Internship Panel Recap

By Emma Crosby

As we are right in the middle of another internship hunting season, this meeting could not have come at a better time. It was so great to hear from our fellow PRSSA members about their awesome internships from last summer. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Savannah Flynn

This past summer, Savannah interned for Janine Just, a small PR firm located in New York City. The firm mostly specializes in fashion technology, and Savannah was able to be involved in just about everything. She wrote case studies, helped rebrand the firm, edited their social media calendar, conducted brand research and planned events. She also was responsible for sending pitch emails out to influencers. By the end of the summer, she was even leading the conference calls with potential brands!

How did you find out about this internship?

“I knew I wanted to intern in New York City, so I basically lived on Indeed.com searching for the perfect internship that would fit. I found Janine Just and sent in my resume and a cover letter.”

What was the most challenging thing about your internship?

“I worked at such a small company, so the PR intern basically worked as the PR professional. I only worked three days a week, but I was always on call, even on the weekends. I didn’t have that concept of when you leave the office, work is over.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking for an internship in your field?

“Don’t limit yourself. I gained so much experience by working with such a small firm. Don’t be afraid to apply to the little PR firms, because you never know what they have to offer you.”

 

Kayla Hall

Kayla decided to stay a little bit closer to home this summer and interned for a company in Roswell, GA, called Full Tilt Consulting. Full Tilt is a consulting firm with a lot of clients from different agencies. Kayla was responsible for writing blog posts for the different clients, writing media lists, scheduling content calendars for social media posts and creating graphic designs for promotional flyers. She even got to meet Sterling K. Brown, the actor from This Is Us! She loved this internship because she was able to get a glimpse of a variety of different industries.

How did you find out about this internship?

“No shame, I got this internship through the help of my dad. His good friend was one of my boss’ first clients. I sent my resume, cover letter and a writing sample to Full Tilt. Definitely use your connections. If you are interested in a field and you know somebody’s dad or mom works in the field, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.”

What was the most challenging thing about your internship?

“I had to do a lot of research on each client, like learning what kind of syntax to use for each. I had to capture their voice for blog posts.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking for an internship in your field?

“Make a running list of places you would like to work in each city with their contacts. Email those companies your resume and cover letter. You would be surprised how many you hear back from.”

 

Madison French

Madison started out her summer with the American Energy Alliance, a think tank in Washington D.C. that specializes in energy. There, she assisted with communications, edited policy papers, updated the think tank’s website and wrote copy for Facebook and Twitter. During her internship, she was able to visit the White House to hear President Trump’s speech on the Paris Climate Accords. After this, she worked for four weeks in Senator David Perdue’s office. She did everything from answering phone calls, conducting capital tours and designing social media content. She had also previously worked with Karen Handel’s campaign and when Handel got elected, Madison got the opportunity to do some work there as well. During her time with Handel’s office, she acted as an unofficial press secretary, and she set up Handel’s social media accounts and got them running.

How did you find out about this internship?

“I had started on another special elections campaign and got a call over the summer to come write some press releases for Karen Handel. Keeping in contact and reaching out to people is the best way to get internships and make opportunities for yourself!”

What was the most challenging thing about your internship?

“At the energy think tank, I had to learn and do a lot of reading on all types of energy. I also had to update the websites every time there was a new policy or press release. It involved a lot of scientific facts and sometimes I had no idea what they meant.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking for an internship in your field?

“Be shameless about your self-promotion and don’t think you’re too big to do anything. There’s always something you can help with.”

 

Delani Marchigiani

Delani spent the summer in Athens interning for Jackson Spalding. They are a mid-sized agency, but the Athens office only has around ten people working there. She got to help work with cool clients like Chick-fil-A and the Atlanta Braves. She wrote a lot of press releases, blogs and social media content for clients. She completed research for clients and compiled news clips and media hits for them as well. Delani also had to reach out and pitch to the media, which was “definitely scary at first.” But she was always willing to help when something came her way!

How did you find out about this internship?

“Jackson Spalding came to talk to PRSSA last spring, and that’s how I found out about it!”

What was the most challenging thing about your internship?

“Probably having very little instruction. They would give you something and you had to take the initiative to ask questions. The Athens office is small, so often I would have to call someone at one of our other offices to get an answer. “

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking for an internship in your field?

“Don’t be afraid to keep bugging people. Last spring, when I was looking for an internship I was about to give up. I didn’t hear back from Jackson Spalding, so I emailed again and that’s when I heard back. “

 

Kayla Watkins

Kayla spent her summer in Atlanta interning for Turner Sports. She had a social media internship, so she helped analyze and pitch content ideas for the NBA on TNT and the NBA TV’s social media accounts and websites. She was responsible for staying up on current social media trends and sending out a bi-weekly report to the rest of the team with current trends. She pitched content for the “Inside the NBA” show with Shaq. Kayla found her place this summer in a majority male-dominated field.

How did you find out about this internship?

“I got my internship through the T Howard Foundation. They select students across the nation who are interested in the entertainment and media field. Then they help pair you with companies around the world in that field.”

What was the most challenging thing about your internship?

“Adjusting to the climate. I’ve always been a big sports person, but these people were on another level. Going into that, I constantly had to research each player,  knowing what they did and being able to talk about that.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking for an internship in your field?

“Keep an open mind. I didn’t think I would end up with a social media internship, but I learned so much from it and was able to network with so many people. Go into it and do as much as you can, try out new things and get your foot in the door.”

 

Jensen Strandberg

Jensen interned with Las Olas Capital Advisors, a small boutique financial advising firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL, that specializes in servicing high network clients. Jensen went in without any financial background, but her social media skills were a huge asset to the firm. She conducted market trend research and had creative freedom to write blogs for the company. She drafted press releases for their business growth and assisted in drafting “one-pagers”, which included fund summaries and descriptions. The firm has a philanthropy called Los Olas Capital Arts, and she got to help out by reaching out to secure local publication placement and designing graphics for event posters, flyers and business cards. By the end of the summer, Jensen learned a great deal about financial communications!

How did you find out about this internship?

“A mutual friend from high school works at Las Olas and posted on LinkedIn that they were looking for a social media intern. I sent my resume and cover letter and had a Skype interview about a week later.

What was the most challenging thing about your internship?

“Definitely going into a space where I had little knowledge about the industry. I had no idea about finance and funds, or anything like that. I had to study and learned a lot.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you have for someone looking for an internship in your field?

Small companies have a lot of hidden gems within them. I built personal relationships with the CEO because they were sitting right next to me.”

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