“Summer school” : From UD student to UD Intern

Summer. The optimal time for lounging around the house, acquiring the perfect tan, and sleeping until noon. Right? Well, sure, it can be. While I totally support those who opt for a much-deserved three month vacation, I wanted to fill my summer days with professional development and, of course, public relations.

Instead of breaking away from the University scene for the summer, I decided to move into my off-campus apartment early and intern with UD’s Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM).Here, I see UD from a public relations perspective without sitting in a classroom, reading a single textbook, or completing an assignment at midnight. Instead, I break out my work attire every morning to complete various public relations tasks for the University.

I began my internship by writing feature articles for UDaily with assignments ranging from the summer Farmer’s Market to a 74-year-old UD undergraduate (coming soon!). My days consisted of interviewing some fascinating individuals, researching multiple subjects, sifting through a lot of information, finding key components, and constructing articles that would be clear to a general audience. The steps may seem daunting, but the final product is always worth it. As a result, I have tightened up my writing, developed my style, increased my efficiency, and seen my work published online. Talk about thrilling!

As my internship progresses, the variety and length of my to-do list expands—and I love it! Along with my articles, I now help out with New Student Orientation (NSO) and interview Blue Hen Says’sNew Blue Hen of the Day. This outing allows me to represent the OCM, interact with other interns, and bring a smile to an incoming freshman’s face. Priceless.

Finally, I just started working on media relations tasks, and I have to say, I absolutely adore it. I’m currently updating the UD experts page, a database designed for journalists seeking quotes from UD professors. My work also includes creating an editorial calendar and tracking media placements for both UD and UD faculty. These opportunities have increased my interest in media relations, and I can’t wait to begin other projects!

Right from the get-go, I loved my work and I loved my coworkers. All of the OCM employees warmly welcomed me, and I feel so lucky to walk into work every morning and greet the many smiling faces. I truly feel a part of the company culture, and that in itself has been a huge learning experience for me.

Between all of the writing, research, edits, emails, and multiple cups of coffee, I can honestly say I’m having an incredible summer. I can’t wait to bring my new skills to the PRSSA executive board and kick off a fantastic fall semester!

 – Laura Hepp


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