#bsuenglish Senior Brittany Ulman reflects on the valuable experience she gained as the marketing intern at International Floral Distributors, Inc. in Richmond, Indiana this summer. During this time, Brittany created numerous marketing materials, wrote the scripts that would be featured in IFD’s annual Flower Trends Forecast, and served as a guest blogger for Indianaintern.net.

My internship at International Floral Distributors, Inc. was definitely a whirlwind to say the least, but that doesn’t mean it was not worthwhile. Even though I wasn’t completely prepared for the way in which I was propelled into the previously foreign world known as the flower industry, that exact phenomenon is one of the reasons why I enjoyed my time at IFD.

Despite the fact that my internship placed me in an unexplored environment, I enjoyed the challenge. I love the fact that as an intern, I wasn’t simply doing busy work or carrying out small errands for my co-workers. Instead, I was in the middle of nearly every project, voicing my opinion and being one of the main team members.

Due to being an active member of the IFD team, there’s no doubt in my mind that my internship will prove to be an invaluable experience in terms of the knowledge I gained about a new industry, myself, and my future.brittany-ulman

As an intern, my main objective was to boost the efficacy of IFD’s marketing strategies and ensure they were reaching their intended audiences, specifically Millennials. In order to do so, IFD’s Executive Director, Jeff Lanman, assigned me the tasks of writing press releases and video scripts for their Flower Trends Forecast, generating monthly email campaigns, constructing order forms, assisting in a project aimed at enhancing relations between IFD’s members and their vendor distributors, and creating marketing material for an upcoming convention. And these were just a handful of my day-to-day tasks.

The articles in particular required me to create several images to complement the articles’ content and IFD’s goals of extending a certain amount of information to the public. Additionally, I worked on several aspects of IFD’s annual catalog including trend descriptions, a short bio for IFD’s trend forecaster, as well as advertising value pages.

While working on my various projects for IFD, I found myself utilizing many of the skills I have developed during my time at Ball State and previous internships. Because several of my projects involved creating marketing materials, I found myself continually referring to the information I had learned during my professional writing and digital literacies courses. During these classes, my professors taught me about numerous design aesthetics and textual styles to best appeal to general and specific audiences. In particular to this internship, I referred to my English 213 and 231 classes when I created the table cards and handouts for the convention IFD attended in September.

Between the skills I have obtained at Ball State and my internships, I am more aware of what I want out of a career and have a better understanding of the relationships between my courses and my professional life. Prior to this internship, I did not view all of my Ball State classes as pertinent to my specific career goals–only the ones that have a connection to editing and/or marketing. However, during my time at IFD, I was able to utilize many of the skills I acquired in my creative writing classes when working on marketing materials for the business. Furthermore, I used these classes as a basis when I was writing the scripts for the Flower Trends Forecast videos and my guest blogs for Indianaintern.net.

This connection between my academic and professional lives opens even more doors for me when it comes to what I am looking for in a future career. Even if a job does not initially seem to coincide with my initial expectations, my internship at IFD has taught me that Ball State has prepared me for the unexpected aspects of a job.

When my internship finally ended, it was all bittersweet. Yes, I left a team I’d grown accustomed to and will miss, but I left a more confident, strong, and informed young woman ready to take on another semester, graduation, and whatever the future holds for me after Ball State.