Charleston Wine + Food has really given me more than I could have ever asked for. Two years ago, I applied for the Charleston Wine + Food School of Business Scholarship after finding it on a long list of scholarships and realizing this was one I fit the bill for. When I found out that I received the scholarship, I was ecstatic. I got it right before going abroad, so once I got back to the U.S., my internship advisor at the College of Charleston connected me with Nysa, the Development Director, and I was hired as the Development Intern for the upcoming spring 2017.
Through being a scholarship recipient, I was able to begin my relationship with Charleston Wine + Food and get to know the organization that so graciously awarded me for my academic successes. I started my internship in the spring of 2017, and if you are not aware, the spring is a crazy time to jump into this process. I was there for just two months before the actual festival occurred. Even in those two months though, I learned and accomplished enough to make the completion of the festival feel so rewarding. Also, I loved working there so much that I decided to come back the following fall 2017.
Even though I was in the same internship role as I was in the spring, my responsibilities were very different, since the festival was not looming right in front of our faces. I worked backwards - working in the thick of the event for the first part of my internship and then on the behind-the-scenes part in the second part of my internship. Through my internship both semesters, I got to experience what it is like to strategically plan for a whole year to put on a festival that spans just five days. I have to say, seeing a year’s worth of planning come to life is one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.
I not only learned how the world of development and partnerships operate, but I also learned what it’s like to be a part of an amazing team. Each person on the staff welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout my internship. Charleston Wine + Food team- you set the bar really high for what I expect in an office culture from now on. Gillian Zettler, Executive Director, and her staff have taught me that girl power is the best power, and kindness is the key to life. Charleston Wine + Food has given me work + life skills to take with me as I move forward in my career. If it were not for the scholarship, I’m not sure I would have found this amazing opportunity, so for that, I am eternally grateful.