PRSSA- The Reason I’ll Be Successful

One word to describe the first day at your first internship?

Horrifying.

Walking into Needham Partners on my first day of my first ever internship was one of the most nerve-wracking  days of my life. I was so scared I wasn’t going to be good enough, that I wasn’t going to be the intern they were hoping for.

After my first few days, I started to realize that I had nothing to be nervous about because I was prepared for whatever they would throw my way.

Why was I prepared? I owe it all to PRSSA-UD. eboard

I couldn’t be happier that I joined PRSSA at the beginning of my freshman year because I have already learned more than I would ever learn in a classroom. First, I learned about all of the do’s and dont’s of resume making in PRSSA I learned that when applying for specific jobs/internships, you have to change your resume to appeal to the people at that company. When applying for my internship at Needham Partners, which is a marketing and public relations company that organizes large conferences for huge corporations and important people, I knew some of the things on my resume wouldn’t be relevant when they were reviewing my resume so I took them off.

Second, during PRSSA, we had a meeting dedicated to making and perfecting our LinkedIn profiles. Having a LinkedIn that is updated and descriptive is very important for employers when they are looking for new employees. Having a LinkedIn came in handy when getting my internship because I have been using it very often in all of the work that I do in the office.

Another great thing about PRSSA is all of the trips that we go on. Every semester we take trips to talk to professionals in all types of industries. They tell us about how they got to where they are today and they give us tips about  what we can do to be successful. This year I went to Tipton Communications, a PR agency in Newark, DE and Hunter Public Relations in NYC. I learned so much from the people working at these two companies and they gave me so many great tips that I have been using at my internship and that I can use in the future.

Lastly, because of PRSSA I feel that I have matured professionally. Being able to watch all of our Executive Board this year, and having the amazing opportunity to be on the Executive Board next year, I feel that I have matured a lot. If I had started my internship a year ago I would not only have been very un-prepared but I wouldn’t have been as emotionally ready or as mature as I am starting my internship now. I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to intern at this great company and I owe all of my success at this internship and in the future to PRSSA-UD.

Written by: Katherine Bartell

katherineKatherine Bartell is a Sophomore at the University of Delaware and is from Nanuet, Ny. She is majoring in Communication Interest and minoring in Spanish. Katherine is so excited to be apart of the PRSSA Executive board. She loves the beach and spending time with family and friends. Katherine’s favorite place she has ever traveled to was Rome, Italy and she hopes to be able to return to Italy and travel in Europe after she graduates college. She has a crazy obsession for Disney and loves the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Katherine hopes to have a career in PR agency when she graduates college. She is extremely proud to be a Blue Hen and feels so lucky and happy to attend UD.

#UDoPR: PRSSA-UD’s Unforgettable Day in the City That Never Sleeps

“Everything I owe to PRSSA. I would not be here without it.” – Grace Leong, University of Delaware Communication alumna and owner of Hunter Public Relations.

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Two weeks ago, fifteen members of PRSSA-UD traveled to New York City for the semester’s agency field trip. The weather threatened to downpour, but never once did we have to run for cover. After arriving bright and early in Manhattan, all fifteen of us eagerly anticipated the many adventures the day would bring. As a lover of all things social, meeting The College Prepster, visiting Hunter Public Relations, and touring Buzzfeed HQ reinforced exactly why I adore public relations.

First stop: brunch with Carly, AKA The College Prepster, at Le Pain café. Carly’s career in the blogosphere boomed unexpectedly, but Carly has learned a lot about public relations through the process. While chatting with her, she explained that knowing your audience and what they’re into are critical for both blogging and public relations. “Learn social media etiquette as quickly as possible,” Carly urged. “Anything on social media can and will be traced back to you so always represent yourself (and your company) professionally.”

Next stop: a visit to Hunter Public Relations. Grace Leong, Hunter PR owner and University of Delaware graduate, majored in Communication and founded the PRSSA-UD chapter. Her passion for what she does is evident in both her words and actions. Speaking with her was encouraging, refreshing, and motivating. Grace promised that although working in a fast-paced agency can be exhausting, it is extremely rewarding. “When you get burned out,” Leong encouraged, “do more of it [what you do], but change the scenery. It helps reignite your passion and creativity.”

After our discussion with Grace, I walked away with three tips for success:

  1. Be transparent. Always admit you’re sorry.
  2. In a job interview, state the impact and relate it back to the company and how you would fit in
  3. While job searching, look at the entire package of the company. Salary isn’t everything and it won’t motivate you through the hard days—go with your gut and do what you love.

The final stop: a tour to Buzzfeed Headquarters. The HQ reminded me of Google’s office in the movie, The Internship. Not only did the office include a life-sized cutout of Ryan Gosling, but there were ping pong tables, foose-ball tables, an Xbox, and a few giant TVs. One of the employees, Ashley, gave us insight about what it’s like to work at a social media-focused company. Her #1 tip for success: “Marketing is paid media, but public relations is earned media. Knowing this, the distribution strategy is as important as the idea itself.

Although we heard advice from three different perspectives, the overall message stayed consistent. Public relations is relationship building. Whether you build that relationship through blogging, working directly with a client at an agency, or focusing strictly on the social media aspect, implementing public relations skills is critical for long-term success. As a field trip attendee, the experience further sparked my passion for PRSSAA, motivated me to keep pursuing my dream, and reinforced the true value and importance of public relations. Bill Gates summarized it best: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.”

To read the tweet-by-tweet summary of the day’s events, click here for the Storify! 

By: Keri Betters

Keri is a junior Interpersonal Communication major with a double minor in advertising and interactive media and a concentration in public relations. She currently serves as PRSSA-UD’s Program Director and will be the PR Director for the 2014-2015 academic year. In addition to serving on PRSSA-UD’s executive board, she is a UD Social Media Ambassador, a social media marketing intern for UD Career Services Center, a youth group leader, and a member of Lambda Pi Eta. Connect with her on Twitter, @LilMissKeri93.