I walked into the office and a life-sized cardboard cutout of Jesus greeted me. Standing beside him was similarly sized cardboard cutout of a hotdog, fitted with a head hole for dining themed social media posts. This is the Sodexo marketing office at Loyola University New Orleans.

Nestled behind the Orleans Room, the Sodexo marketing office is a creative nook where social media posts are born, a learning environment where writing skills are taught, and the site where I am getting hands on public relations experience. As the marketing intern I’ve:

  • Written blog posts for the Loyola Dining page;
  • Created fact sheets for the Loyola marketing department;
  • Developed content for the @LoynoDining Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages;
  • And along with Ben Weil, the other marketing intern, completely taken the reins on the LUDAB (Loyola University Dining Advisory Board) meetings.

In just six weeks I’ve already had the opportunity to learn so much. Daniella Alvarez, my supervisor, believes in experiential learning, where she coaches me through writing blogs, responding to emails, and creating media posts. My experience as a marketing intern will stay with me forever because I am doing, not watching.

Yet, I expected all of this to come out of my internship. The work environment—from everyone telling each other good morning to the snacks I sample throughout the day—far exceeded my expectations, but I knew what skills I would work on with this internship. What I never imagined with this internship, however, is everything that I’m learning about the OR such:

  • The chefs are given the freedom to create their own specialty dishes, like Ms. Ranjani’s salads and Steve’s hummus and guacamole;
  • Every morning, delivery trucks from farms no more than 100 miles away drop off fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood products;
  • Even during closed hours, the OR kitchen is always bustling: baked goods are in the oven, vegetables are being chopped, and dishes are being washed;
  • Inside the office, Kelsey, the dietitian, spends her time seeking out students with special diets to meet and discuss how to make the OR best for them;
  • Hernan, the management intern, busily researches other Jesuit college dining halls in order to see how the OR ranks among them.

I applied to this internship to improve my social media posting skills. Now as the Sodexo marketing intern, I realized that I received much more.

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