Oh that little blue box. Who doesn’t know it? What girl doesn’t get giddy when she sees it? I will never forget when I was given my first official gift from Tiffany & Co., and the significance of that gift.
It was the summer of 2002, I had just finished my junior year at Texas A&M and moved to San Francisco, CA to intern with JPM, a sports PR and event planning firm. I had no idea the true experience I would gain that summer and what it really meant to work in a small, woman owned and operated business. That summer I learned more than I could have imagined about myself, the real world, what I felt my direction should be going forward in career paths, and the true benefit of internships when finishing college. I learned to be self sufficient in a new environment far from home, and to appreciate the new relationships you build no matter how fast the encounter might be. I learned customer relations from two fabulous women in the office, Jill, Pam and Juliana, who spoke to everyone on the phone like they had known them their entire lives. I learned the importance of attention to detail and how to make paper trails in every sense of the word. I learned event planning was for me. At the end of my internship we all went to lunch for a bittersweet moment. I had become quite fond of those I was surrounded by, and hoped they felt the same of me, yet I missed Texas and it was time to go back to Aggieland and finish my college experience. As a token of their appreciation I was given the traditional Return to Tiffany Round Charm Bracelet that I soon monogramed to make my own. To this day, I wear it every single day, to the point that the monogram has faded and the hole holding the charm to the bracelet has worn almost completely out.
Now, twelve years down the road, many more experiences under my belt and two years into our venture as Ashley & Co. I love that we are able to pass the internship experience and little blue box on to other young, aspiring souls. Kelly Nail started as one of our interns in the summer of 2013 and came on full time to be our Lead Coordinator in May of 2014 when she graduated from Texas A&M. Upon completing her internship and graduation, she was gifted her little blue box which had the same charm bracelet that I was given those short 12 years ago. It is a right of passage, a medal of honor, some fun new bling that says Tiffany, a girl’s best accessory. With each box that we get to present, there is a story of growth and maturity within that person.
There have been so many wonderful young ladies (yes, we are equal opportunity, but it seems that the young men aren’t as drawn to our industry!), that have come into our business and personal lives through our internship program who have gotten to understand the ins and outs of our business…which is really much broader than it seems! When working for a full service event company, you learn the office side of design, paperwork, file compilation, general traffic control, customer service, wedding prep and wrap up, the inventory side of prep, upkeep, loading, delivery, control, truck driving, time management, and the start to finish of working events. Whew! Not an easy job, and certainly not for all personality types. But that’s why everyone needs experience, right?
We have been lucky enough to have several of our interns turn into employees, have been able to watch several others chase their career dreams after graduation to paths all over the United States and are so proud of where each has gone after leaving us. It is time again for us to put out a call for interns. But not just anyone. We are looking for those truly interested in being immersed in the culture of event planning, design, rentals and hands on work. Everyone here is capable of doing all jobs, and that is how we like to operate, even if we are 95% women, tables, chairs and trucks don’t scare us! :) If you are interested in joining our team for Fall 2014/Spring 2015, reach out to us, we would love to chat.