PRSSA Kent State University
By Latisha Ellison
This summer I was a content and PR intern at True Digital Communications, and I now know more about plumbing pipes and polyurethane building products than I ever thought I would. I was excited to work at True because I knew I would have the opportunity to enhance and expand my skill set.
Right away, I was given projects and daily responsibilities that included monitoring social media, handling industry news and creating content for our clients’ websites. In addition to blogging and social media, I had the opportunity to write an ad copy. One of my favorite days was when I learned how to launch Facebook ads targeting the right audience-- I had never done anything like that before!
Additionally, I was able to go on a work trip with my boss to a photoshoot that used our client’s products. This opportunity helped me better understand the products I had been writing about, and it was cool to see the behind-the-scenes action. This same client is updating its website, so I have had an active role in doing a website content audit. One of the more tedious tasks, but still very important and a great learning experience!
This internship showed me how an agency operates. I worked at True during an exciting time—the company is growing, they’re adding new team members and getting more work! I felt like a regular employee being handed work and expected to complete it just like the woman next me. I learned how to prioritize my work and time but the most challenging part was figuring out how much time to spend on a project and when another project was more important at that moment.
I have loved my time at True and the learning opportunities it has provided me. Wherever your internship is, take advantage of the knowledge surrounding you in your coworkers. Speak up, ask questions, work hard and shine on!
By Alexandra Seibt
In the beginning of the spring semester when my internship search began, I never imagined I would end up spending my summer with University Hospitals, especially since working in healthcare had never been something I thought I would do, let alone enjoy. Throughout the summer, I went back and forth between working in the marketing and communications departments at University Hospitals Management Services Center and working in the UH television studio at main campus in downtown Cleveland. I began my internship in the middle of June, and I spent my first day touring around the hospital. I was taken to the surgical floor where I met nurses and doctors, and saw the operating room board. I even got to watch part of a lesser invasive surgery. I felt like I was on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Working for UH has provided me with some cool opportunities such as coordinating the media for a hospital visit from Roger Daltrey, front man of The Who, as well as working the Browns training camp on behalf of University Hospitals. Not only did I work a lot with the media relations team, but I also had the opportunity to work with internal communications team. I helped write stories for the employee intranet, and I also helped to plan a department scavenger hunt.
One of the biggest challenges I faced throughout this experience is fully understanding medical terminology. When I was assigned press releases, I had to do extra research to understand what exactly it was I would be writing about. Thankfully, more often than not, the doctors I spoke with for quotes for my releases were understanding and did a great job of fully explaining new medical innovations to me.
My advice for future interns is to step out of your comfort zone and be open to learning. As I said, I never imagined myself working in healthcare, so— as one can imagine— I was so scared and so nervous for my first day at University Hospitals. There is always so much to learn about the hospital system, health technologies, procedures, etc. and every day I learned something new and innovating happening in the world of healthcare.
By Isabella Grossi
This past summer I worked as an Analytics Intern at Marcus Thomas and I took on a wide range of responsibilities in my position. I assisted the Marcus Thomas analytics team on client projects by providing analysis and reporting. I also developed website tracking plans, and tested them as needed. I did internal work and reported on and analyzed Marcus Thomas’s website and analyzed an internal survey. I also assisted the strategic services team in a variety of research projects, such as developing personas, comparing competitors, etc. All the Marcus Thomas interns were part of a “trend team” where we researched culture and marketing trends, developed content for the Marcus Thomas website and social media and presented some of our findings to the agency.
During my internship, I was exposed to a variety of data tools. I used Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, SimilarWeb, Omniture, Facebook Business Manager, and Foresee to analyze and pull data. I also used research tools, Mintel and the 4A’s for our trend team and other research projects. Overall, I feel as though I can better analyze, understand and break down data from being exposed to these tools.
Before my internship at Marcus Thomas I was interested in analytics and research, but after my internship, I’ve realized that this is the field I want to pursue after graduation and I would like to work at a full-service agency. It is very rewarding to see all the pieces and parts that people work on come together. I am extremely grateful for my experience at Marcus Thomas. There was never a time when I felt embarrassed to ask a question, say I didn’t know something or ask for advice. My supervisor and the junior analyst worked with me to get me to a point where I could complete some client-related tasks on my own. They also gave me advice throughout and answered any of my questions. I have had such a positive experience interning at Marcus Thomas.
The first week of my internship one of the Marcus Thomas account executives gave me and my fellow interns a piece of advice, “never say that’s not my job”. This is something that stuck with me throughout the entirety of my internship and led to me taking full advantage of every opportunity I had. At the beginning of my internship, the Marcus Thomas employees made it clear that if I was interested in any area I could get experience working with them. Although I was in the analytics department, I made sure others knew that I would assist in other areas as I had free time. This resulted in me doing some tasks for the strategic services team. Not only did I enjoy my other tasks, but it helped me get to know more people at the agency and learn a few new things. I advise other students to do the same and take advantage of any opportunity you get, even if it is not something you want to do or you’re interested in, because more often than not you’ll learn something valuable from it. Also, go to every event where you can get to know your co-interns and fellow employees. I participated in a sand volleyball league, which was so much fun! It really helped me get to know people I worked with and enjoy my time at the agency!
By Kristen Slomiany
This summer I lived in New York City and interned for Lividini & Co., a fashion brand strategy company. Interning at Lividini & Co. was truly an amazing experience. I was able to work with global and national fashion and lifestyle brands including MCM Worldwide, Vera Bradley and Robert Graham.
My main responsibilities included monitoring social media for client placements, clipping online and print placements of clients and creating weekly/monthly clipping reports. Clipping included documenting each placement of client items in either print publications (Vogue) or online publications (People.com). I also wrote press releases for different client launches and edited shortlead/longlead pitches.
Working at an agency allowed me to have different day-to-day activities, which I really enjoyed. I learned a lot about working with different clients and creating scopes of work for each. However, working in the fashion industry could be a little stressful. Clients were very demanding and wanted work done at a fast pace. I learned a lot about time management and how to work on many different projects at a time. It was important that I stayed organized and kept myself on track with finishing work.
The best advice I could give for future interns would be to ask a lot of questions. It is important work you are doing and you want to make sure you are getting everything out of it that you can. I always made sure I fully understood my responsibilities and what my supervisors needed from me. I also asked a lot of questions about the industry to get a better understanding of how fashion PR worked. Don’t be afraid to talk to your supervisors about their experiences as well. I received a lot of good advice about life after college from my supervisors. Overall, I had an amazing experience and definitely recommend moving to New York to anyone thinking about fashion PR.
By Daniel Henderson
I have spent this summer as an intern at the Council on Foreign Relations in the Council’s Washington External Affairs Program. CFR is a nonpartisan think tank, membership organization and publisher. It is the single most referenced and respected think tank on foreign policy issues in D.C.. Managing this reputation falls on the Washington External Affairs Program because the program’s function is to take the work of CFR’s experts, fellows and members and put it in the hands of policy makers.
My part in this has been helping to manage the planning and logistics of events, including tracking RSVPs, setting up before hand, creating rosters and formatting accompanying CFR material in a briefing packet. I also assisted with creating and tracking our electronic distributions to Congress. I spent the vast majority of time reading and editing documents prepared for the Hill, or for distribution at our events, in proper CFR style.
I have loved my experience at CFR, and as I look back over the years I believe I will come to see it as a transformative one. I have had the opportunity to connect with policy makers, ambassadors, national security experts and all-around brilliant and world-renowned scholars. I would not trade those moments for anything. This internship has also helped to clarify for me the expanding role of PR, not just as managers of a brand or crisis experts, but as constant contacts between an organization’s publics and the central mission of that organization. Without the work of external affairs experts at CFR, the work of our brilliant fellows would probably not have the effect that it does.
My advice to future interns is to be really, really, REALLY strong editors, since the quality of your work, and your boss’s reliance on you, hinges on it. Also, know something about the field you are interning. If you’re interning for an organization that works in politics or healthcare, having solid PR skills will only get you so far if you don’t understand at least a little about politics and healthcare. Finally, taking an internship in cities outside of Ohio can be hard, but that’s usually how you make connection with the leading experts in a field, so throw your hat in the ring and really try to intern in a great global city.