By: Isabella Antignani
This past winter I had the opportunity to work with a healthcare PR, marketing, and health communications consulting firm right here in Newark, Delaware, Tipton Health Communications. They specialize in assisting healthcare facilities (hospitals) in strategizing their internal and/or external PR campaigns. Tipton also has a consulting side to it, called Magnet and Pathway to Excellence. With these, Tipton focuses on giving guidance to nursing programs at hospitals to earn either Magnet status or Pathway to Excellence. Magnet is a program created by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and it’s considered one of the highest recognitions in nursing excellence. Pathway recognizes healthcare organizations who have great practices where nurses excel.
When I first applied to Tipton at the end of this past fall semester, I was worried because I had absolutely no experience in healthcare PR. I had seen their job posting on Handshake, and I wanted one last bit of experience before graduating (I highly recommend this), so I decided to just go for it. When I went in for the first round of interviews, I mentioned that I didn’t have any experience working with healthcare, however I knew it was a field that I was curious about. They reassured me that this was the kind of place that teaches you anything you would need to know, and I think that my enthusiasm and willingness to learn made a great impression. I’ve found that whenever you apply for something new or out of your comfort zone/area of expertise, if you show that you are willing to put in the work to learn, they will happily bring you on and teach you along the way.
Because I went into this internship not up to speed on pretty much anything within healthcare PR, I knew that I would be learning every step of the way. That meant making sure I was always attentive in every meeting, every internship check-in with my supervisor, not be afraid to ask questions (even if they seemed small or dumb, I was learning after all), and to do some research of my own when assigned certain projects.
I ask professionals now about their college experience and if they studied this particular career field. Many times professionals are surprised to see where their work takes them, but many know what they want to do and do just that. I ask them if they felt ill-prepared for their positions, and they just said it took a lot of catching up and researching. It just goes to show that even after graduating there will always be times where we still have to learn! Trust me, it can be fun when you’re working on projects and with companies you’re passionate about.