My summer internship has sailed me back to senior year at college

At our event on July 25th, a prospect approached me with some advice. He had read my past blogs and knew I was the Marketing Intern. He has a great number on the Founder’s Club list and he seemed like a generous, wise man. What he said was that in every position you hold, you learn some skills applicable to every job, and other skills specific to your current job. He told me to use this mindset whenever I learn anything at work. I must think, will this be useful down the road? If it is, write it down. Cherish it. If it is only applicable to RiverWoods Durham, master it for the time being, but understand that not every job is the same. Each and every organization has different values, duties, and ways of life. Not everything is compatible, and every new worker must understand they do not know it all. There is always room to try new things, have new experiences, and learn from those that have been through it all.

Food. I love food. At every event that we hold, I am known for taking home all of the leftovers. It has become a common theme that I feed my entire apartment of roommates strictly from the leftovers at these events! At our most recent event at the Oaks, All About Contracts, they had a policy not to give to-go boxes. However, Cathleen Toomey would not take no for an answer. She wants me to have everything I could ever want, and she would not stop until I was able to take these leftovers home. As this is not one of the things I will miss most about RiverWoods Durham, this was certainly a perk for me as a college student!

It has been crazy here in Durham over the past few weeks. Confidential Data Profiles are rolling in through the mail. This requires plenty of paperwork and data entry. In the midst of planning events, staff meetings, and social media, this is creating quite a lot of work for all of us!

If these 13 weeks at RiverWoods have taught me anything, it would be to live in the present. Dwelling in the past and looking too much into the future can make you lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish in the first place. Learning from all other employees and future residents, I have realized waiting around and hoping that something good will happen is useless. Sitting back and expecting nothing to change is silly. Life is about going for it and creating your change. Utilize every minute, every day, every lesson, and every setback to better yourself and those around you. In the words of Cathleen Toomey, “Don’t be an ostrich. Don’t sit back with your head in the sand and assume nothing is ever going to happen.” Plan for your change.

RiverWoods has confirmed my beliefs that we are put on this earth to make others happy. A simple conversation can go a long way. A simple conversation can make somebody’s day. This could be the difference between a stranger and an acquaintance, as well as the difference between a future resident and a refunded deposit. RiverWoods offers the greatest quality of life without having to worry about what to do when disaster strikes. We take pride in making every single potential RiverWoods resident the happiest they can be surrounded by community-driven, caring individuals. Not only do we aspire to be fair in dealing with our residents, but our employees, too.

Months ago, when I was actively seeking an internship for the summer, I had been offered a job at Enterprise. This was my original plan for the summer until my New Product Development professor let me know of an opportunity. All I knew at the time was that some retirement community wanted a marketing intern. I did as any college kid would do and I looked into it, not realizing then how perfect a fit this would be for me. I did not know what RiverWoods was all about. A few clicks on the website was all it took for the light bulb to switch on in my head. The second I learned more about the internship, I knew I had to have it.

Who knows… Maybe one day I’ll be a RiverWoods resident. There’s gotta be an employee discount, right? I don’t know if my intern status will allow me any special treatment, but hey, it may be worth a try. Living at RiverWoods would be like living on a cruise ship. All the boring stuff is taken care of for you, leaving you with unlimited time to do what you love.

Looking back at my time working in the Chocolate Factory (what we call the Durham office because it is on the second floor of the Lindt Chocolate Retail store), I can’t help but get sentimental. We put in so many hours of hard work and effort, and having to walk away before the project is all finished is a bittersweet feeling. The only sweet part will be not having to wake up at 7 am for work every day! (The benefits of being a senior in college are that I get to have my first class of the day at 11!) The bitterness will come from saying goodbye to my passionate coworkers, and not seeing this project all the way through. Regardless, I can hold my head high knowing that I gave my full effort every second of work at RiverWoods. This place is special because everybody is encouraged to have a voice. There is no better feeling than a prospect smiling because of something you did to help. This is what I will remember most about my summer internship.


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