Victoria describes Hunter PR as “the most productive and innovative classroom I’ve ever been in.” Experience the excitement of the New York City-based PR agency through this Inter[n]view!
PRSSA-UD: Hunter PR is based right in New York City; that’s exciting! Do you enjoy working in a PR agency?
VD: Considering this is my first official PR internship, having the opportunity to get acclimated into the industry at an award-winning PR agency has been a remarkable learning experience. Getting to put the skills that I have acquired over the years to the test and seeing how much farther I still have to go has proven to be much more challenging and rewarding than I ever expected. I knew that I would love the PR industry from the minute I was exposed to it, and now I am even more convinced that it’s where I belong.
PRSSA-UD: It sounds like you’ve found your niche! Has there been anyone in particular that made you feel like you belong?
VD: Being the Barbara Hunter Fellow, I was provided with many different mentors and supervisors on my first day to assist me throughout my time at Hunter. In addition to the amazing assistance and guidance they have provided me over the past weeks, I have found that everyone I have worked with has been both welcoming and willing to assist me, whether it be with helping me complete my assignments or providing insight on the industry in general. It’s amazing to be able to work in such a welcoming and inviting environment.
PRSSA-UD: That’s wonderful that you’ve been in such an approachable environment. What is something that surprised you along the way?
VD: It was surprising to see the number of skills that a PR professional needs to have at their disposal on a daily basis that cannot be taught in a classroom. I thought I had a decent number of the basic skills necessary to get myself started, but from day one I was already being tasked with things that I had to learn how to complete from the ground up. While frustrating at times, that is what I love about this industry. I have the opportunity to learn something new or acquire a new skill everyday as well as share what I know with others. At the end of the day, all of the employees at Hunter are working together to find the most efficient and innovative way to get our jobs done. In a way, Hunter has been the most productive and informative classroom I have ever been in.
PRSSA-UD: How about experience outside of the classroom? Had you gotten any previous PR experience with other organizations?
VD: Last semester, I interned at a local nonprofit where I was tasked with assisting in the development of their various social media channels. Though I never consider this facet of Public Relations to be my forte, while having the opportunity to work on the Social & Digital Team at Hunter I have found that dynamic aspect of the industry extremely intriguing and something that I would love to further expose myself to.
PRSSA-UD: What would you say to an intern who is just starting out, and afraid to “annoy” their supervisors?
VD: Communicate with your supervisors and other employees as much as possible! They are your single greatest resource when you’re just starting out in the industry. All of them were once in your shoes and know what they wish someone has told them when they were just starting out. Not to mention, the more they teach you, the more of an asset you can be during your time at the company. It’s a win-win for everyone!
PRSSA-UD: What has been the most difficult aspect of working in a PR agency?
VD: Assimilating into a new, fast-paced environment was definitely challenging. I have seen even the most thought-out plan change at a moments notice, and adjusting and moving forward quickly is imperative to getting anything accomplished. Though these daily challenges can be overwhelming at times, I have found the constant opportunities to challenge myself to think more creatively extremely stimulating.
PRSSA-UD: In what ways has this internship contributed to your professional development?
VD: Over the past 2 months, I have developed more confidence in my professional abilities than I ever thought I would have by the age of 20. Coming into this experience, I was extremely intimidated by the responsibility of representing UD and PRSSA-UD as the first recipient of the Barbara Hunter Fellowship. With so much at stake, I knew that the only way I was going to be able to perform up to these standards was by developing confidence in my ability to get the job done. There’s still a lot I have to learn, and some days are definitely more challenging than others, but I know that if I come away from this experience making a positive contribution to Hunter, I can overcome any other professional challenges presented to me in the future.
PRSSA-UD: We are thrilled that you represented us this summer, Victoria! What is the most helpful thing your supervisor did to make you feel comfortable as a temporary staff member?
VD: From day one, everyone at Hunter treated me like an employee. Everyone has been more than willing to assist me in any way that they can, but at the same time I know that my work is held to the same standard as the work done by every other employee. In my first few weeks at Hunter, I was asked to pitch top-tier media, be a part of client calls and brainstorms where my ideas played a part in developing an overarching projects, and present research on ways to more effectively utilize our client’s social channels. That sense of responsibility put on me by my supervisors proves that they trust in my abilities to successfully get the job done, and that I should as well. I have found a great deal of comfort in being trusted enough to be considered a member of the team.
PRSSA-UD: What is the best advice you would give to future interns?
VD: At the workshop the Hunter gave to our chapter in April, we were encouraged to never be afraid of voicing those crazy “get fired ideas,” because they often foster the most innovative and creative solutions. Over my time at Hunter, I have found that this applies to me in more ways than just encouraging me to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind during a brainstorm. I have learned to not be afraid to ask questions or take the risk of doing something that intimidates me without fearing what will happen it does not go as planned. Changing my mindset from, “this is beyond my abilities,” to, “this is just something I haven’t yet had the opportunity to figure out,” has not only tremendously enhanced my confidence but also given me the chance to perform at a level that I didn’t think I was capable of. By not being afraid of getting fired, I have found that I have developed a new sense of confidence in my ability to get the job done that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my professional career (and will hopefully, in turn, enhance my job security).
Victoria Dellacava is a rising junior at the University of Delaware and PRSSA-UD’s Vice President of Professional Development. When she isn’t busy chasing her dreams in New York City, she is pursuing an Interpersonal Communications major and minors in Advertising, Leadership, and Public Policy. You can connect with Victoria on Twitter, @VDellacava.