Intern Interviews: Tenneil Turner

Although Tenneil worked officially under the titles of Human Resources Coordinator and Talent Scout, she also was one of our biggest social media contributors. An experienced blogger and innovator with a business mindset, she spent many an hour on pinterest and instagram getting us likes, follows, and shares. She logged over 200 hours for BSA and was always there with blogging tips when I needed them.

Boys and girls, take a good, hard look, because this is what excellence looks like.

What first attracted you to BSA?

The mission.

I was already familiar with the MLK Street in my area and I could already see what was being talked about on my street–all the poverty and negativity associated with city living problems. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to honor Martin Luther King’s legacy.

What was working for Beloved Streets of America like for you?

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d never worked in HR before and It was nice to be on the other end of the interview. I learned a lot I could take with me to a future job. I love that it felt like a family. I love that Melvin goes out of his way to get feedback on important decisions. Overall, it was a great experience  I’ll never forget.

What types of things have you learned?

How to interview candidates, what to look for, how to match candidate, how to evaluate candidates… How to use different tools… How to supervise, how to mentor, how to make decisions that would affect an entire team, and how to train teammates. As it relates to HR, how to relate to coworkers better, because it really helps performance and helps a company achieve its goal.

How soon were you promoted to supervisor after being hired as an intern?

I got hired in August, then promoted in November, so about 3 months in.

I kind of wish it was earlier so I had gotten more time to grow into the position since she promoted me towards the end of internships.

Are you returning for a second internship?

Not for now, because I got other projects. After I get further along and am able to take care of other responsibilities, I can see myself coming back.

What other projects are you working on?

I want to start a business. I’m training in web design and studying SEO and HTML to provide services for online entrepreneurs.

In addition to web design, I want to blog as well. I mainly blog about beauty and lifestyle.

How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for four years. I started off with another blog, than rebranded into [my current one]. I might rebrand into another one now.

What first attracted you to blogging?

I just like the idea of having my space on the internet where I can share certain beliefs and advice of how I approached situations, and what worked for me.

When I first started blogging, I thought I’d be able to write about whatever I wanted to write about. I actually had an internship before [Beloved Streets of America] with a fashion blog and it was one of the hardest things I had to do…They wanted something very specific. It was really hard for me to achieve what they wanted me to achieve.

What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you started working at BSA?

I’m not sure how to word it, but you get this idea that since it’s virtual and you’re working from home, it’s going to be easy-peasy, but it’s not. It’s even harder, simply because you have to have that discipline to manage your time and remember to check in and you have to get that list of things done, whereas when you’re at a physical location, you’re already in a space where everyone is working and you’re encouraged to work. I wish someone would have told me that working from home is not just this nice, laidback thing. It’s just as hard, if not harder.

What helped you to manage your time?

Being aware of what I have to get done–both BSA and outside of BSA. I bought a planner and wrote down all my due dates for school and BSA. Once I’m actually aware of what I have to get done, it helps to know what I have to make a priority and what I have to do on certain days.

Knowing what you’re responsible for helps you know how to divide your time.

It also helped me to know I’m more productive in the morning, so I do more in the mornings.

What was your favorite part about about working for Beloved Streets?

Working with people. I just love that I was able to collaborate with team mates. I got a lot of good mentoring from supervisors. And I’m going to miss the interviews– the interactions you have with potential candidates.

Do you have any interviewing tips?

As an interviewer: The best tip is to be personable. Be someone the candidate feels like they can open up to. That way you get a better feel for who the person is. Understand what’s going through their mind. Don’t make it a super scary experience

As an interviewee: Learn about the company. I was shocked at just how many people don’t.  I’ve interviewed people in the past and asked “What do you think about BSA?” and they say “I have no idea.”  I thought, “Really? Don’t you want to know what the company you’ll be working for is about?” Learn as much as possible about the company before you interview. It’s not so much for the company, but for yourself. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you don’t identify with the company culture or you’re not as passionate about the company’s mission as you thought you were.

What are you going to miss the most?

Just knowing that I’m a part of something great. For my generation [as a millennial], it’s just so important for us to feel that our work is making a world a better place. I’ve worked other jobs like retail, where they do charity, but it isn’t their main focus. I’m definitely going to miss being a part of improving people’s lives and telling people “this is where I work and I’m a part of this mission.”

Tenneil Turner worked for Beloved Streets of America from August 2016 to December 2016. She was an undergraduate student majoring in Business Administration at the University of Gainesville, Florida.


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