PRSSA Kent State University
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.