Kristine Werschler led the planning, vendor coordination, and promotion of a large-scale professional conference.
How did you get your internship and why did you choose this opportunity?
I had the privilege of interning with MECA, the Men's Esthetician Conference and Associates, where I gained valuable experience in event planning and coordination. My initial exposure to the conference came through my existing involvement in the skincare industry, and it was through a colleague who oversees the conference that I was inspired to offer my assistance. The primary motivation behind pursuing this internship was my enduring curiosity about the intricacies involved in organizing a large-scale conference. Additionally, as someone already immersed in the skincare industry, I sought to expand my professional network and explore various career prospects within the field.
What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?
Throughout my internship, I undertook a diverse range of responsibilities that encompassed branding, marketing, program coordination, vendor outreach, and attendee communications. Among my accomplishments, I conceptualized and crafted digital marketing flyers to promote the conference, including comprehensive schedules of events and guest speakers. Additionally, I developed a printed format of the conference schedule to cater to different preferences. Another significant aspect of my role involved collaborating with vendors to secure raffle prizes, assemble swag bags, and curate welcome video content. This meticulous attention to detail ensured the timely procurement of all necessary materials, contributing to a positive experience for all attendees.
What did you find challenging about your internship?
Notably, my circumstances presented a unique challenge, as I was simultaneously working full-time and pursuing my studies on a full-time basis. However, I was fortunate that my workplace served as a sponsor for the conference, and my internship site supervisor was my coworker at my full-time job. This advantageous alignment allowed us to schedule lunch meetings for discussing tasks and addressing any educational aspects related to the conference. I am immensely grateful for the interconnectedness of my job and internship, as it provided a holistic perspective on the different facets of the skincare industry.
Undoubtedly, one of the most demanding situations I encountered during my internship was the unexpected loss of our day 2 venue, which was only discovered on the Friday preceding the conference scheduled for that Sunday. Navigating this predicament entailed rapidly securing an alternative location while ensuring all attendees and vendors were promptly informed of the change. Through this experience, I acquired a wealth of knowledge on mass communication services and honed my ability to effectively reach out to hundreds of individuals. To facilitate this, I leveraged a mass texting service to enroll over 500 attendees and vendors in MECA's communication platform, which will prove beneficial for subsequent conferences as well.
What was the most satisfying part of your internship?
For me, the most gratifying aspect of this internship was the opportunity to connect with numerous seasoned professionals and aspiring estheticians. The prevailing sense of camaraderie fostered an environment conducive to the growth and advancement of the industry. This experience underscored that, despite competition, there exists a profound relationship among fellow estheticians, skincare companies, industry experts, and educators. Contributing to a collective endeavor of such magnitude, aligned with my passion, evoked a genuine sense of fulfillment.
How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?
My internship has left a lasting impact on my future plans, notably inspiring me to develop a side hustle that merges skincare education with digital marketing. I aspire to provide estheticians with digital marketing tools to enhance their social media presence. Moreover, I have been invited to participate in the preparations for next year's MECA conference, an opportunity I eagerly anticipate. I look forward to assuming a permanent role as a contributing member and hosting my own educational session during the upcoming conference.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?
To future internship and Applied Humanities students, I offer the following piece of advice: embrace creativity and stay true to yourself. It is easy to harbor ambitious aspirations without a clear roadmap for their realization. Therefore, start by taking one step at a time and endeavor to make a difference within the community you are already a part of. You possess exceptional resources in the form of the Applied Humanities Internship Team (Stephanie Springer and Brittney Crawford) and the connections you have already established within your network. Lastly, be confident in yourself, if it’s not the same as everyone else’s, it’s because you’re accomplishing things that no one else has.