December 2, 2015 will forever be an important date in my life. It marked my first day as an intern at GAP Promo. I was an 18-year-old senior in high school who was yet to decide on a college to attend. I am writing this over a year and a half later, a sophomore at Seton Hall University, and a proud intern at GAP Promo. At the time, I was the youngest intern they had ever had and the first intern they had who was still in high school. I was about 10 years younger than everyone else I worked with. Now looking back as the only underage employee of a company that specialized in the marketing of alcohol based brands, it is clear how much I stuck out. Even with the differences in age, education, experience, etc., I never once felt out of place. I was given responsibilities and challenges that I had never faced before. While most of my friends worked typical summer jobs such as lifeguarding and dishwashing, I was getting my first taste of a professional environment. I originally was hired by Gayle Piraino when I was spending a day job shadowing at a local bank. The woman who was mentoring me introduced Gayle and I, and there was a mutual interest in my services at her company. I stayed in touch with Gayle throughout the year and eventually was given my chance to work for her company and join the GAP family and the rest, as you say, is history.
After working from December through March, I had to leave to complete my senior year of high school and my final season of lacrosse. I stayed in touch with Gayle and Justin, and eventually was asked to return the following summer on a more full time basis. I worked closely with Justin the entire summer of 2016 and continued to gain valuable experience until I left for college. I learned about working in a professional environment. I was new to the world of strict deadlines, sales and marketing. There was more being asked of me and I was expected to step up to the occasion. Now, after returning for another summer, I like to think I was up to the challenge. The environment was, and still is, extremely friendly. Everybody was happy to answer my questions and help me to grow and be as successful as possible. From the top of the company to the bottom (me), there was a sincere sense of caring for each and every employee. It was a comfortable, family type of environment.
I will always be grateful for the opportunity Gayle gave me to be a part of her company. I gained more than just another line on a resume. My time at GAP gave me valuable life experience. It helped me mature as a person and spark my interest in the field of business. I noticed that managing deadlines at school was much easier for me than many of my peers. Also, little things like being comfortable calling people I did not know over the phone, as well as a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint would also serve as useful tools in my freshman year of college. Justin asked me to return the summer of 2017, and I was once again grateful for the opportunity. I believe that my time at GAP has done more than just build my resume, I have acquired valuable skills and gained connections that I would not have otherwise. No matter where I go, I will always remember the promotional marketing company at 1 Washington Street that took a chance on some random high school kid, and for that I will always be grateful.