By: Kristina Jingling, 2017 Texas State University Graduate
Simplicity? A word often forgotten in the day-to-day grind. As professionals and students, we often keep “adding” — adding words and sentences to essays, images, layers, projects at school and work, and on top of all that, responsibilities. Although adding is often a good thing, there is something to be said about simplicity.
During my last semester as a public relations student, I was faced with the opportunity of finding one final internship before graduation. As most Texas State students do, I first looked to Austin and San Antonio to find that internship that would give me the cutting-edge upon graduation. But, after living in San Marcos for 2 years, I realized I wanted to work in the community I have grown to love. I was advised of an opportunity with the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, located just on the edge of campus. Was it that convenient, that simple?
I soon learned more about the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce and believed it was the perfect fit for me. I learned more than I expected during my time with the Chamber about event planning and executing, writing, press relations, design, community and simplicity in work.
I learned that often simple is better when it comes to designing graphics. When it comes to design, I can execute putting concepts together and make something look cohesive, but my time at the Chamber taught me that you don’t have to use fancy programs or go above and beyond to make something look great. For example, one of my tasks this semester was helping create the marketing materials for the 115th Annual Dinner. I spent hours in Adobe InDesign creating our invitation. It didn’t develop exactly how I pictured it, so I moved to a more familiar platform to create a draft that embodied my vision and ultimately produced the entire theme. Simply put, it is important to remember to use what you know best and go from there.
Aside from design, another valuable takeaway was that you need a variety of communication skills in order to be successful in this career field. One day you will be writing fun social media posts and another will be spent taking photos at events or writing press releases. Understanding how to talk to people and build relationships is also a major component of living and working in the Chamber world. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone when meeting people this semester and am glad I experienced that before graduating.
I enjoyed that no two days were the same; adapting to your surroundings and being flexible is a crucial part of being a communications professional. The Chamber of Commerce world is ever-changing and I am fortunate I was able to witness this firsthand. I believe it is important in today’s day and age for businesses to be involved with students and to remember — simple is key.
Simply, I feel lucky that I was able to experience this transition and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Kristina interned with the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce in the Fall of 2017.