Summer Internship Series: Katelin Toporski

The Skinny on my Summer: Tips from a Fat Camp Intern

1I stood at the train station in Grand Rapids, MI, anxiously waiting to board. Since February, I’d been dreaming of the day that my “Big New York Adventure” would start.

In October, I eagerly applied for internships, hoping that some glamorous company would catch my eye, hire me immediately, and pay me a disgusting amount of money…apparently that’s not how the internship hunt works.

I watched my friends within the Communication Studies program get hired by Chevy, the PGA Tour, and even the New York Times! I was beyond envious, until I finally received a Skype interview from Camp 2Shane, New York’s infamous weight-loss camp. About two weeks after my interview, I was offered the position of Social Media & Marketing intern!

No, it wasn’t in the city. No, it wasn’t high-paying. No, it was not what I had in mind when I originally began my search for the internship of my dreams. But, it was an opportunity for growth, improvement, and the implementation of the skills I had learned during my first two years of Communications prerequisites. (Plus, another chance to drop the lingering remnants of my “Freshman 15”).

3After an 18-hour train ride, an awkward, train station pick-up from a coworker who only listened to Nickelback, and various phone calls to update my ever-worrying mother, I arrived in the boondocks of upstate New York to start what was sure to be an interesting summer. I was hurtled into the land of social media management, SEO (search engine optimization), fitness blogging, and healthy eating. From Zumba to spin class, cooking to nutrition, I’m the public’s secret eye to the inside of the camp with all the secrets to fighting childhood obesity.

Approaching my three week mark of the nine I’ll be here at Shane, I look back to see what I’ve learned thus far…

  1. Being on time is important. Whether you work for a Fortune 500 or a summer camp, make sure you’re punctual.
  2. Set goals for yourself. Make a list of what you need to accomplish for the day, the week, the month, the summer! You’ll get things done when you have a list.
  3. Social media is so real and so important. Parents, campers, perspective clients, relatives, etc. LOVE seeing pictures and updates. One of the key tools in being successful in marketing and recruiting is having a solid platform on several social media sites.
  4. Confidence is important, drive is huge, but passion is key. Enter into projects with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Blow them out of the water with your dedication, your ideas, and your get-it-done and get-it-done-well attitude.
  5. Don’t forget to have fun. While most hours I’m typing up healthy-living blogs, making copies, or sounding overly-excited while answering the phone, I still find time to have the4 traditional summer camp fun. Make friends and memories; take advantage of this wonder that is summer.

So, whether you’re waiting tables, babysitting, or interning big this summer, redefine your name, create an outstanding work ethic, and grow your skills in every way possible.

While I’m losing some pounds, interning at fat camp is helping me gain so much more.

Kate out.




  1. Carolyn Fisk Carolyn Fisk
    July 13, 2015    

    Way to go, Kate!!! You are totally awesome!

  2. July 13, 2015    

    ‘So, whether you’re waiting tables, babysitting, or interning big this summer, redefine your name, create an outstanding work ethic, and grow your skills in every way possible.’ YES!

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