By Katie Funk
This summer, all I was really looking for was some generic work experience to add to my resume. Having just finished my freshman year of college, I could no longer blissfully avoid the reality that life and the real world are coming at me fast. So I did what any savvy college student would do with no work experience—asked mom and dad to hook it up. My Dad had recently been a judge in a panel at Social Innovation Fast Pitch, a competition for up and coming nonprofit companies to vie for funding. The winner was (an easy pick, according to my Dad) BTS Communications, a marketing agency housed within a rehab, the brainchild of John Sullivan—himself an ex-con and recovering heroin addict. Naturally,my Dad thought this might be just the place for me to spend my summer. When in doubt, simply send your young, vulnerable daughter to a rehab filled with ex cons and addicts for a few months. Right?
After my initial feelings of uncertainty, I decided to keep an open mind. I soon realized all the positives about this unique opportunity. Working in a startup, I would be able to experience first-hand how a business grows, and would be able to provide contributions and skills that well surpassed coffee and dry-cleaning runs. I instantly and without-judgment felt embraced by John and everyone who works here. As a result, I learned more about my skills, the marketing field, and myself than I feel I would have anywhere else. I am finishing my time here with stronger skills as a writer, social media strategist, and overall professional.
But what has really made my time here at BTS undoubtedly unlike any job I will probably ever have, is the people. This one-room office is filled with eclectic individuals who made every minute enjoyable, just as they now make every minute in their lives count. There is a spirit that engulfs BTS that I was not expecting to find when I walked in to start my summer. And that spirit is what I believe is making this business a success. Everyone here genuinely cares about his or her individual work and about BTS as a whole. In the end, I did get the “work experience” I was initially seeking. But resume aside, I grew from an amazing experience with an amazing group of people who are certainly destined for success.