– Name: Allison Lane
Internships are something every college student thinks about as a way for them to get a job right after college. Getting hands on experience in an industry is deemed as one of the best ways to showcase why you’re the best. Even if you’re working for free.
That’s the way I saw internships when I was a freshman. I wanted to make my mark and have as many people know me as possible so I would have a better chance at becoming a full time employee after graduation. But I also wanted to stick my hands in as many cookie jars as humanly possible so I could learn from as many different supervisors as possible in as many different industries as possible.
My plan worked until last summer. Prior to 2012 I had 4 internships ranging from a blogging internship at a fashion/beauty online magazine to a marketing internship for Newark Beth Israel Hospital to a communications/marketing internship for an online sports memorabilia store. Everything changed when I got my internship at The Madison Square Garden Company. Telling people I was a summer associate at MSG, albeit in sales, was a dream come true and I was going to hold onto that for as long as possible…which is why I decided to come back.
Even though MSG was, and still is, my dream company to work for, I had a hard decision to make because I did want to spend my final summer as an undergraduate intern doing something different. And a lot of people recommend not interning at the same company twice but here’s why I think that’s wrong.
- Don’t Settle
This is something my boss told me from day 1 and it’s something I’m never going to forget. As soon as I put my stuff down at my desk this summer I sat down with my boss to discuss my new goals for this summer. I loved working at MSG last year and learned a lot about sales and marketing but I wanted more. If you choose to intern at the same place more than once make that clear. Learn as much as possible and don’t do the same tasks as the previous year. Do more.
- More Experience = More Responsibility
Another perk that comes with returning to a pervious internship is you know the lay of the land. My position requires a lot of data input and updating spreadsheets and pulling reports from different systems. Because I was here a year ago I only needed a quick refresher on how to do all of that. If I was just starting out it would have taken about a week, maybe more, to learn everything. This meant I was given bigger projects faster because I knew what I was doing.
- You Know The Players
In my opinion this is the most important part about returning to a company. Depending on how long you go between internships, people might have left or been fired but regardless some people will still be working with you that you already know. For me, 95% of the people I worked with last year were here this year. And the cherry on top was a lot of them remembered me. Knowing people is great but the most important thing, regardless of if you plan on returning or not, is making sure they know who you are. I walked in on day 1 and people were welcoming me back and saying how great it was to see me interning here again. This also relates to point #2 because some of the people from last year got promoted and they have asked me to help them with projects they’re working on because they know what I can accomplish.
A lot of people have asked me why I decided to intern at MSG again doing the same thing as last year. I respond with a smile and tell them it’s because I don’t plan on doing the same things as last year. Sure, there still are some day to day things that I find myself doing that I did a year ago but I’m now working with the Senior Vice President on a few big projects for the President of the company on top of that.
Even though there are a lot of benefits to having a variety of internships so you can have different experiences, whatever you do, make sure it feels right. MSG felt like home to me because I had a background working with the company, had new goals I wanted to accomplish my second time here and I knew who I was dealing with. So that’s why I came back.
-Written by: Nikki Kirschner
– Class year: Senior
– PRSSA E-Board Position: Public Relations Director
– Nicknames: Kerbear, Carols,
K-Dawg, Eliza, Ker, KB Toys, Betters
– Favorite meal/foods: Dinner’s my favorite meal! Favorite foods are grape leaves (a Lebanese dish), hummus, chicken and broccoli casserole, coffee (it’s a food group, I promise), and watermelon.
– If you could meet anyone: Johnny Depp, Tim Tebow, Troy Polamalu, and Michael Jackson.
– Dream career: My dream career is to go into sports PR (ideally for my favorite team of all time, the Pittsburgh Steelers) and/or become the next Erin Andrews.
– Sibling(s): I have three younger brothers: Jeremy (19–he goes to UD, too!), Zachary (16), and Joshua (10).
– Pet(s): Sadly, no pets currently, but I really want a white husky with blue eyes!
– If you could travel anywhere: Australia, Hawaii, Neverland, and Narnia.
– Favorite place to study on campus: Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and The ISE Lab.
– Guilty pleasure: The Bachelorette and caramel iced coffee.
– Weird habit: Most of the time, I purposely spell my name wrong at Starbucks because I’ve realized that’s a battle I’m never going to win. Also, before any stressful event (interview, exam, competition, etc), I listen to “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson on repeat. Don’t know when this habit started, but it calms my nerves every time!
– Class year: Senior
– PRSSA E-Board Position: President
– Nickname: Nat, Natty, and Patty
– Favorite meal/foods: Spaghetti for lunch or dinner, or a mid-day snack. Also, chips and salsa. Don’t forget the guac!
– If you could meet anyone: Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon.
– Dream career: I aspire to work in communications or public relations that benefit children in some way. I have always wanted to work with Buddy Valastro, of TLC’s Cake Boss. We’ll see.
– Sibling(s): I have an older sister, Erica, who works in human resources for Delmarva Power.
– Pet(s): Unfortunately, no. But dachshunds are my favorite.
– If you could travel anywhere: Italy.
– Favorite place to study on campus: Trabant chapel and library multimedia center.
– Guilty pleasure: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Also, Christmas cookies.
– Weird fact: I have traveled to the very top and bottom of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, I met Jessica Simpson and Kelly Rowland and I once wanted to be an artist.
One word to describe the first day at your first internship?
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.
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
Katherine 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.
“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.
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:
- Be transparent. Always admit you’re sorry.
- In a job interview, state the impact and relate it back to the company and how you would fit in.
- 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.