Hey everyone! My name is Sarah Hertzberg and I am a sophomore Strategic and Corporate Communication major with a Business Administration minor. This spring I had the awesome opportunity to intern for the Peer Advisory Forum based in Laguna Hills. The Peer Advisory Forum is an entrepreneurial consulting company that works with business owners to create innovation, rapid growth, and real improvement in their businesses. The company is structured as a group of business owners who regularly meet for both group and one-on-one meetings. These meetings involve strategic discussion, implementation, and action to improve their businesses through topics such as social media, managing employees, investments, networking, and marketing. As an intern, I have attended these meetings and caught a real glimpse of the difficulties, tasks, and strategies involved in running your own business. During the meetings, I focused on data capture, logistics, and taking note of the strategy discussed. This role in my internship allowed me to work with many Orange County business owners and has exposed me to the skills that successful individuals in business use every day, such as the importance of networking and making strong personal connections, strategically analyzing financial statements, making decisions, taking action, managing a large group of people, and building a professional network through channels such as LinkedIn.
Each business owner who works with the Peer Advisory Forum receives a business plan that is constantly updated in order to strategically plan and accomplish their goals and objectives. And, just as each business owner updates their business plan, each intern has their own colorful, organized, and bound career plan. These career plans allow us to organize our own personal goals and objectives and keep us accountable in our execution. Each week updates are made to our strategic priorities, current critical issues, future aspirations, evaluations on our performance, strategic contacts, and more. This system has really influenced my ability to take rapid action and accomplish my priorities in school and other involvements.
This internship has also provided a lot of insight into the fundamentals of running a business, such as cultivating innovation and encouraging teamwork. The internship is based around a Japanese business philosophy known as Kaizen, the relentless pursuit of continuous innovation. Throughout the internship I have been pushed to be my best, strive for exceptional goals, and then actually take action to accomplish those goals. Moreover, the CEO of the Peer Advisory Forum, Dr. Pete Johnson, worked relentlessly on strategy for the US army, among many other impressive accomplishments. Based on his background in the army, the internship program emphasizes cohesiveness, team-like organization, discipline, and community. The internship program is based around working strategically as a team with the ten other interns in the program. We learn about rapid execution, integrity, quick communication, the importance of a plan – and, most of all, the amazing results of working hard towards a goal and accomplishing tremendous success. I am so grateful to have had this internship opportunity and look forward to continuing in my next semesters!