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As my last week as an intern winds down, I felt it very fitting to reflect on the things I learned over the summer. With everyday serving as a learning experience, I couldn’t include everything, so here’s what stood out:

 

For your sanity, stay organized

  • With multiple projects and multiple clients, I realized very quickly that I needed to be hyper-organized.

Work fast, work efficiently

  • Public relations in any setting can be a very fast-paced world, but I’ve noticed it’s even more-so in the agency environment. You need to learn how to research, develop ideas, write and complete projects in a very timely manner. Everyone is up against a deadline and time constraint with client hours.

Step out of your comfort zone

  • As you may know, I just moved to Arizona from Illinois. You could say I took this piece of advice quite literally as I stepped out of the 75-degree weather in Illinois to the daily 100-degree days in Arizona. But, that’s not exactly relevant for everyone. I learned from attending a networking event alone that you’ll meet more people than you ever would have if you had your comfort zone of friends and coworkers standing by.

Experience trumps all

  • For any college student searching for an internship, make sure you’re going to do real work and you’ll have something to include on your resume other than coffee retriever.

That Communication Research Methods class in college really was necessary

  • Granted, I haven’t had to use any SPSS software, it’s still really important to be able to pull statistics and research about your clients as well as their customers and actually understand what that data means.

Think like a journalist

  • If you can think like a journalist when writing pitches then you’ll be able to concisely write down all of the relevant information with a good hook. They always have their audience in mind when telling the news, so if you can do the same then you should be in good shape.

Build relationships with the media

  • Build relationships with members of the media and get to know them. Putting a face and personality to all the emails and calls makes it more personal. If there’s a built up relationship then you can be a go-to contact for the reporter when they are looking for a source.  How wonderful is that?

For me, the learning won’t ever stop. Every day presents a new opportunity to learn something. If you’ve held an internship, what sort of things did you learn?

Shelby Ray
Shelby Ray
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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