PRSSA Kent State University
While interning at ShurTech Brands, LLC, a marketing and manufacturing company for do-it-yourself products under the Duck®, FrogTape®, Painter's Mate Green®, and Shurtape® brands, I’ve learned that the size of your success greatly depends on your love and enthusiasm for your job.
Joining the ShurTech marketing/communications family not only taught me key skills in my future public relations career, but also how to balance work and fun. Aside from the many company inside jokes, intern lunches and bowling outings, I participated in important meetings, media training and large-scale projects for the company too.
My objective at the beginning of the summer was to come away from this internship with a better grasp on how to work with the media from a public relations perspective. I was given the opportunity to write news releases for Duck® brand’s many new products, pitch stories to various trade publications using CisionPoint, contribute posts to the company blog and even accompany my team for Duck Tape®’s segment on Channel 3 Cleveland’s “Live on Lakeside.” Because of these projects, I have much more confidence in my writing and media relations skills.
Thanks to my internship, I feel ready to finish my last year of college and begin applying for jobs. I not only learned critical writing skills, but I practiced how to be a professional. This summer has given me the chance to hone in on my future career path all while improving my portfolio.
The greatest advice I can give from one intern to another is to always ask questions. Even if you think you know something, a professional can give you a fresh look at something you can’t get inside the classroom. Some of the greatest lessons I learned during my internship came from asking questions I thought I knew the answer to.
I can’t wait to take what I have learned with me into my last year as a college student and am so thankful for everyone at ShurTech who has prepared me for the “real world.”
View samples from Morgan's internship
by Megan Corder
I like to think I am the kind of person that can quickly adjust to situations and take actions based on my best judgment. I like to think that these skills will always serve me well in life because at the end of the day, I understand that I am responsible for my decisions and their outcomes. One of my favorite expressions is “be the solution, not the problem.” I felt that I honored this expression when I joined Fathom as the Marketing Team’s Intern.
During my time at Fathom, I learned about the digital marketing industry. I was trained in SEO, PPC Advertising, Content Integration, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Marketo and Salesforce. Prior to my internship, I had only heard these terms in passing, and learning them professionally was invaluable.
Each day, I would work on sharing content for social media. I implemented a social media content calendar that I created. I also promoted events and shared blog posts. I applied best practices for social media, researched influences and expanded Fathom’s influence. I would help promote graphics to different websites.
Additionally, I would work on planning The 2014 Cleveland Nonprofit Marketing Summit. This summit was the highlight of my experience and really impacted me as a budding professional. I organized the event from start to end, so I would send emails to attendees, speakers, check registration and follow-up with different event details. It was an exciting and humbling experience to see the work I had done have a real impact that I could see and measure.
Over the course of my internship, I have been given more experiences, trust and support than I could have ever imagined. I was part of the team. I was able to contribute and learn from others. I did not feel like just an intern, I felt like I belonged and that the work I did mattered. I never realized how much I would like the culture of the office. They truly value trust, hard work and dedication from all their employees. It is a kind of place where you are inspired to be better and work harder, because you see everyone else doing the same. When I think about what I have accomplished this summer as an intern and what I have gained as a person, I wouldn’t have traded any moment of my experience.
by Meghan Caprez
Most students have a pretty good idea of where they’d like to work in the public relations industry by the time they need to complete their internship for credit at Kent State. Going into my internship, I was convinced that I wanted to work in corporate public relations, and I wanted to focus my skills in social media. Boy, did I change my mind!
As a marketing intern at Sterling Jewelers Inc., I was able to work on a variety of projects, from creating social media content for Kay and Jared to researching competitors’ customer appreciation store events. I worked on competitor reports, measured sentiment and drafted creative “wish lists.”
After three months, I learned that social media is not the end-all, be-all of my public relations skills, and I do not want to siphon myself off into that one small area of the industry. I did, however, really enjoy the corporate atmosphere, and my internship helped me to see that corporate is the right fit for me.
When looking for an internship, students should search for one in the areas they are interested in, so, like me, they can determine if it is the right fit for them. After finding that perfect internship, it is important to effectively and efficiently complete every project with a smile on their face. As my supervisor said, “There’s a difference between aptitude and attitude. Aptitude can be taught, but you can’t teach someone to have a good attitude.” At the end of the day, a good attitude can make the difference between a mediocre and a stellar internship experience.
by Katie Smith
I was one of three summer interns at Lividini & Co. in New York City. I could not have found a better internship to dive into the fashion industry. Lividini & Co. is an agency with about 20 clients. This experience completely opened my eyes to the behind-the-scenes of the fashion world.
I reached out to Lividini & Co. through its on-line contact form. Imagine my surprise when they wanted to interview me, and then subsequently hired me as an intern. It says a lot about Kent’s PR program and the classes we have to take.
I worked on various accounts including Fossil, Natori, Bon-Ton, Trollbeads and Ellen DeGeneres’ new lifestyle brand, E.D. My duties included drafting pitches to send to editors, gathering press mentions for clients, organizing all press mentions into a PowerPoint for clients, researching relevant media for pitches, building contact lists in CisionPoint, and working with Fashion GPS.
The interns were also given fun, intern-specific tasks such as thinking of content for the agency’s Facebook page and decorating bulletin boards around the office.
I worked with some truly amazing individuals who are great at their jobs. L&Co. is a wonderful place, and I was honored to be a part of its team. I learned so much in just 12 weeks, and I can’t wait to apply my new knowledge in my future career.
The best advice I can give to students is to start internship hunting early. If you’re able to, I would definitely suggest leaving your hometown to intern in a city you’re interested in living in after graduation. It’s a good way to get your foot in the door, start networking and mature as a professional.
by Julie Myers
I have been an intern for more than three months now, and I still have no idea how to make coffee—a good sign that it was a worthwhile experience. I actually ended up with more responsibilities than originally intended, which is fantastic! The fact that people were saying, “Ryan’s intern can do it,” shows that they recognized my work ethic and also quality of work.
I was hired for internal communications, which, at FedEx Custom Critical, consists of The Expediter (an all-employee newsletter), The Sales Connection (a newsletter to the Sales contractors) and the Daily Bulletin (a daily news email to all employees).
As I continued to prove myself through those duties, I was given more responsibilities. At this point, I am involved in media relations, crisis communications, community relations, social media, overall communications plans and more. I am even working on an internal public relations plan for contractor retention, which is actually becoming a pressing issue for the company. My days are busy to say the least, but I am loving every ounce of experience gained.
A key lesson I learned is that you truly benefit when you put yourself out there. I am on great terms with all of the Executive Leadership Team, including the CEO and president, and also most of the department managers at the company, and I am just the intern of three months. This is because I made an effort to get to know them, and it has paid off when I needed their help.
That leads me to advice for future students. You will inevitably be a bit nervous on your first day, but if you remain professional at all times and try your best at whatever task you are given, you will enjoy your experience. Always offer to help in any way you can, even if it means coming in early or staying late. You may even find yourself editing someone’s emails that have nothing to do with your department, but you will come to realize that is because you are respected as a communications professional. I no longer feel like an intern—I am treated as an integral part of the communications team. When you earn that, it is the most rewarding feeling.