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Keeping People First: A Lost Art, Not Lost on Hughes Agency

By Caroline McKissick

The past year of my life has been an exciting whirlwind. Within the span of a few months, I graduated from Christ Church Episcopal School, said goodbye to my friends, most of whom I have known for 10+ years, and packed up for college. I moved to New York City in order to attend NYU. While the unfathomable adventures that would come with having Manhattan be my “college town” liberated me, I had no idea what to expect. I hoped to be surrounded by rich culture, endless opportunity, and adventure.  What came with my freshman year at NYU were all of those things, along with unbelievable memories, lifetime friendships, stimulating academics, and the most educational experience of my life, in nearly every possible facet.

While freshman year was as abundant as could be, I was excited to return home to Greenville for the second half of my summer not only to reunite with family and friends, but also to start an internship at Hughes Agency. I was nervous and eager to put what I had learned all year to the test, and finally apply my major (Media, Culture, and Communication) to reality.

From the first day I walked through the doors, everyone at Hughes Agency was consistently friendly, kind, patient, and more than willing to take the time to help me learn. They were not only generous enough to let me sit in on numerous calls and meetings, but also they never failed to explain everything to me so that I could both witness and understand the daily operations. I learned not just what Hughes Agency does, but why they do it – and that’s what makes them unique.  It did not take me long to realize that what makes the Hughes Agency so special is its foundation of teamwork. Each and every person in the office plays such an important role, and being able to see the way everyone works together and communicates was such an integral part of learning what constitutes a successful workplace. It is so clear that the Hughes Agency team cares for one another – they are both coworkers and friends/family. (I was even lucky enough to be able to be a part of a surprise birthday celebration AND a surprise baby shower during my time here! Who knew interning could be so fun?)

While I am sad that my time as an intern is coming to a close, I also leave feeling inspired and grateful for my experience here. I will take the invaluable lessons that I have learned over the past few weeks (the importance of teamwork, communication, professionalism, kindness) back to NYU with me as I continue my learning in both the classroom and the outside world. In the present age that we live in, it is en vogue for people to take on an attitude of fear or hopelessness when it comes to the idea of a future workplace dominated by technology. Time and time again, I have heard people talk about human interaction and communication as a lost art. I, too, a millennial, have felt this very same despondency when riding on the subway and seeing everyone around me consumed by their devices. However, I have been pleased to learn at Hughes Agency that this myth is indeed just that – a myth. The skills that come with interpersonal communication are in full swing here at Hughes Agency, with constant vibrant face-to-face interaction.

Although I no longer reside in Greenville, it will forever be the home that shaped me into who I am today. Hughes Agency has only strengthened my professional and personal goals, and I feel humbled to have been a small part of it.