It all started with the question—“How busy are you this semester?”—asked by a friend and past Hailey Sault intern.

My initial thought was, “Why in the world is she asking me this?” She then told me about an internship opportunity at Hailey Sault—an agency that I did not recognize, but quickly adored after learning more about her experience, and after researching it online.

After résumé and cover letter crafting, emails and an interview, I officially became Hailey Sault Workshop’s writing intern. I remember calling my mom from the Hailey Sault parking lot with the good news—nothing but excitement was in my voice as I told her about this incredible opportunity.

My role in this internship was to collaborate with the graphic design intern, Tim Sandwick, and the account executive intern, Zhara Davies, to create a marketing campaign for a local nonprofit organization. Our client, Udac, is a nonprofit agency with a mission to provide opportunities of economic, social, intellectual and physical growth to the differently abled.

Udac is a one-of-a-kind organization in Duluth, but they have been having difficulty recruiting employees. We traced this issue back to a lack of awareness about Udac’s mission, environment and amazing people. Those factors led us to establish the initiatives and goals for a recruitment and awareness campaign.

As a team, we developed and created a marketing plan that included:

  • target audiences
  • messaging
  • design
  • and the theme Udac, More.

Campaign materials reinforced the driving theme of More and included:

  • posters
  • a brochure
  • a postcard
  • social media stories
  • and a job advertisement

I gained firsthand experience of the time and effort that goes into building a campaign, satisfying a client’s needs, and the rewarding feeling that comes when a client falls in love with the work.

The foundation of this successful marketing campaign was teamwork and recognizing each other’s strengths. We spent hours brainstorming, asking for advice, giving and receiving constructive criticism, creating messages and designing.

Fortunately, I couldn’t have asked for more outstanding individuals to work closely with, over the four-month process-—both possessing incredible minds, hearts and passion. They were co-workers and are now friends.

Sounds like an ideal internship, right? Well, that is only part of the story.

The people at Hailey Sault and the overall culture raised my experience to a whole new level. Every morning when I arrived, I was greeted by smiles, “Good morning, Lexi,” a full pot of coffee and if I was lucky, one of the dogs that circles the office would come say hello.

As an intern, I was treated like an equal and my thoughts were valuable, never disregarded. I was invited and encouraged to attend client meetings, internal meetings, lunch gatherings and events hosted by Hailey Sault. Ultimately, Hailey Sault folks wanted my fellow interns and me to get as much from our experience as possible.

The people at Hailey Sault are fun, enthusiastic and are quick to congratulate others when the office’s “good news” bell is rung. They are uplifting supporters and advice givers who dedicate their time to creating a healthier world. Their commitment to getting every last detail right is outstanding, which demonstrates their passion. They are people who genuinely care about people and are always there to listen. They are what makes Hailey Sault such an amazing company for all.

My time at Hailey Sault was unexpected, but an absolute blessing. I acquired knowledge and developed skills that will assist me in building a career in the healthcare marketing realm. I looked forward to going into the office every day because work didn’t feel like work—rather, it was a collaboration process with friends who were mutually pursuing the goal of making healthcare challengers into champions.

To think this all started with a simple question.

Little did I know at the time, that question would lead me to an internship that impacted who I am today and what I want to do in my professional career.