for meetings, doing some inventory in the production room, etc. It’s more of the “typical” intern work that you see on television. 
This chalkboard really keeps me on task. It's painted right onto the wall next to my desk!
Overall Experience
            So far, my month at jesGORDON/properFUN has been a success. I’ve learned so much already and feel like I’m getting to understand the depths of the event planning industry. Some aspects of event planning are terrible and I now know that I want to steer clear of them, while others are grabbing my interest more and more. I’ve learned that one of my favorite things is writing the blogs for our website, so maybe my next internship will be in social media. It’s all a journey!
            If you have any interest in the discussed fields, definitely reach out and try to get an internship here. The best way to find out if you’re going to like something is to dive in and try it – and that’s what being here has given me the opportunity to do. Feel free to shoot me any questions you may have at Who knows, maybe that e-mail address will belong to you one day!

No comments:

Post a Comment