Summer internships are not just about answering phones and filing papers (do people even have papers to file anymore?). It's about getting real-world work experience and life-skills.
The summer intern for the Home Advantage Team has to wear a lot of, well, HATs. This is a fast-paced environment that requires 1) Enthusiasm 2) Autonomy 3) People skills 4) Creativity 5) Computer savvy - and that's just the tip of the office iceberg.
Luckily, we have a great intern who is in her second summer season of working with the Home Advantage Team. We asked her a few questions about her experience here, and what her plans are for the coming years.
Q&A With Kasey Lam
So tell us a little bit about yourself - Where are you going to school? What are you studying?
I will be a sophomore at Penn State this fall and I'm studying Marketing with a double minor in French and Sociology. At school I am on the PR/Marketing team for Valley Magazine, Penn State's fashion and lifestyle magazine, I am the co-philanthropic chair for Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity, and I am a member of the Cooking and Baking Club.
What's been your favorite class so far? Why?
Ironically my favorite class so far has not been a Marketing class but a Social Science class called HDFS 129. HDFS stands for Human Development and Family Studies and the class was about how children develop according to their upbringing/socioeconomic status and which methods of parenting are "better" (which was, of course, subjective at times). I liked the class because it got me interested in human studies as a whole, thus why I chose to minor in Sociology, but also because the class provided a lot of useful information that I can use when I'm a parent in the future.
How did you become an intern with The Home Advantage Team?
During the spring semester of my senior year of high school I was looking for an internship and my parents, who had a great experience buying and selling with Steve McKenna and the HAT Team, recommended I contact Steve. I contacted Steve and he had me come in for an interview (boy, was I nervous!). After interviewing me, Steve not only offered me an internship during the spring semester but an internship right away! I was able to continue this internship during the summer and then during college breaks.
What kinds of projects are you currently working on?
I get to do a lot of exciting projects for the HAT Team including designing postcards, designing key chains, creating CMA Packages and helping to market Holly Glen, the development in Burlington.
What's do like most about working with the team?
I like the fact that even though I'm younger than them (but not that much younger! ;)) they treat me like an adult. Every team member has a very fast paced schedule and they are always on the top of their game so naturally they expect the same from me. It is because they all have such strong expectations that I have grown both professionally and personally. I love admiring their work ethic; every team member works extremely hard to perform to the best of their ability for the clients. Steve works tirelessly so that ever seller's house is sold perfectly and that every buyer finds the home of their dreams.
What's do you like least? Be honest(ish) ;)
The amount of snacks in the office! I'm always tempted to eat all of them!
How do you think your work with The Home Advantage Team will prepare you for future endeavors?
The experience I have gained from interning with the HAT Team is invaluable. I have learned how to interact with adults on a professional level and perform in a fast paced office, skills that many don't learn until later in life.
Additionally, I have gained an appreciation and understanding of the real estate market. I now understand all of the different components that go into buying and selling a house. It's not all about how the house looks - the market, location and marketing tools you use are all extremely important! The marketing skills I have been able to use and fine-tune in the office will definitely help me down the line.
Any thoughts about what you want to do after college?
Right now I hope to work for a large snacking/fast food company such as Mondelez, Kraft or Yum Brands and then get my MBA/JD after a couple years of experience. I also hope to use my marketing skills to spread awareness about Malaria, a deadly but preventable disease that affects many people in third world countries.
This plan will probably change but I know that I definitely want to continue to use my marketing skills, whether that is through working on marketing campaigns for a Fortune 500 company or a nonprofit company.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Energetic, Diligent and Conscientious.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I've recently started playing badminton with my father! I got interested through my roommate who is on the club badminton team at Penn State and I plan on trying out for the team in the fall!