#Interns101: Making a Difference in Public Relations

BY: GILLIAN ZUCKER

Every time I meet someone new or attend a family function, I’m asked the inevitable, “So, you’re a Communication major, what are you looking to do after graduation?” For a while, that question overwhelmed me as I considered avenues of the field that related to my passions. Could there be a way for me to unite my dream of helping people and making a difference from my community service background with agency work?

As I navigated the industry more, I decided to explore internship options to help organizations on campus before moving onto the bustling agency life in a major city. This past summer, I was grateful for the opportunity to work as a Social Media Marketing intern for three official University of Delaware accounts: the Career Services Center, Residence Life & Housing, and the UDairy Creamery. While each organization had different specific messages to promote to audiences, I found that they all shared the mission of positively impacting the lives of those in the surrounding community and outer world. For example, the Career Services Center aimed to prepare students and alumni for a prosperous life after graduation as they follow their passions, Residence Life & Housing worked to make the university an inclusive community for all residents, and UDairy served as an environmentally sustainable venture teaching all of its passionate student workers about running an impactful business – among various organizational goals.

Through these internships, I was given almost full creative control of the content appearing on each channel, (typically Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) with approval from my supervisors, of course. As someone who will be managing multiple client accounts at once at a future agency, this was a welcome challenge. Overall, these experiences taught me about the importance of keeping an organized content calendar, staying on top of trends and university news that connected to the brand message of each account, and finally, they helped me grow my network of professionals who I can turn to for industry advice.

Now, I can successfully answer any questions about my future in the public relations industry. Lately, I’ve discovered that my goal is to work with clients that make a difference for the communities they serve, especially non-profit clients that delve in the areas of mental health, environmental sustainability, and gender equity, to name a few. With these opportunities under my belt and by uniting my passions of public relations and service to the community, I know I will feel fulfilled in my work after graduation and help others.

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