Michelle Sachs’ time at Visit Bucks County has deepened her love for tourism and hospitality PR. This Inter[n]view, Michelle tells all about her summer working with a PR agency that celebrates the beauty of Pennsylvania.
PRSSA-UD: So Michelle, before our interview you mentioned you’ve always been interested in pursuing travel and hospitality PR, and you’ve obviously gotten some experience through Spoon University… Have there been any surprises for you during this internship?
MS: One thing I learned at my internship is how much behind-the-scenes work goes into every project. For example, Visit Bucks County (VBC) is in the middle of promoting our summer social media contest, and my team has gone way beyond just promoting it on social media. They’ve created one sheets and other marketing collateral to promote the contest, and personally reached out to all of our business partners to promote it.
PRSSA-UD: That’s one of the greatest parts about being an intern: seeing the behind-the-scenes magic. What have you enjoyed the most?
MS: I’ve enjoyed writing pitches to reporters in hopes that they’ll pick up my story and I’ve also enjoyed seeing my work get published on Www.VisitBucksCounty.com. The people I work with have also made this internship a very enjoyable experience.
PRSSA-UD: Congratulations on having work published! Wow! Do you feel that you have found a mentor?
MS: I definitely feel like I have found mentors at Visit Bucks County. Both of my supervisors, Jessica Lawlor and Rachel Lewullis, are incredibly down-to-Earth and intelligent women. I’ve learned so much from them throughout my summer internship and I feel comfortable asking them for advice and sharing my ideas.
PRSSA-UD: I’m sure someday you’ll be regarded at the same esteem you hold them.They sound like great women. What has been the most valuable experience of your internship so far?
MS: Cultivating a deeper understanding of the tourism and hospitality PR industry has been the most valuable experience I’ve taken away from my internship. In addition to all the work I’ve been doing, simply being in my office environment and learning from my supervisors has given me great insight into what this sector of PR is like.
PRSSA-UD: Immersion is the best way to learn! What previous experiences of yours do you think help you with this internship?
MS: Because my internship is writing intensive, it was very helpful to have my experience with Spoon University to write articles and social media posts for VBC. Because I previously interned at a PR agency, knowing how to format press releases and how to make media lists made doing work at this internship more familiar and I’ve been able to do more with it.
PRSSA-UD: How about for readers who haven’t had an internship already? What advice would you give them about communicating with their supervisor, both before and during the internship?
MS: Before beginning an internship, definitely check in with your supervisor a few weeks in advance to determine when you’re going to start, what time to come in, and on what days. This is also a good time to ask if you should bring your own laptop and about the company’s dress code if don’t know already.
During the internship, it’s important to keep your supervisor up to date with what you’ve completed, communicate any questions you have, and share your ideas.
PRSSA-UD: What was the most helpful thing your supervisors did to make you feel valued?
MS: My supervisors always include my fellow interns and me in their staff meetings and genuinely want to hear how we’re doing, what we’re working on, and what we want to contribute to the company, which makes me feel really welcome and like my ideas are valid.
PRSSA-UD: You are truly part of the team! Last but not least, what is the best advice you would give to future interns?
MS: Never be afraid to ask questions when you’re confused, and take initiative if you’ve come up with a good idea. If you ever have downtime, make the most of it by doing research for your company or seeking out opportunities that would benefit them.
Michelle Sachs is a junior with a Mass Communication major at the University of Delaware. She describes herself as an “amateur chef,” writes articles for Spoon University that will make your mouth water, and currently serves as PRSSA-UD’s Historian. You can follow along with Michelle’s adventures through her Twitter account, @michelle_sachs.