My name is Jillian Takeuchi, and I am currently a rising junior at Chapman University. I am pursuing my undergraduate degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership Development Studies. This summer, I served as an intern for Orange Coast Magazine’s Events and Marketing Department.

I found the Orange Coast Magazine internship through my event planning professor, Saga Elmotaseb. Professor Elmotaseb communicated to our class that she loved to play “matchmaker” between her professional network and her students. I reached out to her to assist me in the search for a summer internship through her industry and connections. Professor Elmotaseb directed me to Orange Coast Magazine’s website, where I found the job description for the Marketing and Events summer internship. After contacting Traci Takeda, the director of Marketing and Events for Orange Coast Magazine, I was able to score a verbal interview! It was exciting to speak with her on the phone, and after receiving the position, I began work at the Orange Coast office in Irvine.

My position lent the opportunity to work closely with a team of highly motivated sales and marketing experts to contribute toward building the premiere lifestyle magazine that Orange County proudly upholds. I gained extensive experience in print and digital marketing and social media through the course of the internship. I was also provided a plethora of digital marketing and sales resources, which I used throughout the summer to educate myself on the industry further.

Fortunately, before quarantine, I was able to attend an event that Orange Coast documented: Cafe Sevilla’s Grand Opening. At this event, I was able to be a part of Orange Coast’s team and help check-in guests as well as hand out “free drink” cards to customers in line. Sparking conversation with guests as a face of Orange Coast was one of my favorite parts. I immediately felt a part of the company. I thought that I could contribute to the upbeat company culture and represent Orange Coast’s trendy outgoing style to guests at the event in a professional manner.

Once we were sent home for quarantine, I began working on independent tasks for my supervisor as directed. I helped complete groundwork tasks for magazine issues such as making contact lists of popular travel locations, various medical spas, or searching for picnic spots in Orange County that could pose potential topics of interest for future articles. Around mid-summer, I was able to work in person at the office and assist my supervisor with Orange Coast’s Best of 2020 Boxes. These boxes were essentially gift packages filled with coupons, samples, and giveaways from local restaurants and stores to help promote small businesses in Orange County and advertise for the magazine in return! The majority of my time in the office was spent crafting these boxes and filling them with the hundreds of items that were sent to us by our partners.

Through this experience, I learned a lot about what kind of communicator I am. When one’s problem-solving skills are put to the test, a natural communication style is often revealed. I quickly learned that I am a natural collaborator and that I enjoy interacting with others while working to come to the best possible results. I also witnessed the reality of power distance. In the office, it was clear who was in charge. All employees primarily respected the head of the company at Orange Coast, and I watched and listened to how my superiors communicated with him. I even found myself communicating more formally with this man than my direct supervisor, whom I became increasingly familiar with. It was fascinating to see examples of communication vocabulary come to life in a real work environment.

Overall, I feel I gained an immense amount of experience from my summer internship at Orange Coast Magazine. I believe the most valuable part of the experience was operating in a high energy environment with lots of moving parts. I found it intriguing that every person working for Orange Coast brought a unique skill set to the table. Without each moving part working simultaneously, the company would inevitably collapse. Every person holds an essential stake in the company at an extreme value, which I hope to provide to a company or organization.

I strongly encourage others to look into the Marketing and Events internship at Orange Coast Magazine! If I could give a piece of advice to another student interested in this internship, I would reiterate the importance of confident communication. Even though I was nervous before interviewing for the position or working an event of hundreds of people for the first time, I tried my best to remain calm and remind myself that confidence is a pivotal quality of a first impression. Using tactics from past communication courses such as cognitive restructuring and systematic desensitization helped me loosen my nerves and gain the confidence to communicate comfortably. Working with Orange Coast Magazine was indeed an incredible experience that I feel propelled me further into my future career in Communication Studies and one I would highly recommend to my peers.