At age six I relocated from metropolitan Miami to quaint Punta Gorda. I thought I would resent the fact that I moved to a small town. In my mind Punta Gorda had no culture and no opportunities for my future. Now looking back Punta Gorda presented me with a plethora of amazing opportunities and enabled me to grow into the person I am today. One of the greatest opportunities presented itself my junior year in high school. I was involved in the Junior Leadership Charlotte program sponsored by the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, which allowed me to meet the movers and shakers of the community. Through Junior Leadership Charlotte an opportunity for a paid internship presented itself. When I looked into the internship I discovered that it dealt with the managing of the social networks of Fishermen’s Village, a place that was close to my heart. Growing up in Punta Gorda, my grandparents would take me to The Village at least once a month. This internship fit me perfectly; it combined my familiarity of Fishermen’s Village and the Punta Gorda area with my interest in Public Relations (my planned major in college.)
The first couple months of the internship were a learning process, figuring out which Facebook posts received the most feedback, learning about the local shops at the Village, and visiting the numerous events that Fishermen’s Village hosts. However as I learned the ropes of this new job I was able to become more creative and comfortable with my posts on the Fishermen’s Village fan page and the articles I wrote for the newspaper. There are so many amazing experiences I have taken away from this internship that I cannot name them all. I loved learning about the history behind Fishermen’s Village, seeing the original blue prints for the mall and the newspaper clippings from it’s grand opening in 1980. I think that understanding the background behind the Village enabled me to appreciate my internship even more.
While writing my monthly articles I would interview both new and old shops of the Village. It was fascinating to discover the background of the owners and the history of the local shops. Like the Wash Basin, an eclectic store located in the third section of Fish Ville, whose walls are all hand painted with care by the original owner. Writing the monthly newspaper articles exposed me to the Charlotte Sun and helped me develop my interest in journalism. This internship at Fishermen’s Village exposed me to the realm of communications in Charlotte County, a realm I instantly fell in love with.
Most of all, I loved the working environment. Never have I felt so welcome to be a part of a business, of a family. When I open the doors to the Fishermen’s Village office I feel a sense of warmth. I discuss my high school days with the receptionist, Chris. Say hello to Hope and Kathy the sweetest marketing duo you will ever meet. Re-tell the happenings of the latest reality show with Patti, and discuss what will be on Oprah this coming week with Eve. At Fishermen’s Village I am able to communicate with my co-workers easily and enjoy the position I have. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to get to know my co-workers on a personal level and appreciate their company as some of the kindest souls. Now a part of the team at Fishermen’s Village, I will always be tied to my friends at the Village and the warmth I receive when I walk through the archway.