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Interning Through a Pandemic

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As an intern during my first ever “PR gig,” it’s been a time to be alive. I’ve learned quite a bit about what my future PR job may consist of, but needless to say, nothing has prepared me quite like working in the midst of a worldwide pandemic

The biggest thing I have learned to do: adapt. 

I thought I knew what this meant. You plan out all of your posts (I heart you Hootsuite) and change them a little as you go. Trending topics? You write a blog on them of course. You plan out this really cute post about how it is a beautiful day outside – and then it ends up raining on that day. Bummer but no biggie right? You exchange a few words and replace “sunny” with “rainy” and voila! 

 

Reality

But then “disaster” strikes *cue the scary sound effects* and you are forced to redo months’ worth of content. All of that hard work, all of the well thought out content and photos that you took and they are now gone. It’s another few days behind the computer rethinking everything. Canceling the event you were working so hard on and living on the internet as you now go into “crisis mode.” 

You’re now producing emails that are as compassionate but also as immediate as you can to send to clients, customers, and community members. Posting on social media constantly and updating the public on how you are taking precautions and what this means for you all as a business (even though you’re still figuring it out yourselves). 

I probably made this sound awful, but the reality? It woke me up quickly to what the PR world is really like. Did it scare me? A little. But did it send me running? Definitely not. As they say – you have to see something in its darkest moments to really love it right? Well, PR…I still love you. 

In a perfect world where I love to have everything planned out and know what to expect, this was not ideal for me but like many other things, we must ADAPT. And so I did just this. 

In fact, it kicked my but into gear. I was more motivated than ever to turn this into my opportunity to create something new and different. It presented me with a challenge and if nothing else, gave me a reason to still get out of bed early during this whole quarantine life. 

 

What it taught me

A few keywords and phrases to describe what has been proven to be the most important: 

Adapting, innovation, creativity, set yourself apart, communication and crisis communication, determination, quick on your feet, don’t give up, teamwork, ideas ideas ideas (that’s one phrase) and growth…just to name a few. 

So with all of this being said, I am choosing to turn all of this into a “good” thing…after all, that’s what we’re all trying to do right? To find the good in all of this madness? So when someone asks me how my first ever public relations internship went my answer will be – hectic. 

After a strange look, I will follow with “insightful.” I learned how to adapt, and re-evaluate and more than anything – to grow. So when I have my next interview and someone asks that dreaded “tell me a time when you had to solve a problem and how did you do it?” question, you can guarantee I will have an answer for that one! 

Who knows, this could just be my “leg up” in the world of public relations.  

Needless to say – I am currently trying to figure out how to add “Ment Cowork Digital Media Intern (and kicking butt during a pandemic)” to my resume. Subtle right? 

 

Here’s the hard part

Oh, did I mention my time at Ment Cowork has come to an end? That’s right guys, I am parting ways with my new favorite Bowling Green space and one that will always be in my heart. From creating my first official press release and campaign plan to being part of planning events, building relationships, and creating content, I am more confident moving toward a future in PR. I even reinvigorated my passion for writing through my newfound love of blogging! 

Ment Cowork and my amazing community manager Hayley Kruth inspired me to keep improving and pushing toward what I love. Our building owner JD has shown me what can happen when you truly put 110% into everything you do. My time at Ment has inspired me to better myself, my brand, my image, and everything in between! 

As I figure out what my summer (post-pandemic) looks like, I will then be finishing my last year of college to receive my double major in photojournalism and public relations, and as always, making my own opportunities as I go along. 

On the other hand, our fellow Ment Marketing intern, Sarah Tipton (round of applause for all of her amazing work this semester as well!) will be taking over for me in the following weeks as the new digital media intern this summer. Get ready for some more amazing content and keep your eyes open for what happens next. The world of work as we know it is about to change and I cannot wait to see how Ment Cowork thrives.  

 

See ya later Ment!  

 

Feel free to keep up with me via social! 
hannahvanover.com 
@_hannah_vanover_

Mental Health 101

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It’s your intern Hannah coming back at you guys with one last blog on mental health before I hand it over to Sarah for the rest of summer!

Mental health awareness month couldn’t have come at a better time. A worldwide pandemic, self-isolation, gloomy weather, and boredom = the perfect cocktail for a lack of motivation and a spike in poor mental health. We want to make sure that you guys stay on track with what the CDC has been called being kind to your mind.

 

Taking back control

I’ve been seeing so many social media posts and memes saying things like “why did I even buy a 2020 planner?” I have to say I have been feeling like that a lot lately too. But then it hit me. This doesn’t mean that I have to stop planning or looking forward to things. All storms will pass and this won’t last forever.                       

So why do I have to stop doing something that gave me such a sense of normality? We may not have much going on right now but the things we do shouldn’t be any different than before. Write it down in your calendar. Keep making to-do lists. Take control over the things you can. 

 

What does mental health look like?

It looks different for everyone. There is no handbook on how to care for yourself. For some of us, it means carving out more time for ourselves, finding happiness in the “little things,” taking more moments to practice gratitude, or simply remembering to breathe. I will be honest – it’s a little of all the above for me! 

I’m not going to make the usual basic list of things you need to do to take care of yourself because let’s be honest, only YOU know what you need to do. YOU know you best. But there are a few things some of us often forget are an option sooo…oh look at that, I am making a list after all. 

Be open with yourself and others. I know – easier said than done. 

Be mindful. Become aware of your situation and focus on the present. Simply be aware that you are aware – if that makes any sense? I just started this book and I highly recommend it! 

Eat healthy and be active. It sounds like the overworn cliche but I can guarantee it’s not! Our community partner Allison Millet acknowledges mental health with just as much importance as physical health and encourages everyone to find their balance. It doesn’t mean running a marathon, it just means adding a little more movement into your routine. 

Interact or recharge. These are complete opposites but also go hand in hand! There’s an interesting theory behind the personality types:  For my fellow introverts out there, spending too much time with others can cause us to feel drained and we need time to recharge in order to be at our best. For others, interaction leads to thriving and they need to be around others to be at their best. Both of these are okay. Just do what is best for you. Ment Cowork is a pretty even mix of both so you shouldn’t have trouble fitting in here! 

Create a routine. For some of us, it’s been all work and for others, it’s been nothing but play. Neither of these is “healthy.” It’s about that balance. Create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Set some goals but don’t overwork yourself either. Find a reason to “get out” and get into a different space

Create the perfect environment. Ever see a room with the perfect amount of natural light and your mood goes from 0 to 10? It’s a thing! From plants and skylights to cozy nooks and books – open coworking lounges to private office spaces, you know what you need and we’re here to make it happen. 

 

Struggling is normal

With the especially trying times here lately, many of us have experienced the blues. And That. Is. Okay. 

And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that it really is those small things that make an impact on us. When all this was going on, was it the big trips, vacations and shopping sprees that brought us joy? Nope. It was time with our families, brewing coffee every morning, and having time to finish that book that made us look at things a little differently. 

 

But most of all…

We simply wanted to stop in and say that you are not alone. If you read one of our latest blogs on the reopening of cowork spaces during the pandemic, you’ve probably gotten a good idea of the direction we are heading with our current take on the situation. With that being said, whether it’s coworking or anything else in life, finding the perfect medium really is the key. 

Whether you’re jumping up and down to get back out into the world or hesitantly watching from afar, we will be here – ready when you are, to help you get back on track. 

 

Take care of the world by taking care of yourself.

-a Hannah Vanover original quote

Our Newest Mentern

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Hello everyone! My name is Sarah Tipton and I am the newest ‘mentern’ here at Ment Cowork! I am a junior at Western Kentucky University majoring in strategic marketing. I am so excited to finally gain some real world experience in my field. It is my goal to learn more through this internship than I have in the classroom. My duties here will include creating a market strategy for us and a plan as we move forward. 

My future plans and goals are as unpredictable as a magic 8 ball. I feel like I have no idea what my future holds. That thought used to scare me, but I know God’s watching out for me. But for today at least, my plan is to immediately get my MBA after undergrad and then off to Nashville or Louisville. Though my dream would be to move to London for a couple of years first and travel on as many weekends as I could! 

A Little Bit of Background

I grew up on a beef cattle farm in Taylorsville, KY. One of my “fun facts” is that I went to a Christian school where my graduating class was only 4 people. Yes, you read that correctly, there were four of us. WKU was a big change after that, but I absolutely love it and try to stay as involved as possible: I am a member of Omega Phi Alpha, an ambassador for the Honors College, a counselor for honors freshman orientation (H4), and a member of Women in Business. I try to stay busy, but occasionally  “busy” means that I am at my apartment watching Friends, Gilmore Girls, or maybe even Hannah Montana. Don’t judge, it’s called #selfcare.  

What ‘Type’ of Person Sarah Is

I am a 6 on the enneagram and in Ravenclaw house so I am loyal, hardworking, paranoid, and seek safety, I tell everyone just to imagine a golden retriever in human form. As an avid coffee and pasta lover, I enjoy traveling and even spent last spring at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England! During the trip, I was able to visit 13 countries in just 4 months. I have also gone on a cross country RV trip with my family, so travel is my middle name, when I can afford it at least. I also enjoy things like cooking, listening to Crime Junkie (which makes me extra paranoid), puns, taking care of my plants, and too much online shopping—rip to my bank account. 

Her -ment Word

Lastly, I must reveal to you all what my “ment” word is! I wanted to choose one that no one has yet, and I have chosen…. fulfillment. In the past I have always felt like there was more that I needed to be doing and I worried about the “what if’s.” I constantly felt stressed by this. Therefore a goal I have for myself is to find fulfillment. Whether it is in where I am or by the things that I have been blessed with in the moment I am in. I hope to learn to let go of my fears and enjoy the moment. I look forward to my time at 911 College Street being a time to push me out of my comfort zone, but also teaching me not worry about the things yet to come.

Practicing Encouragement

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With the new year in full swing and myment word being encourage{ment}, I figured what better time to share some more about my new favorite word!

Encouragement is described as the act of giving support, confidence, or hope. Encouragement inspires, motivates, reinforces, and builds loyalty. All of these things are necessary in creating a successful work or business environment as well as seeing how it can help you thrive in your personal life and relationships.

If you see someone working hard, a simple, “You got this!” or “You’re doing great!” can make a world of difference. We all love a little extra confidence boost or to be recognized occasionally so why not give back that feeling to others!   

Here at Ment, I have noticed that the coworking atmosphere is truly one of a kind and full of positivity and encouragement. Motivation can be seen around here in many different forms including the endless member benefits, community partnerships and office spaces that meet the needs of everyone.

An atmosphere where you can truly thrive with the ability to work in a public space and interact with others allows you to see just how encouraging others can be. It is so cool to witness people from different businesses working together and fostering each-others creativity and ideas. Want to work alone? We encourage that too! Ditching the distractions is the number one goal. Personally, my inspiration stems from the fact that I can literally choose a different office setting from day to day to work in. An aesthetically pleasing space in the heart of downtown – yes please!

With frequent members activities, emails, and newsletters, we keep our members in the loop with what’s going on around the office and always encouraging them to take part in our Ment community. Our Ment staff is also excellent at offering constructive feedback and inspiration to one another.

Being excited to come to a place because of the friendly faces and awesome environment is the motivation that I need to continue to grow and I know there are so many others out there that feel the same!

We are no strangers to greetings and conversation around here. I guess what I’m trying to say here is you can’t spell the word encouragement without Ment…and we think there’s a good reason for that * wink wink*.

I have heard people say, “Kindness makes the world go round” and I am definitely a firm believer that little things can go a long way. I am deciding to make encouragement more of a prevalent thing in my daily life and I am encouraging you to do the same. Don’t have a new years resolution yet? Maybe you just found one!

Goodbye Menternship

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As I spend one of my last days here at 911 college street, I am able to reflect on my time spent at Ment. Coming into this internship, I was unfamiliar with the coworking industry and the community that came with it. From the inspiring space to the empowering people, my time here at Ment has been nothing short of amazing. 

 

Between content creation and management, to organizing events and keeping in touch with other professionals in the community, I feel I have gained real world insight about the public relations industry as a whole. Being a mentern has given me knowledge that I can’t learn in a classroom and I am so thankful for the experience! I want to give a special thanks to Hayley, Valerie and JD for providing me with this opportunity. 

 

In just a few short weeks, I will be graduating and making the move back to Lexington, Kentucky to pursue my photography business full-time. I plan on implementing social media and creative writing skills that I have gained here at Ment into my own business. If you want to keep up with me, feel free to follow my social accounts at @abigail.e.photography. 

 

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading my blog posts over the course of the semester. I have loved being a part of this community and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Ment Cowork! It’s not a goodbye, rather a see you later. 

 

I’m coming for you, big girl world.

 

 

Being a Ment-ern

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From: Emily and Juan 

For the past few months, we have had the pleasure of interning at Ment Cowork. Both of us have learned so much in our chosen field. This blog post will focus on what each of us have gained from interning at Ment on an individual level and how we plan to take that into our future endeavors. 

Emily Jones: Digital Media intern 

I have been interning at Ment since February. As soon as I walked into our space here on 911 College Street, I could tell it was special. I was noticeably nervous because I had been on the internship hunt for a while with no luck. I was starting to get anxious because I felt like I had no experience in my field and I was falling behind my peers in my major. However, I knew from early on that Ment was where I was supposed to be. The atmosphere here was something that inspired me when I came in every day. The people I work with were all excelling in their field, so I had to bring what I had to the table. 

I have learned so much during my time at Ment. Coming in, the only experience in public relations I had was working social media for a festival back home—so not much when I began to compare myself to some of my friends who had two or so internships under their belt already. I was able to apply some of the things I was learning in class to what I was doing at Ment. Most of my duties here at Ment were tied to social media and writing this blog right here. My writing abilities have strengthened tremendously and I feel confident planning monthly social media themes and calendars. However, the majority of my growth has been on a personal level. I have become more confident in my abilities. I have been able to grow and come out of my shell. I feel more comfortable talking to people who I may be pitching to or speaking with across the table at a Chamber of Commerce event. 

As far as the rest of my time in Bowling Green goes, I have one more year at Western Kentucky University and will graduate in May 2020. I am majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Digital Advertising. My plan for after graduation changes daily so who knows where I will end up. I have loved interning at Ment beyond words and I hope that you have enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them. 

Juan Dozier: Programs intern 

A couple of months ago, I had no idea what coworking was or even the concept of it. I heard about Ment through Western Kentucky University and I thought it would be great to know a little bit more about what it was and how it would help me with growing my knowledge of marketing. After I sat down and talked with Hayley, I know that this would be beneficial for me.  I started my internship in May and I haven’t regretted interning here one bit. This is my third internship and this is by far my favorite. I have understood the importance of marketing research and brand development thankfully through my wonderful boss. I have learned so much about the community of Bowling Green because of the partnerships we have built. Hayley has given me a lot of valuable information that I am happy I know now and that I will retain for years to come. I could have not found a better internship and I hope to stay in touch with the Ment team and I plan on coming back. 

I will be entering my senior year and will be graduating in the spring of 2020. I plan on obtaining my MBA at WKU and working for the University once I am done with graduate school. I have had a lot of influential people in my life who have taught me the importance of leadership and where it will take you and life and that is something I hope to bring to the university. Four years ago, I had no idea where I would end up and how college was all going to work out, but it has turned out way better than any plan I could have thought of.

Thanks goes out to Hayley, Valerie, and JD for giving us the opportunity to intern at this amazing place. We are so excited to see where Ment Cowork goes in the future!