“A Day in the Life” by Rachel Vance

Intern Spotlight

The HOD “Day in the Life” features students who have completed the HOD Internship and then share words of wisdom to illuminate their experiences. This week highlights the story of Rachel Vance, a senior who interned at M Street in Nashville during the fall of 2016.

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Rachel Vance

Fall 2016

Internship Site: M Street

What was the highlight of your experience (i.e. projects you worked on, people you met, events you attended)?

The highlight of my experience was meeting and interacting with all of the interesting M Street employees.  Not only did I develop a relationship with my coworkers in the Corporate Office, known as the Support Center, I also was able to collaborate with Front of House (managers, waiters, bartenders) and Back of House (chefs, cooks, dishwashers, etc.) staff in the restaurants.  I had a rewarding experience as I learned so much from this group who taught me a tremendous amount about the hospitality and restaurant industry.

How does the HOD capstone internship compare to other internships you have had? Explain.

The HOD capstone internship was more rigorous than other internships I have had in the past.  This was due to the fact that in addition to working 32 hours onsite, as an HOD intern, I was required to complete a tremendous amount of work outside the office.  Also, I was not only responsible for undertaking tasks assigned to me by my supervisor at M Street, but I also had to complete my senior project for the HOD related course.

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How do you think you have grown as a professional (i.e. skills, learning to receive feedback, professionalism tips)?

This experience helped me grow as a professional.  First, I acquired HR knowledge that I will use in my professional career, specifically related to recruiting and talent development.  Additionally, I enhanced my communication skills.  I interacted with colleagues through a variety of platforms including face-to-face communication, emails, and meeting forums.  Lastly, working in an office for a majority of the week was good practice that will help ensure a smooth transition into my post graduation life.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would recommend for the internship search process?

I would make sure to start the internship search process early.  It is often hard to connect with employees in organizations as many of these individuals have busy schedules.  The HOD program makes you adhere to strict deadlines, so it is best to prepare early in order to comply with guidelines.  Next, I would take advantage of the HOD internship database.  There were a lot of great opportunities on this platform that eventually enabled me to connect with multiple companies of interest.  Last, I would encourage students to reach out to as many organizations that they may be interested in because the first choice may not work out.  All sites provide valuable experiences, so, the most important thing is to find one that will respond to your initial request and can ultimately accommodate an HOD intern.

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Why did you choose your site for your internship?

I chose M Street as my site for many reasons.  First, I wanted to work for an organization that represented my time spent living in Nashville.  M Street operates some of the best restaurants in the city.  These venues tend to be my “go to” options when I eat out, so I thought it would be enjoyable and rewarding to join their team.  Additionally, I was offered a position in the HR department, which is the industry I planned on pursuing after graduation.  I was hoping to learn HR related skills that would be valuable in my future endeavors.  Lastly, M Street seemed like the perfect site because they were able to meet all of the HOD requirements, wanted to learn about the internship program, and expressed interest in establishing a more formal relationship with the HOD department.

How will this internship impact your future (i.e. change career, landed a job)?

This internship has already and will continue to impact my future, as I am now better equipped to enter the working world.  Having this experience as a senior in college enabled me to get a feel for what life will be like after I graduate, and it no longer seems as daunting.  Even though I am disappointed that my college career is coming to an end, I am now more excited to begin my professional career with a prestigious HR department in NYC.  I am certain I will be able to take advantage of many of the skills I acquired during my time at M Street.

Thank you to Rachel for sharing such valuable insight!
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