Summer of a Lifetime Yields Media Experience in the Windy City

  • Friday, October 18, 2019
    Ewa outside of Flowers Communications Group in Chicago.

    I was blessed this past summer with the amazing opportunity to have an internship of a lifetime. Through the Louis Carr Internship Foundation, I was given the chance to live in Chicago and work for Flowers Communications Group, a multicultural public relations firm. This was my first internship experience, so I didn't know what to expect - all I knew is I wanted to gain real world work experience, and get a taste of what the workforce is like within my fields of study here at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

    I am thankful for my internship because I learned many valuable things about myself and about the world of public relations and marketing. I walked into it knowing very little, but with the help of coworkers and mentors I encountered along the way, I was able to step out of my comfort zone. Working in a culturally diverse environment and seeing a strong black woman being the CEO at the forefront of it all made the experience that much more special. 

    I was assigned to the agency's marketing committee. Daily roles I would play within this team included developing meeting outlines, creating blog posts for the agency, editing videos for an ongoing web series, and helping edit and develop social media content. 

    There were also cool agency-wide events I had the opportunity to experience. June was Black Music Month, and to commemorate it, we held a roundtable event and extended the invitation to Chicago-based media to discuss the cultural impact of hip-hop music throughout the decades.

    Ewa (2nd from left) at the interns dinner with Louis Carr (center).

    My favorite parts of my internship were capturing social media content, writing blog posts and writing copy. Capturing social media content and making blog posts allowed me to step outside of the office and go to some amazing events. I attended the Taste of Chicago, a nationally acclaimed food festival, an exclusive premier of the Lion King that featured Chicago-based millennial black creatives and professionals - and I was able to attend public relations award shows, all to post Instagram stories and curate blog content. 

    Towards the end of the internship, my co-interns and I, who all worked for different companies, had the opportunity to meet Louis Carr, the internship's namesake, and have dinner with him.  Mr. Carr is president of media sales at BET Networks.  It was such a rewarding experience because we had the opportunity to ask questions and learn from such a successful man. I am so thankful to Louis Carr for believing in me, and allowing me to experience the summer of a lifetime!

    By Ewa Okulate

    Ewa Okulate is a junior majoring in english and marketing. The LCIF program offers paid internships to students of color who are undergraduate freshman, sophomores or juniors at the time of application. The application period is from Nov. 1 to March 31.