Cold emails, cold calls, and (worst of all) Zoom calls will be the death of me. Or at least they would be if this internship hadn’t given me plenty of practice in all three. Emailing used to be a long and arduous process for me, and to be candid, sometimes it still is. But most of the time, a quick email is no big deal. This isn’t just true for work, being able to email professionals in my personal life is extremely useful. (Although, it is counterproductive that I’m writing this blog instead of an email that needs to be sent. Oh well, I never said I was perfect at cold emailing.)
I must admit, I have significantly less experience in cold calling than emailing. However, I did have to a few times and it was terrifying, but I got through it okay. What helped the most was the random calls I would get from John when he was out of the office to get feedback and next steps for whatever project we were working on at the time. And when I had to talk to Bill, one of Vanguard Strategic’s clients, about his next art call but emailing would take too long. Emails actually help a lot when needing to call someone because I can make the details of the call known to both of us-though this technically isn’t “cold” calling.
As mentioned above, Zoom calls are the least bearable of the three. I’ve only been on two or three and that’s enough for me. Sure, I know it’s not the last call I’ll be on or in charge of (that one was scary) and it’s true that the experience has helped me get more used to them. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it! I’m just being stubborn now, I know.
What’s more, is that I didn’t just learn communication skills. Lately, I’ve been helping John edit grant applications, budget narratives, and Memos of Understanding (which are all parts of a complete grant proposal). It seemed really complicated and beyond me at first, but when John explained what was needed and what wasn’t, it became simple to identify the important part and change the unimportant ones. The budget and MOU are only slightly more complicated, but I’m still learning! Grant writing is a very useful skill and I’m glad I’m getting exposed to it now!
If you couldn’t tell, this internship has been a significant learning process for me-whether I liked it or not-but that’s the point of the internship: to push us into new territory so we can learn new skills. I’ve complained quite a bit here in this last blog, but I really did have an amazingly successful internship for Ogallala Commons at Vanguard Strategic. For such a great experience, I need to thank John, Chelsey, and Darryl for all their help the past few months with my abnormal internship timing and execution. Thanks again, everyone!