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CMAT 495- PRMC

Final Communication Lessons Learned


Most college students, especially graduating seniors, would probably agree that the
selection of choosing a major or career path is not easy. The amount of times we have all asked
ourselves the question What do I want to do to with my life? or thought I just want to make a
lot of money and be happy at the same time cannot be counted. Most of us have lost count. I
consider myself to be the rare college student. Thankfully, I have always had some sort of idea
what I wanted to do, or what I would want to do in the future.
From the time I was able to talk, I could not stop talking; at least that what was my
mother and grandmother say. I enjoyed talking to anyone that would listen and what talk about
anything that was on mind. I was always the leader in my friend groups and would make up
games and act out scenarios and kindly forced the group to participate. I owe a lot of
accomplishments today to my desire to talk, or more specifically, public speaking.
In high school, I joined the broadcasting club and quickly worked my way up to the top spot of
President. We produced the student news on our own public channel for the school to see every
morning. I realized that I wanted to get involved even more and enrolled in the journalism class
the following year. By the time I was 17 years old, a senior in high school, I thought I had it all
figured out. At this point, I had served as several different editors of the high school newspaper
including Editor in Chief, Sports Editor, Editorial Editor, Features Editor and News Editor. I
knew my passion was writing, but I still enjoyed public speaking and continued to work for the
broadcasting club throughout my high school career. Communications was what I knew so as I
transitioned into college I knew exactly what my major would be.
When I graduate from college in May, I will have completed three internships in the
communications field. My first internship was at the corporate office for South Moon Under in
Berlin, Md. as the marketing intern for the summer of 2013 and although it was not for academic

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
credit, I still valued this experience. I was a sophomore and knew that this opportunity would
allow me to get ahead with my experience. My second internship was the semester after at the
Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, Md. I spent a semester working as the events intern
while assisting with the education and marketing departments. I was lucky enough to have
started my recent internship at Peninsula Regional Medical Center with a little bit of hands-on
experience, but was interested in learning more.
My internship at Peninsula Regional Medical Center confirmed that I had made the right
decision to select a career path in communications. As my love for writing continued to grow, I
gained even more knowledge on things I would not have thought were a part of communications.
Internships provide you with more knowledge of your area of study, materials to include in your
resume or portfolio, professional relationships with supervisors and countless life lessons. My
internship during the spring semester of 2015 taught me that communications is more than just
speaking to someone and writing an article.
I learned several communication lessons while I interned in the Community Relations
and Marketing department for Peninsula Regional Medical Center. The first lesson I learned was
that face-to-face communication is crucial in creating lasting professional relationships. Having
connections is something we have learned over the years that will help us to find a job, but
creating these connections is left up to us as the intern. Several experiences at Peninsula
Regional Medical Center also taught me that different types of communication are more effective
at obtaining information than others. The last and most important communication lesson I
learned was that nonverbal communication cues can create more of an impact than actual spoken
words.

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
The first lesson my experience at Peninsula Regional Medical Center taught me is that
having face-to-face communication is key in establishing professional relationships, especially
with your supervisors. Before I started my internship, I e-mailed Mr. Follebout and Ms. Lasher
several times and felt intimidated before I even met them. Most printed or electronic dialogue
can be interpreted the wrong way. Like most interns, I started the internship afraid to ask
questions in person. After meeting with Mr. Follebout to go over my semester long project
during the second week, I realized I needed to get over that fear in order to make a great
impression and show what I was capable of. At first, I e-mailed my supervisors with questions
about assignments instead of directly asking them. Although they would respond quickly and in
great detail, I still was left with unanswered questions so I started to ask questions face-to-face
and hoped to show my dedication in learning new skills. This led me to feel comfortable with
them and face-to-face communication became my first type of communication with Mr.
Follebout and Ms. Lasher for the rest of the semester. Meetings were another way to
communicate face-to-face and allowed for more in-depth conversation.
Many of my communications classes have focused on the benefits of face-to-face
communication in business. During my Public Relations Cases and Strategies class with Dr.
Simmons, we discussed how regular face-to-face communication with your supervisors and
management is essential in effectively working together as a team and a great way in building
relationships. Our class represented organizations that were facing crises that required us to meet
together several times a week in order to create solutions. We could not have addressed these
issues over an e-mail or by a phone call; therefore it required us to meet face-to-face. Not only
can one get information faster in person, but it requires you to use verbal and non-verbal
communication skills which can greatly impact relationships. By the end of my internship at

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
Peninsula Regional Medical Center, I was able to see that by communicating face-to-face with
Mr. Follebout and Ms. Lasher on a regular basis that I had created close professional
relationships that I want to have with my future employers and supervisors.
As I was learning how crucial face-to-face communication was in the work place, I soon
learned my second communication lesson; that some forms of communication are much more
effective at obtaining information than others. Although face-to-face communication worked
within the office, it often was not the most realistic way of obtaining information for certain
projects. Many of my assignments required me to reach out to several employees who worked
inside the hospital for information that did not necessarily need a one-on-one meeting. For
example, I was responsible for scheduling times to meet with employees for photos and then
going to take the photos. At first, I thought e-mailing would be the easiest way to schedule
photos and to get information I desperately needed for National Hospital Week until I sent
several daily e-mails that often did not get a reply. This was at the beginning of my internship
where I felt uncomfortable speaking to my supervisors so the thought of calling a stranger on the
phone seemed terrifying. After many pep-talks with myself, I started calling the list of employees
I needed information from. For some reason, phone communication was more intimidating than
speaking in front of hundreds of people. After perfecting my professional phone voice from
several phone calls, I was gathering everything I needed in order to move forward. On my last
day, I was given a task that required me to get t-shirt sizes from at least thirty employees. Instead
of going to the practical e-mailing technique, I gave each employee a phone call and was
relieved at how quick it was to complete the assignment. Directly speaking with people instead
of reading his or her response on the computer screen would make more of an impact on my

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
work and this was proven by hearing so many friendly voices who appreciated me taking the
time to call.
For a final in Dr. Simmons Writing for the Professions course, I had to include at least
three direct quotes in the paper. For weeks, Dr. Simmons advised the class to call and schedule a
time to meet with our sources instead of waiting until the last week, more specially the last
minute, to send an e-mail full of questions or send an e-mail scheduling a meeting. He warned us
that most administration and university officials would ignore e-mails from students and our
class soon realized he was right. Many students, including myself, found themselves frustrated
by the lack of responses from potential sources after ignoring his advice and going forward with
the e-mails. I was lucky to enough to have met with my sources a few weeks before the deadline,
but using phone communication could have sped up the process and resulted in more meaningful
interactions. Through these experiences, I gained knowledge in how to effectively use different
forms of communications and how each of them can benefit a given scenario or task. Phone
communication is a common and effective form of communication used in the professional word
that people may have to comfortable using.
The third and final lesson I learned as I interned at Peninsula Regional Medical Center
was that becoming aware of your own nonverbal communication cues, as well as the ones from
the people around you, can create a lasting impact on others. How you present yourself with your
appearance, body language and facial expressions can show either a positive attitude or a
negative attitude you portray to others. Approaching any type of situation with a simple smile
and strong eye contact can provide others with a sense of ease and comfort. If the person you are
speaking with has negative body language or facial expression, I learned that it is best to still

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
approach the situation in a positive way and maintain an upbeat attitude. Showing signs of a
negative attitude can make the situation worse.
After learning about the hospitals community events at the start of my internship, I knew
that I would be volunteering at the biggest event of the year, HealthFest. This annual public event
highlights over 35 free health screenings and healthy exhibits to promote leading a healthy and
productive lifestyle. More than 1,000 residents from the community attended this years
HealthFest. My responsibility for the event was to greet people at the front desk and help direct
them with paperwork and to provide information on the services offered. As I wore my employee
identification badge with my name printed in bold on my chest, I made sure guests were aware
that I was representing Peninsula Regional Medical Center. I knew that I must give each person a
smile and maintain a positive attitude throughout the event since I would be the first thing he or
she would see as they walked into the doors. I had so many great interactions with friendly
people who thanked me for helping them and gave me smiles in return.
The following Monday morning I received praise for my attitude at HealthFest. Mr.
Follebout shared with me that he had received feedback from people that said I was professional
and personable and represented the department well. One person in particular that I remember
meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services for Wicomico County Public
Schools Dr. Cathy J. Townsend, commented on my enthusiastic attitude and my willingness to
help others who had any questions or concerns. I remember introducing myself to Dr. Townsend,
because she immediately approached the front table with a big smile and maintained strong eye
contact as we spoke about the event. She had made the same lasting impact on me by having
such strong and positive nonverbal communication cues that I had made on other people. This is
a gratifying experience I will never forget.

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
There have been many times where I have had to demonstrate a professional attitude with
nonverbal communication cues while representing different organizations. For over a year, I was
Vice President Coordinator of Committees for Zeta Tau Alpha where I planned several
fundraisers for breast cancer education and awareness on campus and in the community. Not
only did I have to plan out every detail of each event, but I was the key representative of my
sorority. I carried myself professionally at all times, remained calm in stressful situations, spoke
politely and confidently in front of large crowds, and gave off positive body language as best as I
could at any philanthropic event. I wanted others to know that I represented a professional and
admirable organization. Having this same mindset for Peninsula Regional Medical Center at
HealthFest was natural; however I learned more about how much of an impact you can make on
someone by actually having an overall positive attitude. Although my communication and
marketing courses prepared me on understanding nonverbal communication cues, my internship
provided me with a lesson that I was able to experience first-hand.
As my internship at Peninsula Regional Medical Center came to an end, I felt incredibly
thankful for having had such an amazing opportunity where I was able to grow as a
communications professional. I can now add several publications to my portfolio and update my
resume with my impressive new experience, but most importantly, I can proudly say I learned
valuable communication lessons that will help shape my future. Professors and classes may
prepare you for an internship, but it is up to the potential intern what he or she wants to gain
from it. Experiencing communication lessons hands-on at an internship is something a textbook
cannot explain. I have learned that face-to-face communication with your supervisors is
necessary to create a professional relationships, direct communication is often more beneficial
than using technology, and that nonverbal communication can say a lot more than spoken words.

CMAT 495- PRMC


Final Communication Lessons Learned
I have most importantly learned that without hard work, dedication and passion, these
communication skills would not fully represent the values behind my experience as the
Community Relations and Marketing intern for Peninsula Regional Medical Center.