Marketing Student Interned in Hawaii
Melissa Mattila, with the help of the CIS Abroad Program, completed her internship in Honolulu, HI, with the event planning and marketing company, I Do Hawaiian Weddings. She was an assistant/ event coordinator for the owner June Dillinger, and was responsible for making reservations, banking, and coordinating vendors. Melissa also contributed to the promotion and advertising of the business via different media channels.
“One particular event I attended to promote June’s wedding business was Honolulu’s Gay Pride Festival,”
Melissa recalled. In December, Hawaii legalized same-sex marriage, and targeting this audience has impacted June’s business tremendously. Alongside June, Melissa helped with advertising on websites such as Purple Marriages (wedding site for same-sex marriages) and The Wire. June now gets most of her clientele from these websites, which helped her business grow by 45%.
When asked about her favorite part of the internship, Melissa said,
“My absolute favorite part of the internship was meeting all kinds of new people. I traveled to Hawaii alone, and didn’t know a soul when I arrived. This experience forced me to come out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to try new things that I would never imagine doing before. I broke my fear of heights when I went skydiving on the North Shore (Oahu), and tested my endurance when I went cave diving in Shark’s Cove (Oahu)”;
Melissa also told us what she got out of the internship, and the experience as a whole,
“Everyday brought a new adventure and new friends from all over the world that I am still in contact with today. Every person I met helped me gain more insight out of my internship. I learned that keeping an open-mind is important in and out of the office, and being open to other’s perspectives and backgrounds is not only highly rewarding, but also will benefit in my future career. This internship has given me the confidence I was lacking, and now I know the ins and outs and how to begin and run an independent business and how to make it successful.”