Exit interview with our summer PR interns
Summer is coming to a close and undergrad students are gearing up for the school year ahead. Unfortunately, that means it’s time to say farewell to our summer interns, Sarah and Lauren, who were actively involved with our PR and content initiatives since April. But before they go, they’ve shared insight on their experiences here at SWBR, their takeaways from the last few months, and their advice for future students who come through our program.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship?
S: Having to learn about a product or a company in a short amount of time, especially if it’s in a field I’m not familiar with. Having to write a pitch or story angle means learning as much as you can as quickly as possible about that client or their product, which can be challenging. But it’s helpful, since I learned how to adapt and find key information and package it so it’s easily understandable and compelling.
L: How to interact with co-workers and people in general in a professional environment. This was my first internship so I’ve never had this experience before. This internship not only taught me how to work in public relations but also provided me with new information that I would have never been exposed to otherwise. Because our clients range from financial to engineering, chemical, environmental, medical and legal, I was exposed to a wide variety of industries, which has not only helped me improve as a writer, but as a student as well.
What was a rewarding experience you’ve had this summer?
S: Making connections with either a reporter/editor and walking away with a solid byline article or interview that got placed in a publication. Being able to come away with a pitch we drafted and having press placement is super rewarding.
L: I think the best feeling was David telling me that I did a good job on something, because to me, it meant that I had truly learned how to do that task. Since I’ve never had PR experience before, having someone with years of experience recognize my efforts felt really good.
Any tips you’d share with future interns?
S: Regardless what your field is, you should always be watching or reading the news (I start every morning with NPR’s ‘Up First’ podcast). When working in an agency, it’s very important to keep in tune with industry news that your clients are involved with. I ended up subscribing to certain publications that covered our clients news to see what issues were prominent. And this goes for everything. Even just scanning headlines is important, because there’s always probably something happening that is relevant to your client and their public relations strategy.
L: Stay organized and on top of everything – David will throw stuff at you and you’ll have to be able to handle it quickly. Reread, reread, reread. Understand the project you’re going into (don’t be afraid to ask David questions, he is intimidating at first, but he doesn’t bite) and double check every email you send out.