What I learned while wearing Minerva’s helmet

By Kelly Boudwin, Minerva Strategies –

Five months ago, I was an anxious post-grad nervously scrolling through job listings wondering if anyone would take me after a few gap years of self-exploration. I saw a listing for a summer internship with Minerva Strategies – a communications consulting firm focused on helping nonprofits, foundations, and for-profit businesses better communicate within the global health and international development sector. This listing was a “gift from God” or better put, from a Roman goddess – Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, commerce, and war. I landed the internship, moved to Seattle, and put on the Minerva helmet.

Here are a few skills and lessons I learned during my time as a goddess:

Project management

Taking on a consultant role in a global industry means you need to juggle tasks, meet deadlines, communicate impeccably, and come to terms with the fact that you are always on the clock. Minerva is a boutique-sized firm with two amazing women running the show. Add the intern and that makes a team of three tackling weighty issues and working tirelessly to balance client needs. Since day one, Minerva’s internship has been immersive and hands on in a fast-paced environment.

Communication skills

Minerva Strategies uses smart communication to inspire action and create positive change. They offer a combination of strategic thinking and execution through messaging, media planning, content development, rebranding – all projects I put a hand in this summer. I’ve learned that communication skills don’t come naturally for every business or organization and that there is an art to understanding and prioritizing audiences, and creating a brand and making headlines that effectively reach those audiences.

Value of mentorship

I’ve often heard the advice to surround yourself with the people you want to be like and learn the most from. For me, this means badass women. When I first looked on the Who we are page of the website, I was awe-struck and intimated by Joy and Sara’s bios and experience. Turns out they are much more than what their summaries define them. These women are excellent teachers, always patient when I didn’t get things right the first time, and challenged me to better my skills.

As I take my next steps forward, I remove the Minerva helmet, shake out my hair, and pass it along for the next intern. Want to learn from goddesses? It’s worth it.