it’s been a while since I put my two cents into this blog. I have been spending a lot of my timekeeping up with my personal blog and writing about how much I loved Pittsburgh or the stress of returning to school.
As all good things do, my summer internship came to an end, and I grab my stuff and sadly watched the ‘Burgh disappear from my rear-view mirror. But I took so much more away from the experience I had this summer than what I brought to it. Anyone who says internship don’t matter are just plain lying to you. I feel like I have received an excellent education, but some things need to be learned on the job, in the spur of the moment.
I got an introduction to a part of PR that my textbooks didn’t cover: measurement and analytics. Putting a dollar amount to all of your hard work. Showing the client results. And I con honestly say that not much of my time in the classroom has been dedicated to learning the art of the pitch. I made more phone calls to the media this summer than I could count, and slowly found myself becoming more comfortable on the phone with reporters. You can practice with your friends all you want, but nothing can prepare you for calling the New York Times like calling the New York Times.
I made so many wonderful connections and got insight from real pros all summer. It was as ifeveryone I encountered could be such an amazing role model for the future of my career.
I now see that agency PR is really my thing, and I wouldn’t have changed a single second of anything, even when things in the office were moving at rapid speed. I realized that I have a niche for social media, love working on a deadline and that event planning is my absolute favorite part of the job.
I have two pieces of advice for anyone who is thinking about doing an internship, in PR or otherwise. The first is to ask a ton of questions. My supervisor did a fantastic job at informing me of not only my projects, but of other things that were going on in the office. But she wasn’t a mind reader, so during my last week when I still had questions about the process of planning an outreach, she scheduled a meeting with me one-on-one and answered all of my questions. I left feeling that I had completely learned everything I could in the amount of time that I was there.
My second piece of advice is to volunteer outside of the office. I got to do an amazing event with my agency that took place on a weekend. I didn’t mind working extra hours, after all, I was only in the city this summer to learn! But I also volunteered to help set up for an event in the Cultural District, something completely unrelated to the agency. It got me a behind-the-scenes look at event planning and a ticket to one of the hottest parties in Pittsburgh. There are opportunities everywhere if you just take the time to look.
I am now a senior at IUP, and the semester is three weeks in. My classes are moderately hectic, I’ve got a science, two English classes and my senior synthesis. The thing taking up more of my time right now is PRSSA. I am planning an alumni panel for Oct. 4 and am putting every spare second I can into making sure it goes off without a hitch. I have all of my speakers lined up, and I am extremely excited for the actual event. It is kind of stressful; because our adviser is still in Afghanistan, but our temporary adviser and my e-board are doing a great job at backing me up.
Life is insane right now, and my planner is fileld from top to bottom. But so is the life of someone in PR, right? :)