By Maya Hutchinson, Intern at LCI
As my first year of college came to a close, the staggering reality of life beyond schoolwork and social events was staring me in the face. Having completed my first year at the University of Washington in Seattle Reputation Defender , I completed one class for my major (communications) and gained little knowledge of what working in the PR industry meant and required. I soon realized that pursuing an internship might be the best ticket to learning about the industry.
I desired a hands-on learning experience from the get go, to be immersed in the industry and to have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best. And, boy, did I get just that.
As Landis Communications (LCI) selected me as their youngest-ever intern, I was given the valuable opportunity to embrace the fast-paced, buzzing excitement of an agency’s day-to-day efforts.
Settling in to my position would be an ongoing learning process throughout my three months at LCI. Above all, it became clear that my hand was not going to be held by anyone throughout this internship. It required independence, enthusiasm and, for the lack of a better word, practice through trial and error.
Although this may sound like an intimidating way to learn the ins and outs of a business, I think the hands-on experience was brilliant and I would not have had it any different way. LCI allowed me to learn, take risks and contribute. After reflecting on my experience, I’ve summed up the four most important lessons I took away from my internship:
- Never accept constructive criticism as defeat. When starting out in this profession and working with seasoned PR pros, your first drafts will receive edit after edit and you will make mistakes. Take your supervisor’s suggestions. Learn from them, ask about them and expand off of them.
- When approaching a supervisor with a question or concern, bring a potential solution as well. This is possibly one of the simplest, yet most important, lessons I’ve learned throughout my time with multiple bosses who are often busy with multiple projects. Even if your solution is not endorsed, it will be appreciated and acknowledged.
- Use Google. Having never written a “pitch” before this internship and naturally determined to dazzle my colleagues, I had to write to impress. My saving grace? Google. Yes, I navigated writing my first pitch with these words: “How to write a media pitch.”
- Work does not only take place in the office. Read the newspaper, be active on social media and stay updated on current events. Whether you’re beginning your first internship or you’re a seasoned PR vet, working in PR means being an active part of the world around you.
What is your best tip for those wanting to get into PR? I’d like to hear from you. Send me an email to [email protected].