Work hard and be nice to people

I have experienced few moments in life as full of anticipation as the final minutes before the start of a rowing competition. Hours upon hours of daily practices spanning over months of grueling training culminate to one event.

The officials line up the boats in their respective lanes, and rowers sit attentively, waiting for their cue.

“Attention … row!”

Oars slice through the pane of liquid glass repeatedly, willing the boats to surge forward with each stroke. The race will only last a few minutes, but it is the metabolic grind of a lifetime.

Rowing has become a large part of my life, occupying much of my time six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Yet, prior to arriving on campus at the University of Pittsburgh my freshman year of college (Hail to Pitt!), I had never touched a set of oars, let alone paid much attention to the sport aside from admiring the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network.

However, having played soccer nearly my whole life, I possess an affinity for athletics and being part of a team. Somehow, two members of Pitt Crew coaxed me into trying rowing, and here I am, three years later, the Vice President of the team.

After our last race of the spring season in Philadelphia this past month, many rowers returned to Pittsburgh to continue training or spend the summer working. Not me. My poor mother voluntarily drove me back to The Land on Mother’s Day, because I was set to start my summer internship at Hyland less than 24 hours later.

Getting ready

The night before my first day, I got little sleep. I was uncertain as to what would be in store for me at my first full-time internship. I had never even met anyone from the company in person, as I interviewed twice via phone in the fall after finding the job application online through the Hyland career site.

But I was also excited; I had heard a lot about Hyland’s award-winning corporate culture and was eager to experience it firsthand.

I woke up early Monday morning to get ready. What do you wear to work when the dress code is essentially ‘casual Friday’ every day?

I decided on a Stranger Things tee, flannel, jeans and loafers. Though I am from the area, I had no idea how to get to Hyland’s headquarters and relied on Google Maps to navigate me all of eight minutes to work.

The 60 seconds of time spent striding from my car to the entrance of Building 3 was filled with as much anticipation as the moments of silence before the start of a race. My heart pounded as I entered through the doors and cast my eyes on the front desk. The receptionist greeted me with a smile and the butterflies in my stomach began to settle down.

Feeling a little less nervous, I went into race mode. In racing, you have to shut out any doubts or inhibitions and just picture the end goal: a killer race with a first-place finish. I was determined to make the most of the summer and learn as much as possible about the inner-workings of a top-notch marketing department at a leading software company.

I was capable, I was earnest, and there was nothing left for me to do but take a deep breath and prepare to have a valuable experience.

Joining the team

The rest of the day was nothing short of amazing. I continuously made notes for myself to remember to tell my family at the end of the day; I did not want to forget one detail when gushing about my orientation: the amazing food, infamously fun slides, volleyball court, work out facility (with an indoor rowing machine, imagine my delight), on-site masseuse, and the many, many more amazing perks of working at Hyland.

Even more exciting though, was the warm welcome I received from not only the Hyland HR team but my Corporate Communications team. My manager is outgoing and down-to-earth, and my mentor is kind and has an incredible amount of patience while showing me the Public Relations ropes. From media monitoring, to formatting a press release, to simply learning about each individual’s role on the team, everyone has been more than willing to answer any questions I have.

The fact of the matter is that I love being a part of a team. Without my Pitt Crew family, I could not have asked for a better first week with my new Hyland family.

Perhaps the best part of my first week came when realizing my Hyland team shares a motto I already adopt in my day-to-day-life: work hard and be nice to people. I could not be more excited to continue learning, growing and hustling this summer at Hyland.

Taylor Salamone is a Corporate Communications intern at Hyland for the summer of 2017, concentrating on Public Relations. She is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, studying marketing, international business, and writing for the professions. Taylor is actively involved with rowing and her coed professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. In her free time, she enjoys singing in the shower and consuming copious amounts of ice cream.
Taylor Salamone
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Taylor Salamone

Taylor Salamone is a Corporate Communications intern at Hyland for the summer of 2017, concentrating on Public Relations. She is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh, studying marketing, international... read more about: Taylor Salamone