PRSSA Kent State University
In January, I found out that I had been selected to serve as the Digital Marketing Intern this summer at the Victoria’s Secret PINK Headquarters in New York City. The internship was an opportunity that I had been dreaming about since I was a little girl. The personal and professional experience I gained while in the city proved to be invaluable.
Throughout the summer, I helped support various areas of the PINK Digital Marketing Team’s email, mobile and social media strategy, execution and analytics. I provided weekly digital trend reports to leadership and patterned other brands’ digital tactics for competitive analysis. Two of my favorite responsibilities included brainstorming and curating content for PINK’s official Snapchat account. I was even given the opportunity to appear on the Snapchat to promote new products and campaigns. Working with various social media platforms allowed me to hone my creative skills and expand my knowledge about different platform functionalities, as well as analytics. I believe my biggest accomplishment was analyzing and presenting extensive research to PINK Marketing Leadership about the current video landscape to discover innovative storytelling opportunities across multiple digital platforms. It was rewarding to see how much the team valued my insight about the millennial demographic and its behavior in the video sphere.
Living in New York has also given me the confidence and motivation to tackle anything the world throws at me in the future, personally and professionally. I have learned how to problem-solve more effectively and completely depend on myself in stressful situations. Each time I got lost on the subway or had to fight off an infamous New York City cockroach, I became a stronger, more independent individual. I went into the office each day motivated and ready to learn. I also focused on cultivating genuine relationships with my supervisor and co-workers, which allowed me to gain the most out of my internship experience. I highly encourage other college students to step outside of their comfort zones and intern in an unfamiliar location. I also urge them to apply for their dream internship, no matter how competitive or intimidating it may be.
-- Victoria Manenti, Senior Public Relations Major
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.
My internship experience at UPMC Hamot this summer was more than I ever imagined. I learned so much and had so many opportunities. I was never looked at as just the intern. Everyone in the office treated me like part of the team.
Although I worked 40-hour weeks, I was never bored. Everyone in the office kept me busy with projects, but would always check in to make sure I wasn’t too overwhelmed. My biggest project was editing a website for Kane Community Hospital, a branch hospital of UPMC Hamot. I edited the content to make it user friendly. We also standardized the design of the site to be more like UPMC’s other sites. Although this project took up a lot of time, it was very rewarding to see it once it went “live.”
UPMC took good care of their interns. Most of the interns were based down in Pittsburgh. However, UPMC did not exclude me because I was two hours away. I worked out of UPMC’s base office, the US Steel Building, several times, which really taught me about working in a face-paced, hectic environment.
I also went down to Pittsburgh to give two presentations in front of the entire marketing and public relations department. We also toured some of the UPMC hospitals in the area, which made us feel more connected to the company. Lastly, we traveled to Pittsburgh for a networking training, and then put those skills to use as we networked with several professionals at a Pittsburgh Pirates game.
The key to a successful internship is to stay committed, organized and excited. Your managers will notice your efforts if you give it 100 percent everyday. Through this internship, I’ve made connections that I intend on keeping for many years.