I vividly remember walking through the door at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations, eagerly ready to interview for a PR intern position that had recently opened. As a second semester senior, I was ready to add one last internship experience to my resume. The inviting, welcome and friendly faces at ECPR made me realize I found the right atmosphere, and the firm’s positive reputation, along with my interview, showed me the amount I could learn in a semester.
There are few words that could sum up how amazing my time at ECPR was—not only did it add so much value to my resume, but more importantly, it taught me how to be the best PR professional one could be in the field. With that said, I want to share with you the lessons I have taken away from this semester at ECPR:
1. Value all previous work experience and apply it to your current job
Although I worked in a variety of PR roles prior to this one, I found myself using skills that I had acquired dating back to high school jobs. From working under pressure, which I best learned as a barista in a local coffee shop, to customer service skills, as learned in a boutique, these lessons helped me succeed throughout my time at ECPR.
2. Ask for opportunities
One of the first lessons that I learned as an intern at ECPR was to never be afraid to ask for opportunities. On the first day I was given a checklist with activities that the office wants every intern to complete, such as: compiling a press kit, drafting a media advisory, and attending a press conference. As I was given this checklist, I was encouraged to be comfortable to ask staff for assignments or tasks that would inspire me to keep learning and to maintain an exciting work environment. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities I have been able to complete just because I decided to be proactive and ask. It is good to remember that the people who surround you in the office want you to succeed.
3. Every task matters
Even the tiniest tasks are going toward a larger goal. At times, small assignments may seem tedious, but being able to experience the end result makes it worth the effort. I have been able to attend many events, including a grand opening, press conferences and client interviews, which all required a lot of work prior to the event date. All of the work put forth, including the smallest assignments, were made apparent at each event.
4. Connect with a mentor
Not only is it important to connect with someone at the office who can help you along the way, but make relationships with everyone. I was lucky enough to be introduced to a wonderful intern advisor before I began working at ECPR. She quickly became my mentor and I felt comfortable going to her for any help that I needed along the way. Now, she is a contact on my professional reference list, I can ask her for job advice and I made not only a new business contact, but also a friend.
– Kate Kutilek, intern