The Center for Creative Economy gave me an opportunity to plug myself in to the surprisingly vibrant entrepreneurship scene here in Winston-Salem. Upon starting my internship over the summer, I still viewed Winston-Salem as a used up tobacco town without much to offer, but within a week I had seen firsthand how wrong I was. The startup scene here is incredible. There is nothing quite like the energy you feel walking into a room where everyone there is not only a motivated and creative individual, but they are also focused on raising each other up and giving back to the community that has given so much to them. Winston-Salem, the City of Arts & Innovation, may not have embodied the spirit of that title when it was added, but it certainly does now. My internship with CCE connected me to the movers, shakers, and producers in Winston-Salem and allowed me the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the professional world.
What I wish was different
I wish I had been given one overarching task to complete over the summer alongside my other work. That said, the fact that I didn't have one large project allowed me to look at the company from an outsider's perspective and provide insight and improvements to the organization as a whole.
Be proactive. If you aren't passionate about what you are doing, that's too bad, but at least get yourself out of your comfort zone and push yourself to learn new skills. I was lucky enough to genuinely enjoy what I was doing at CCE, and I still went out of my way to try new things. Every position, whatever or wherever that position may be, is a stepping stone to something greater. Use each opportunity not to step forward but to step up. Build yourself up and don't settle for mediocrity.