Chronicles of a Flowers Intern
“You should apply!”
These words grabbed my attention in an email I received from my instructor, Professor Murdaugh, who further explained that Lewis University was partnering with Flowers Communication Group (FCG) to find students who embraced and embodied inclusivity and diversity. Students were instructed to submit an essay with the lucky winners forming a part of the Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship. As a bonus, those selected would also intern at FCG over the summer.
After researching the agency and discovering all of the amazing work that the FCG team had executed over the years, I was sold. However, I was also a little intimidated, as I didn’t feel adequate for the internship and I was doubtful that I’d be chosen. Of course, to be considered for an internship with such a fantastic company would be an honor. Here I was a single Black mother of two who was always the oldest in their class, and someone who had not participated in many clubs or activities on campus.
Nevertheless, I was willing to take a chance on myself, and I was eager to learn. A few weeks later, fate smiled at me. I learned that I was chosen as one of the inaugural fellows and would receive the incredible opportunity to intern at FCG.
Once I started my internship and met the FCG team, I immediately felt welcomed and comfortable. Even in a virtual environment, I was able to look around on video conference calls and see so many faces that looked like mine. These faces belonged to the most brilliant and creative minds. I felt right at home with them, which helped boost my self-esteem and confidence in a way I never knew I needed. Yes, I have always been intelligent and driven, and I felt like writing was always one of my strengths, which I know is essential for a career in communications.
But on the other hand, I also felt like I had never witnessed someone like me being considered for such an amazing opportunity. In today’s society, there are many negative stereotypes sometimes associated with unwed Black teen mothers, but Michelle looked beyond my circumstances. She saw a young woman with a voice that needed to be heard and not just overlooked due to her ethnicity and circumstances.
Through this internship, I have understood the immense impact positive representation has on society’s ideologies. My internship with FCG has allowed me to take a deeper look into how important diversity and inclusion are in communications. It is imperative that everyone is represented and sees themselves portrayed in a positive light in the media. This is exactly what Flowers Communications Group has been striving to do for the past 30 years. FCG practices what they preach, and it’s so important that other companies do the same.
My experience with FCG has allowed me to look at myself from a different perspective. Being surrounded by Black and Brown people in my first professional setting has been eye opening. Adding to that, the majority of the people that I am surrounded by are women, which is so important for Black and Brown young women like myself to experience.
In August, I will complete my internship as a new woman — a woman who has gained newfound confidence, a new sense of self, and the power to rewrite my story. I will have first-hand experience learning about the world of PR and communications thanks to the different projects that I have and will work on at FCG. I have also formed a valuable network with my fellow interns, the FCG staff, and its fearless leader Michelle Flowers Welch.
Thank you, Michelle and FCG, for this fantastic opportunity and a summer internship that I will never forget.