From The Rock

Enjoying the roller coaster of a PR agency internship

By | August 02, 2017

This summer has been quite transformative for me. I will begin my senior year of college this August, so I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I’m about to enter adulthood, which is terrifying and exciting. I was also able to travel more than 4,000 miles to spend nearly two weeks in the United Kingdom. That experience was one I’ll never forget, and it taught me a lot about myself and the world we live in. In addition to all of this, I was given the opportunity to intern at Obsidian.

Being that this is my first internship, I had no idea what to expect, but I can say that interning at an agency is like a rollercoaster: fast-paced and always moving. It’s a lot of work, a lot of teamwork and brainstorming, and it’s also a lot of fun. If you are considering applying for an internship or don’t know what to expect out of an upcoming internship, let me share some insight on what it takes to succeed.

Stay organized. With any internship comes a myriad of responsibilities, and it’s your job to maintain them. Your boss has other things to worry about than whether or not you’ll complete an assignment on time. Personally, I keep my planner, notebook and pens with me and my email, online calendar and hour log open at all times. This helps me stay on top of assignments, keep track of due dates and remember meetings or other important events.

Pay attention. This may be obvious, but it is imperative to doing well during your internship. Whether it’s double-checking a press release to make sure you spelled a name correctly or taking notes during a staff meeting, little details make all the difference.

Learn from mistakes. You’ll make mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s almost inevitable. The key here is to learn from them. Take notes of edited drafts and be sure to apply the edits to your next assignment. You won’t know everything as soon as you walk through the door, but you’ll realize how much you’ve grown by the time you leave.

Ask questions. I feel like this is one of the biggest things I’ve learned during my time at Obsidian. There’s never a stupid question. Asking questions means you’re eager and want to learn. I can almost guarantee that your co-workers will be more than happy to help you. Keep in mind that they’ve been in your shoes before and know exactly how it feels.

Communicate. Once again, this is obvious. However, a lack of communication could be detrimental. As players in the PR field, communication is a huge part of our everyday lives. However, I feel like it’s a skill we sometimes forget to use. It is so much more than press releases or new advisories, it’s asking a question when you’re confused on an assignment, being friendly to your co-workers or letting your boss know when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Communication really is key.

My time at Obsidian has been full of learning and laughter (when we’re not busy typing). If you get the chance to intern at a business, company, organization or wherever it may be, take it! It won’t be easy, and it won’t be fun all the time; but I can promise that it will be worth it.

Carlee Smith is one of Obsidian’s Level 1 summer interns. She is an Arkansas State University student graduating May of 2018. Learn a little more about Carlee here.