Over my winter break I had the opportunity to do a dual internship for Germinder & Associates and Goodnewsforpets.com. I’ll be sharing my experience with you by discussing what my day to day was like, what I learned throughout the process, and how this internship has prepared me for the future.
Working in the field of public relations is very fast paced and intense. It’s a constant struggle to meet deadlines, work with people, and solve problems. The day starts early with lots of coffee and an inbox full of unread emails. When a firm is working with multiple clients there are a lot of projects that are happening at the same time. The deadlines constantly shift and change. Often, when in the middle of something, some sort of new demand comes up that needs to be met immediately. This causes you to drop whatever you are doing and shift focus to the hot task at hand. This happened a lot. Most of the time I was reading, writing, editing, and organizing. From press releases to excel worksheets I always had to make sure I was organized. There’s a lot of back and forth when 4 people need to look at the same word document, so it pays to be organized and have a good naming system for your files. I also had to edit and proof a lot which is a crucial task in public relations. To give the client the best work or to post onto a website, your work needs to be flawless. No typos, no grammatical errors, no mistakes. It may take me 15 minutes to write a document, but I’ll spend the next 20 or so more making sure it’s perfect. Because as I found out, when you send out something that isn’t perfect, it can turn into a mess and creates more work and stress than if you just did it right the first time. Measure twice, cut once.
The most fun project I worked on was the Goodnewsforpets.com 15th Anniversary Contest series. I organized and sent out prizes to the winners, helped analyze contest results, and created a Contest Series binder book full of everything Goodnewsforpets.com did over the past 9 months. I found this to be enjoyable because as I was making the binder and doing analysis I got to see all the winner’s comments and the general comments from the public. When doing analytics, I see all these numbers like website views and contest entries, and its all about getting the biggest numbers possible. But when I see people actually talking about how much they love their pets and how great this contest is, that’s when I can start to feel really good about the work we are doing. It was extremely rewarding to be a part of a company that gives back. When you do something that makes a lot of people happy and you hear about it, it really provides a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
This winter internship has been a major success in growing my skills. I continued to develop my interpersonal skills with people as we worked in a team. I got better at working under pressure and delivering quality content at a very high level of pace. I enhanced my analytical and critical thinking skills as I worked with the head editor to think about how we can solve problems and provide feedback. Although I felt extremely proficient, there seems to be no end to the learning in Word and Excel as I became ever more adept at formatting and organization. And the most exciting thing that I really got to learn was the internal management of a small business and website. And what I truly took away from that is that the word “small” is deceiving. There are so many different pieces that fit into the puzzle. It takes editors, it takes accountants, publishers, IT people, graphic designers, social media gurus etc. Everyone needs to be passionate, creative, and hard-working. And they all have to work together, on tight deadlines, each contributing tons of hours of work. And then there’s the intern, who never says no to anything and will tackle any job thrown their way with enthusiasm. And I will admit, sometimes the job may involve getting a cup of coffee for the boss or organizing a mess of files. Yet, no matter how insignificant you may seem, you play a role in the success of the business. A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Be a good link, and you and the business will realize more success than you could have ever imagined.