By Kelsey Kopec

Going into college as a first generation, and 12 hours away, it was stressful and hard to accommodate to my new life. As a vulnerable freshman with no clue on what to do in life, I completed the basic core classes while I thought of my next move. I went into Coastal Carolina University as an Undecided Major but quickly fell in love with the idea of becoming a journalism major in order to pursue my love for writing. As I declared Communications as my major in my sophomore year, I found that I wanted to get into the technological aspect of communications, more specifically digital marketing or public relations. I knew this was a competitive field to invest myself in so I worked my ass off in order to make myself succeed. I was placed into the honors college, and still feeling like I needed to work even harder, I thought I would try to get out into the real world. I approached one of my honors communications professors asking if she knew of any internships, partly because I needed an internship credit for my honors requirements but, also because I was just trying to see if the field of communications was a good fit for me.

My professor recommended me to Mr. Kipple at Three Ring Focus and she informed me that they usually don’t take student interns so I was extremely nervous about the interview and actually getting the internship. Young and scared, I did what any person would do- I stalked Three Ring Focus’s instagram, facebook, website to try to find out everything I needed to know about them before going in. I found that they were actually a known company in Myrtle Beach with many clients so I knew this was the real deal. However, When I first found out about People of Walmart, I saw a comical side to a professional company and that’s when I kind of knew that I would probably fit in very well with this company.

Still trying to keep in professional, I made my roommates ask me interview questions, I sat in front of my mirror and went over what I was going to say, I went to three different stores trying to find a professional outfit because I did not have anything acceptable to wear in my closet full of ripped jeans and crop tops. I felt like such an adult. As the interview was approaching and I couldn’t really do much more to prepare, the only thing I could hope for was that I wouldn’t mess up too bad and hopefully, I’d get the internship.

Fast forward to the internship, I left about 2 hours early when I lived about 15 minutes away so obviously I arrived way too early. As I sat there admiring the cool, but very different building I gave myself a light pep talk in the car, made sure I had everything with me and  trying to calm myself down. After 30 minutes I had finally walked in. As I first walked in, I saw so many unique aspects of the office that I had never seen in an office setting before. I was taken back but, pleasantly surprised about how cool everything looked. I know every detail of that waiting room because I was in there for about an hour before the actual interview time. When the interview actually began I was approached by three men, in relatively casual clothes as I looked like I was being interviewed to work on Wall Street with my closed toed heels and black slacks. Walking into the meeting room I sat down and handed out my very basic, and probably poorly done, resume to Andrew, Luke, and Adam hoping that they would at least consider me although I didn’t have previous internship, or even professional experience before. To my surprise the interview went very well and I got the internship on the spot. To end the interview, the resume I was stressing about was then used to kill a bug, which made me laugh and realize that I would be working for funny, and laid back people. So basically, I prepared a hell of a lot more than I needed to.

Walking into my first day, I got a quick tour of the office space which does get cooler and cooler as you move through every room. I loved how the space felt more relaxed and home-like rather than the typical cubicle. Each of the employees rooms have a personal touch to them. I spent a lot of time in Andrew’s office, as one of his corners was my “makeshift” office. With my own comfy chair and outlet, It was honestly all I needed. One thing that made his office so enjoyable was when he would occasionally put on basketball, which I actually watched to see if my bracket had any shot of me winning. Speaking of sports, Luke is definitely one of the biggest sports fans I know with his millions of bobble heads, balls, posters, and probably a hell of a lot more Pittsburgh Penguin memorabilia. The sound of him streaming games became a second nature to me and when he wasn’t streaming games it was almost weird and dead silent. Although I didn’t get to see Adam a lot, the typical interaction between him and I was, “Oh, they didn’t fire you yet?” and I would always respond, “Not yet, probably soon though”. Getting to work with these amazing people made my work so much easier, and more enjoyable to do. I didn’t get to work with everyone in the company but seeing how the bosses are, and their work makes me think that they would be just as talented and cool.

I have had the opportunity to write copyright for websites, surprisingly a good amount of plumbing and HVAC companies so I could probably tell anyone a good deal of information about either subjects. Not the two companies I would have picked for myself, but adding the research aspect, added for the full copyright experience. Although Copyright was definitely one of the hardest things to do between the research, making sure not to use too much information from one source, and then putting that into my own words that fit the character count, it was a lot harder than you might think. Blog posts were not much easier. While at Three Ring Focus, when of my main jobs was to produce blog posts for local companies. Not to my surprise, a lot of them were for plumbing and HVAC as well but, there was a great variety of businesses I wrote for which allowed me to expand my writing and creativity. I have to say that although writing blog posts were actually pretty hard, they were interesting and enjoyable to write because they were super creative and usually applicable to the time I was writing them.

I learned a lot while interning at Three Ring Focus. A hell of a lot more than I would have learned in a classroom. Not only did I get a feel for what actually goes into the digital marketing field but, about myself. After interning here, I have made a decision to take more digital marketing classes, although I would rather turn the information that I learned here into the real world but, I can’t get ahead of myself. I have also been thinking of potentially running for the public relations advisor on the executive board of my sorority which is something that I would not have been able to do without learning so much from this company. Most of all I have learned that you don’t have to be an asshole to be successful in the professional workforce. Three Ring Focus is a great company because of the incredible work they produce but also, the down to earth, friendly people that run it. It was such a pleasure to work for them and maybe one day down the road I can come back around for a second shot at working for such a great company.