Student Internship Panel

By Kayla Nichols

On Sept. 17 in Studio 100, four PRSSA members shared advice from their summer internship experiences in PRSSA’s annual Internship Panel moderated by president Emma Crosby. Aya Maruyama interned at CAA, a booking agency in Nashville; Maddie Fiorante interned at Nike Headquarters; Hanh Nguyen interned at Mindshare Atlanta; and Carter Chapman interned with the Office of Senator Isakson.

Maruyama’s tasks varied daily at CAA, from talking on the phone with Luke Combs’s manager, wiring payments or creating a graphic design for an artist who wanted to start a clothing line. Maruyama loved her fast-paced position where she applied knowledge from the Music Business Program and her heavy involvement in PRSSA. She offered advice to students who are exploring new internship opportunities: “If you hate it, that’s only two or three months of your life, but if you love it, that’s your future.”

As a North America Communications Intern with Nike, Foriante created messaging strategy, planned events and had a heavy hand with the Nike Joyride launch. Maddie’s biggest challenge with her internship was learning the complex software Nike uses to order products for influencers and sponsors, but that challenge eventually led her to becoming the “support specialist” for other employees using the software, allowing her to make connections in a new way. Her piece of advice to students preparing for interviews is, “During phone interviews, use that as an opportunity to have a conversation and shine through by connecting with the interviewer.”

Nguyen, in her internship with Mindshare Atlanta, strengthened her skills in media planning and digital investment, among many other opportunities with various clients. One of her big projects included creating a media plan for Jiffy Lube, where she got to apply her skills from Talking Dog including increasing efficiency, delegating tasks and presenting to a client face-to-face. While asking questions is always important during internships, Nguyen recommended to “always come with a solution for your questions. They want to see that you tried.”

Chapman’s internship in the Office of Senator Isakson was not a typical structured internship, which allowed him to dive into projects and experiences that were not previously on his radar. As a student of the Public Affairs Communication certificate, Chapman was able to use that network to meet Isakson’s communications director, where he then discussed the internship program and how to best apply. Grady’s focus on teaching students to interact with others helped Chapman gain a larger network in D.C. Chapman, like Nguyen, mentioned the importance of asking questions as an intern: “Always do your best, but don’t guess. It’s better to ask and be safe.”

The Internship Panel allowed PRSSA members to witness the benefits of heavy involvement within PRSSA and Grady. The deadline to become a PRSSA member is Oct. 15.

PRSSA members should also consider applying for the Bateman Competition, where our chapter will compete with PRSSA nationwide. Chosen students will create an impactful campaign for the U.S. Census Bureau and will receive credit for the PR Campaigns class. The deadline is Oct. 1.