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Not Just Your Typical Summer Job

By: Emily McKain, Director of Community Service

Hi everyone! I’m Emily McKain, your Director of Community Service for the upcoming school year, and like most of you, I’m maintaining a very busy summer schedule (well, trying to!).

I’m away from Philly and back home for the summer where things move at a much slower pace. I have to drive everywhere and can’t find a store or restaurant open past 9 p.m. It’s been a hard adjustment from the excitement of Philly, but I’m grateful for the time slowing down before the Fall semester begins. I work two jobs and have done some work for the Communications department of Brûlée Catering this summer, but have mostly been keeping it low key.

Little did I know, my summer of taking a break from all things school-related wouldn’t be exactly as I had thought. One of my part-time jobs is working as a Guest Services Associate at Longwood Gardens. Essentially, my responsibilities are to walk around and engage with guests so they have a positive experience. I never thought much of it, until I realized the importance of all the impressions I had left with people. My manager showed me the multiple comments guests had submitted about how my interaction with them helped create a positive experience for them during their trip. I recognized that when you go out of your way to talk with and help people, and make that solid first impression, that sticks with them– and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Since then, I have been more aware of how my interactions play a part in people’s days outside of my job. I keep thinking back to connections I’ve been making in Philly and at Temple with potential internship or networking opportunities. This summer, I’ve been learning how I can apply these same actions at Longwood Gardens to the work I’m doing at school. This way, I’m not just doing it because I’m an employee, but also doing it for my personal brand.

With that being said, I’m learning to take everything I get as an opportunity- even if I wasn’t prepared to do so. My summer job is keeping me on my toes and giving me a learning experience for which I didn’t necessarily ask. However, it’s one I’m going to apply to other aspects of my life and continue. My advice is to take advantage of those opportunities! Big or small, you never know what you’re going to get out of it.

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