My Fellow-to-Full-Time Experience

During my fellowship at Saxum, I learned meaningful lessons that have served me well during my transition into a full-time position.

When I graduated from the University of Oklahoma, the culmination of my life experiences measured in structured school years, I found myself unsure of my next step, worried any job I took or experience I followed would be a permanent or wrong choice. All I knew was that I wanted to be in a positive environment, doing meaningful work alongside kind people. And that’s what I found in Saxum.

In July 2022, I started at Saxum as a client service graduate fellow. Throughout my experience (and even sometimes still), it felt like I was drinking from a firehose of information: in the fast-paced agency world, trying to learn all there is to know about the public relations/marketing industry, best practices and Saxum itself. However, I didn’t do so alone: in both the big client lessons and presentations and the small, day-to-day interactions with team members, I felt like a supported, valued, integral member of the team. It’s rare to be an intern or graduate fellow at a company that takes the time and resources to fully onboard you into not only its work, but its way of life. While my fellowship was supposed to last only 6 months, I didn’t feel like a seasonal hire – I participated in weekly client meetings, worked on video shoots, staffed open houses, contributed to projects and felt fully integrated into the company.

I was able to work on a variety of clients and projects that gave me a breadth of experience: energy, integrated marketing, healthcare, philanthropy and more. The investment and professional development I received was unlike anything I learned in school, and I felt consistently blown away by the intelligence and intentionality of the people around me. I received thoughtful, personal mentorship from wise, compassionate people. I learned about the importance of adaptability in an ever-changing world and industry, and how Saxum is working to be on the frontlines of that innovation.
Overall, Saxum has given and continues to give me practical things: a place to learn, grow and transition from college to a career. Momentum and preparation to take on full-time responsibilities. A guided environment where I can both learn and contribute. It’s also given me things I wanted but didn’t expect from a fellowship. Fantastic mentors and friends. A fun coworking trip to Kansas City.

My supervisor gave me a journal with a Danielle Coke quote on the front for my birthday. The beginning of that quote reads: “You were created to do good work. Work that empowers and inspires, liberates and transforms, restores and softens.” In my mind, the work Saxum does and the culture it provides can’t be beat. While my fellowship prepared me to transition to Saxum full-time, it would have prepared me for anywhere. Wherever you venture next, I hope you find a place (and people) like Saxum!

About the author

Alyson O'Shea is a Client Service Coordinator at Saxum.