Others Have Walked This Road Before You

I walked the path leading to the Pennsylvania Capitol. One foot in front of the other, I made this journey, step by step. This trip was much like the others I have taken during my internship at Bravo Group, leading me forward to a new experience, a new understanding and new possibilities.  
But not all of my journeys have been to the Capitol. They started with a visit to the different floors of our Harrisburg office in May, and they made their way to Pittsburgh into employee offices, internal staff calls across the company and meetings with prospective and current clients. They took me to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, a focus group in downtown Pittsburgh and all over the internet.  
It was not until I was walking the path to the Capitol that I realized how many roads I had taken in the course of a few months. And it wasn’t until Digital Strategist Anne Merrick questioned me on my car ride home from Harrisburg as to where I wanted to go next on my career path that I realized how many new roads I could travel.  
Many possibilities are real and many roads are viable because someone has walked them before you. When you intern at Bravo Group, all of these paths are clear and open. The trees and the brush have been moved so that you can see their entrance, and someone is there to help you take your first steps.  
The next steps for me are starting to take shape because I have heard and experienced all that my co-workers have done in the past and present. This has become startlingly real to me because I have yet to ask to learn something and been turned down. Many new paths are wide open and waiting.  
In this internship, there are no dead ends. I have seen digital, advocacy, media relations, research and governmental relations. I’ve explored how the practice evolves to meet the needs of a healthcare client versus one involved with energy or education. I’ve learned how these people I spend each day with grew to become experts in their roles. Most of all, I’ve learned that there is more than one path to get where you want to go.  
Perhaps this post should have been titled “The Importance of Networking.” Many people don’t think that networking can be done in a job environment, that it is strictly for outside so that you can gain access to that environment. However, what I have learned is quite contrary.  
All of my co-workers have come from somewhere — a different internship program, a different company, a different educational background or maybe a completely different field. When they came to Bravo Group, they remembered these connections because, just as they were somewhere before Bravo, I will go somewhere after here. What these past connections have given me are ideas.
I’ve heard the good and the bad about other places and which experiences have shaped them or advanced their resumes. I hope to get each of my co-workers’ insights on where they think I would benefit going next.  
Anne got me thinking on that car ride home to Pittsburgh. Now that I have seen so much, what more do I want to see? I’m hoping that in the last few weeks of this internship I will come to a conclusion not about my destination but about my next steps.
After all, the path I have taken to working in public relations does not end with Bravo Group. It simply turns in a different direction. Who knows, this path might turn into a loop and lead me back to this firm in my future.
Gwen Poillucci, Pittsburgh

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