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Contagious Enthusiasm

February 13, 2020 - -
UofL student Tessa Chilton headshot. She's wearing a brown turtleneck and standing in the CoB atrium.

Marketing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Department of Infectious Disease, but it’s the first thing on intern Tessa Chilton’s mind when it comes to developing compelling content. A junior Marketing Major at the College of Business, Chilton started her internship at UofL’s Department of Infectious Disease this January.

“My official title is Marketing and Communications Student Assistant,” says Chilton. From day one, Tessa has done a range of content development for the department, including designing newsletters, research flyers, and sponsorship letters. “I am on a three-person team in the marketing department, which means a lot of work gets sent my way!”

Tessa Chilton started as an undecided major at UofL’s Arts & Sciences but discovered that at the College of Business, she could learn to utilize her creativity and apply it in a professional setting. “I wanted to find a career where I could combine my strategic mindset with my creative one. Marketing felt like a very natural transition.”

With the help of instructors like Henrietta Pepper, Tessa knew that she wanted to pursue a career in Marketing. “I took her [Pepper’s] Advertising elective in Fall 2019, and it exposed me to real-world projects, business connections, jobs in marketing… I felt like I learned so much about what it means to be in marketing and business in general.” Tessa made a real connection with Pepper—one which continued after her class. “I posted about my internship on my LinkedIn profile; she was the first to send me a congratulations message. This gesture meant so much coming from someone I have so much respect for!”

It’s one thing to be able to excel in learning theory and best practices in a classroom setting, but it can be a whole other thing to apply that knowledge in the real world. “I think the biggest surprise at my internship has been the number of meetings I get to be a part of,” says Chilton. “My supervisor always invites me so that I can stay in the loop. It has been helpful to participate and see what’s going on in other areas of the division.”

Chilton understands how internships offer a meaningful bridge between the classroom and the workplace. Her time with the Division of Infectious Diseases has been a proving ground to learn and grow in the ways that have given her the confidence and experience needed to be competitive and marketable in the job search. “I am so appreciative of the Ulmer Career Center and the College of Business Career Fair last semester. I feel like I made so many great connections, and it is the reason I have my internship now.”