How Working as an Intern at Gannett Fleming Changed My Life in 3 Months
Avery Putt, Pennsylvania State University class of 2022, joined Gannett Fleming’s talent acquisition team as an intern for the summer 2021 XCEL Internship Program. Read more about her experience below!
Back in May, I began my Gannett Fleming journey as a talent acquisition intern with big ideas and an excitement to learn. My studies include marketing and human resources, providing a solid educational foundation, but the nerves leading up to my first day were monumental, as this was my first internship and professional work experience (not to mention it was 100% virtual). However, upon logging on and meeting the Gannett Fleming team, I knew that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. Immediately, I was treated as a valuable team member, not just a kid. The opportunities to come in the following three months were beyond my expectations, leading me to grow into a person that I could only imagine as I sat at my home desk completing onboarding tasks on the very first day.
Making A Big Industry Small
Although Gannett Fleming’s excellent reputation in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry places it among the largest companies, the firm only has about 2,500 employees and 60 offices . However, this smaller size is one of Gannett Fleming’s greatest gifts and consistently ranks at the top of employees’ positive reviews. Being 100% virtual, I was initially worried about losing out on crucial networking and relationship building experiences and essential growth opportunities. Turns out, I had nothing to fear.
With guidance from my superiors, I was taught in a collaborative and teamwork-driven atmosphere. Working as a team led to high job satisfaction, as I had the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of perspectives at every meeting. I also had access to some of the top leaders in the company, which is a huge opportunity for anyone, let alone a 21-year-old student. From interacting with my peer interns to interviewing our CEO to everyone in between, each conversation was insightful and sparked a desire within me to learn more. I was given networking and learning opportunities that never would have been possible if the company was fostering thousands of employees across the world. My voice was able to be heard and recognized, shaping my experience and building a sense of confidence within me that I didn’t know I had. a
Our Own Family
Out of all the wonderful qualities that Gannett Fleming has to offer, the exceptional people are truly the driving force that separates Gannett Fleming from other companies. With the mindset that employees are the key to success , it is evident that Gannett Fleming puts this into action through constant support and encouragement to reach one’s full potential. As an intern, I was surprised by the welcoming attitude of all team members and even more delighted when my input and questions were valued. Instead of being viewed as the bottom of the food chain, the people at Gannett Fleming were always available to offer a helping hand and push me outside of my comfort zone. And when I did make inevitable mistakes, I knew that I would not be punished but instead have it treated as a learning experience to move forward.
Within my short time as an intern, I was able to forge new relationships with employees across the firm, not just within my own department. This multidisciplinary exposure generated a wealth of knowledge about the industry and how the company operates. Seeing the passion and drive that each employee possesses firsthand inspired me to consistently put my best foot forward every day and come to work ready to tackle new challenges and pursue new ideas. Mimicking these determined attitudes has pushed me to pursue innovative goals and build upon my own
professional skills within the corporate world.
The Gannett Fleming family also goes beyond supporting each other’s work and successes. The company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives create a safe space for employees to thrive and be themselves. For example, employee resource groups were one of the first aspects of Gannett Fleming to which I was introduced. These employee-led groups promote inclusivity and generate lines of communication throughout the firm that otherwise would not be possible. There was never a day of work where I was uncomfortable to show up exactly as I am. This sense of stability and safety cemented the notion that our differences are essential in building a company like Gannett Fleming with a wide perspective charged by strength, innovation, and creativity.
Making a Difference
The stereotypical work of a college intern usually involves busy work and fetching the boss’s coffee. At Gannett Fleming, though, this was nowhere near reality. Every task and project assigned to me had a greater purpose and was utilized in continued business functions throughout the firm. Due to this level of importance and responsibility, I was able to see my hard work make an impact on the firm and a difference in my department.
As a talent acquisition intern, my projects revolved around understanding potential candidates and how to best attract talent to the organization. Whether it was developing talking points for recruiters, progressing the internship program, or interviewing current employees to create recruitment candidate personas and supplemental marketing content, I was able to not only apply what I had learned in my studies at school, but also embark on new creative pathways along the way. Understanding current employees and their corresponding interests and motivations was truly eye-opening in generating content for the talent pipeline of the future, allowing me to home in on my marketing and human resources backgrounds simultaneously.
From brainstorming an idea on paper to seeing my project come to life, the work that I completed created a positive impact on my own education as well as the firm’s recruitment and marketing strategies. The lessons that I learned, the countless failures and successes, the ups and downs, have all led me to the person I am today: One that is confident in my abilities to be a valuable team member, strong leader, and creative outlet. I will forever look back on my time as a Gannett Fleming intern as the summer where I continuously evolved and became a better professional and human.
Join Our Journey
Step outside of your comfort zone and see how Gannett Fleming can change your life! Check out our open positions and join our talent community today!