Summer Spotlight: Mary Renfroe interns at Southern Distinction Magazine 

By: Sara Lawrence

This week’s summer spotlight is dedicated to Mary Renfroe, PRSSA’s member relations committee head. She participated in an internship as an art director’s assistant at Southern Distinction Magazine in Athens this past summer. 

Southern Distinction Magazine is a southern lifestyle and bridal magazine based in Athens, Georgia, that circulates their content across the state. They have a relatively small staff, so Mary had her hands full with the job this summer, as her responsibilities exceeded those of just an art director’s assistant. 

“I also wrote for them, did graphic layouts for some of their spreads, modeled in one of their shoots, assisted in their bridal photo shoots, interviewed, and did some secretary work,” Mary explained. 

Mary’s career goal is to work for a magazine, so she got to see what her future could look like in that business. Since she is a PR major, she focuses on PR writing in Grady College, but was able to do more journalistic writing and finance work with this internship. This is a prime example of how valuable internships can broaden your skill sets for the job market. 

“In PRSSA, having the ability to network with [the executive board], our speakers, and talk to people properly in a business setting really helped set me up to work in a professional workplace,” Mary said regarding her experience in PRSSA aiding her internship. 

PRSSA’s main goal is to provide advice and networking opportunities within the Public Relations field. The bi-weekly meetings with industry professionals provide valuable professional communication experience, and Mary’s leadership as a committee head allowed her to be the liaison between the executive board and her committee members, which requires a great deal of leadership. 

“Apply to everything that you see, because I saw the magazine internship and thought it would be super competitive, but you never know what they’re looking if you see an opportunity and you want it, just try your best to get it and you never know what might happen,” advised Mary. 

We all know applying for internships can seem scary and unnerving, but their benefits far outweigh the initial discomfort of putting yourself out there. Like Mary, you can have the opportunity to work in your dream workplace and learn and establish relationships with professionals who can help guide you along your career path. PRSSA will also help you form those connections and skills to ensure an internship experience you won’t forget.