Intern Retrospective: Ashley McCarley “Never a boring day”

single-meta-cal August 21, 2018

My experience interning with the City of Huntsville Mayor’s Office in the Communication office has been everything I wanted it to be and more. In all honesty, I thought I would be spending my summer getting coffee and filing paperwork. Although there was a lot of coffee involved, I spent my summer getting first-hand experience working with a municipality and making memories that I’ll keep with me for the rest of my life.

There is no “typical day” at the City of Huntsville Communication office. My fellow Communication intern, Molly Hollman, and I would come in every morning at 8 and check social media, look at our calendars, and see what we had going on that day. We would attend a “daily” meeting with the Mayor and department heads a few days a week. Other than that, our schedules changed every single day.

Ashley and Molly with Karl

Ashley McCarley worked on projects for the Huntsville Police “Join Our Force” campaign with police recruiter Karl Kissich. L-R: Ashley McCarley, Molly Hollman, Karl Kissich and Digital Media Specialist Analyn Hardy

We would bounce between news conferences, writing newsletters, scheduling posts, conference calls, visiting the Police Academy, and everything in between. Some days we would be doing analytics, sometimes we were out getting interviews for City Blog, and then other days we would be running errands for the Mayor to get ready for a news conference. Needless to say, there was never a boring day in the office.

One of my favorite things had to be going to news conferences. We got to see all the behind the scenes work, the cameras, and all the media and reporters. I always thought it was so cool to go to a news conference and then go home that night and watch it on the news. I also really enjoyed going to City Council meetings. I always loved watching the administration and public interact, and you never knew what someone was going to say next.

Working for a city

One thing that surprised me was how much everyone at the City of Huntsville cares. Not just about interns, but about citizens and Huntsville in general. Everyone went out of their way to make sure we had a good experience and got everything we wanted out of this internship. In all the meetings we attended, I was genuinely surprised about how much the administration cares about the people of Huntsville and their quality of life. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

Looking Back

Not only did this internship provide me with an abundance of experience, but it also gave me friendships that will last a lifetime. The Communication office is fairly small, so we all became really close. At the end of the day I probably won’t remember all the newsletters I sent, or all the Facebook posts I scheduled, but I will remember all the friendships and memories I made. From working at Honest Coffee, going to three news conferences in one day, to lunches at Cozy Cow. I honestly believe that I’ve made friends that I will keep for the rest of my life. Everyone I work with truly cares about each other and wants you to succeed. I would without a doubt recommend this internship to anyone who is thinking about applying. It was the best thing that could’ve happened to me.