On Tuesday, Jan. 21, PRSSA members heard from Abby Todd, director of leadership communications at The Coca-Cola Company North America, and former intern Lottie Smalley. Todd and Smalley shared their experiences working for The Coca-Cola Company and gave advice for members looking to apply for the upcoming summer internship, exclusive to Grady students. 

Todd graduated from UGA with bachelor’s degrees in public relations and marketing. In the summer of 2007, she was The Coca-Cola Company intern, which lead to a permanent job within CCNA’s Sustainability and Stakeholders Relations department in 2011. Currently, she is the director of employee leadership communications, where her responsibilities include writing executive communications, presentations and speeches for the head of the company. 

This past summer, Smalley worked alongside Todd as the Public Affairs and Communications intern where she worked on a wide variety of projects. She helped design fact sheets for Dasani’s largest sustainability launch in brand history; handled communication and created graphics for CCNA’s Team Meeting; and co-wrote a weekly newsletter updating employees on recent professional and social trends. Despite working on several big projects within a big company, Smalley felt comfortable pitching ideas and brainstorming with executives on her team: “You have a lot of autonomy. Everyone is willing to help and really wants to hear your ideas.”

Smalley and Todd described what interns can expect from the internship and what is expected of the interns during their 12 weeks with The Coca-Cola Company. Interns will be assigned projects across different communications teams and be expected to take initiative and pour themselves into their projects. As an intern, students will have the opportunity to lean into what they love, such as videography, graphic design or writing, while also learning new skills. 

“We work really hard on the Public Affairs and Communications team, but we have a lot of fun in the process,” Todd said. 

Additionally, Smalley shared tips for success, such as staying organized and keeping a to-do journal with due dates and timelines of ongoing projects. “Being a go-getter and going after new projects is important, but so is being transparent about how much is on your plate, because you don’t want to spread yourself too thin and not do your best work,” Smalley said. 

To conclude, Todd gave students insight into what The Coca-Cola Company expects from their intern applications. Applicants should strive to set themselves apart, particularly through their cover letters and writing samples. 

The Coca-Cola Company PAC summer internship application is open until Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. PRSSA’s next meeting with the New England Patriots will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in Studio 100.