When you think of the term restaurants, many different thoughts can come to mind. Whether it's the amazing steak you had last weekend or the memories made with loved ones, we all have a different concept about restaurants. Emily Blackwood saw the potential skills she could learn by interning at a small restaurant chain.
"When looking for internships for this summer, this one stuck out to me because it encompassed two of my interests: food and social media. Recently I have thought about trying to find a job after college at a hospitality-focused marketing or PR firm, so I figured this internship would give me great experience," says Blackwood.
Emily worked for Castellucci Hospitality Group, a small restaurant hospitality group near Atlanta. It currently owns six concepts: Bar Mercado, Cooks & Soldiers, The Iberian Pig, Double Zero, Recess, and Sugo. They will also be opening a second location of The Iberian Pig this winter in Buckhead. She says that she has gotten to enjoy several different experiences during the internship.
"Every day at my internship is completely different, which I really enjoy. I have had the chance to attend weekly marketing meetings and quarterly public relations meetings with each of the restaurants. I helped manage social media channels for each of our restaurants as well as assist the marketing team with designing marketing materials such as restaurant menus (since seasonal items are currently in rotation) for both our physical menus and on the web. I also got the chance to create ads for some of our restaurants for Atlanta Magazine as well as a local neighborhood publication. One of my ads was just printed in the August issue of Atlanta Magazine, which was really exciting to see."
Throughout the internship, Emily has been able to learn more about her passion in the culinary industry.
"I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot about the culinary industry. My internship has allowed me to spend time alongside many of the executive chefs during service hours, giving me the opportunity to absorb a lot of information. I have also had a lot of freedom, giving me the chance to focus on skills I want to improve on. This internship has also taught me a lot about myself and about the type of career path I will pursue following graduation next May."
Blackwood is a firm believer that Georgia College helped prepare her to succeed.
"I have been really thankful to have had prior experience through practicums required by the mass communications department and the opportunity to take on various leadership positions that have given me the confidence to speak up and share my ideas with my coworkers. Georgia College fosters an environment where students are encouraged to interact with faculty and staff outside of the classroom, and I believe that this culture has helped me become better acclimated to my office and has helped me see myself as a valuable member of the staff that contributes to the team rather than just ‘the intern.'"
Now Emily is looking forward to what her next step will be.
"This experience has really helped me understand the type of company I would like to work with after graduation. It has also given me a variety of vital experiences that I believe will better prepare me for my future career."