As I look back at my yearlong internship at Altitude Marketing, I can hardly believe how much I have learned.

Honestly, I was a little afraid to write this post. My gratitude to Altitude can’t really be expressed fully on the screen. To truly say how I feel about my internship experience, I’d need fireworks, a winning lottery ticket and 76 trombones. The real world skills I have acquired this year can hardly fit on my resume, and the relationships I’ve made with my mentors and coworkers will always be kept near to my heart.

Graduating Muhlenberg College with a year of public relations experience leaves me confident as I march toward the future. If you’d told me a year ago I was going to be moving to Washington D.C. to work with one of the largest PR companies in the world, I would have never believed you. Altitude Marketing invested in my learning and gave me responsibilities most interns only dream of.

At Altitude, I was able help lead the launch of Kiwaii 100% True New Zealand Spring Water into Giant Food Stores in Pennsylvania and Maryland. I was responsible for ensuring the product rollout’s success by generating positive media coverage, authoring the press release, managing the internal approval process and reaching out to editors. After generating a list of leads, I mailed interested media members the press kits that I helped create. I then followed up with each editor personally and helped to coordinate a donation program for local gyms.

Working hard to play hard has become my official mantra thanks to Altitude.

Did I mention this was only two months into my internship? Altitude rules.

My internship at Altitude was a life-changing opportunity. I actually looked forward to getting out of class and going to work as a senior in college. The office was always filled with laughs, smiles and meaningful work that truly benefited our clients. Altitude has shown me how to take the big-picture approach to marketing while incorporating our clients’ unique needs. I always knew where in the plan my assignments fit – and they were all an integral part of our client’s success.

As I leave Altitude, I’m taking with me a toolbox of skills and a heart full of great memories: All the times I forgot to turn off the fish tank water, going out for ladies lunches, picking out our animal lookalikes while drinking a methuselah of very good beer, smiley face IMs from Justin, getting drinks and flaming cheese at Yianni’s – and, of course, joking around with Chelsea.

Working hard to play hard has become my official mantra thanks to Altitude. The collaborative environment of the office has always made me feel like a valued part of the team. But it’s more than a team, really – I feel like I’ve become part of a family.

Leaving the nest won’t be easy, but I have never felt more prepared to fly.

Leaving the nest won’t be easy, but I have never felt more prepared to fly. Thank you so much to Andrew, Gwen, Stan, Chelsea, Jaime, Jeremy, Fred, Liesel, Adam and Justin for accepting me and teaching me the irreplaceable feeling of accomplishment through collaboration.