Gaining experience in your desired field is crucial for any occupation, but as all aspiring public relations professionals know, it is incredibly important in the communications field. It is common for students to seek out internships during their breaks from school to not only gain experience and apply knowledge learned in school, but also to make connections in firms and companies they aspire to be a part of someday.
This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern at a financial company in the D.C. area. I worked with the company SenecaOne for about six weeks. My official title was “HR/Marketing Intern,” but I had a lot of different projects throughout my internship. One thing I really appreciated was that I was assigned projects and given a timeline to complete them, rather than being stuck with frivolous busy work. While I still did my fair share of lunch runs and made hundreds of copies, the company was really great about making me feel like I was part of the team there.
A typical day for me at SenecaOne started around 7 a.m. when I commuted into the city. My days varied when working in the office. Sometimes I would help out with reception, answering calls and completing FedEx labels, or I would meet with our supervisor and plan out what needed to get accomplished that day. I would spend the rest of the day working on my projects, completing tasks around the office, or helping the HR and marketing departments with whatever they needed. I got an hour for lunch each day, which was a cool way to explore the city some on my own, and it gave me a great sense of independence. This also gave me a chance to make some connections within the office. As I became more comfortable, I reached out and invited different people to lunch. This helped me to learn more about what they did for the company and form closer bonds with the people with whom I was spending my summer. Aside from the work experience you gain, the connections you form within your office and beyond are arguably the most important part of any internship!
My projects varied throughout the summer depending on what the company needed most. One of my largest projects was with the HR department, and it involved creating a new hiring strategy for the company. I researched terminated employee files and compared them to extremely successful employee files, then created a new formula for hiring more successful employees based on their demographics. This created a better targeting strategy for the HR department and is actually still on file at the company today. This is very fulfilling, considering I spent weeks pouring over employee files in my office. Aside from my research project, I had smaller projects like creating posters and fliers for various company events and helping to find photos for the website.
Overall, I think that this internship experience was a great one for me. It was my first taste of working in a real office and gave me some insight on what it’s actually like to work as part of a team. It gave me a chance to apply some of the skills I learned in the classroom to real life. It was also so fulfilling to see my hard work pay off! I look forward to pursuing more internship opportunities in the future, and I would recommend the same to anyone else looking for a productive way to spend their summer.
-by Madison Croxson, PRSSA General Member
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.