by Eric Duffert

After coming fresh off of an amazing four-month study abroad and internship experience in Florence, Italy, I thought no matter what summer job or internship I ended up landing back in my home state, it would be a massive disappointment by comparison.

But then I discovered Hammer.

Though it’s undoubtedly been said many times before, I’ll gladly say it again: Hammer Residences is a tremendous company. I am so blessed and honored to be serving this tight-knit community of one-of-a-kind individuals as this summer’s Communication’s intern.

Working the circuit at Reach for Ralph.

Working the circuit at Reach for Ralph.

Never have I felt so welcomed and appreciated at a job than when I’m working at Hammer. Everyone is so easy to talk to, genuine and actually wants to get to know people. When a Hammer employee asks, “How are you?” or “How’s your day going?” it’s not a conversation filler but a genuine display of interest.

As a current college student pursing a Bachelors in Film and Media Arts at the University of Tampa, Hammer has been the perfect place to let my artistic creativity grow. Whether it be editing video footage or snapping photographs at Hammer events, I get to let my passion for the visual arts shine. There is nothing more satisfying than getting to take lessons learned from the classroom and applying them in real-life situations. It gives all the expenses that come with college a sense of real value and makes it all seem worthwhile. I have gained invaluable hands-on experience thanks to Hammer and although I’ve only been here a little over two months, I am constantly learning new things every day. Knowing the many dedicated individuals who put their heart and soul into every detail for projects like this year’s Reach for Ralph event, it is truly gratifying to see it all come together and shine.

All together now! Hammer's Development and Communications teams.

All together now! Hammer’s Development and Communications teams.

Though I am eager for my senior year to start (and to get back to that sunny Florida weather!), I am saddened by the thought of leaving Hammer. At the pace this summer is progressing, it will no doubt sneak up on me before I know it. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my time here and take nothing for granted. I will cherish the limited time I have with Hammer’s amazing employees and equally amazing residents, and will jump at every opportunity that allows my artistic passion and creativity shine through.

Thank you, Hammer, for a truly great start to my summer.