This post is part of our intern blog series that aims to help young professionals land and make the most of their PR agency internships. For the next few weeks, our whiz-bang team of interns will give you some insider information on What They Didn’t Tell You about careers in PR.
We get it. We’ve gone through the highs and lows of life after college. It’s tough, and fighting through it on your own can be confusing, frustrating and absolutely terrifying. We also know that when all of your hard work pays off and you land your first internship or job, it’s totally worth it!
In the coming months, we’re going to use this blog to pass on some of the wisdom we’ve acquired during our time as Weber Shandwick Seattle interns. We’re going to share with you aspects about working in PR that your teachers, parents and college career centers might not have told you about. Or as we like to call it: What They Didn’t Tell You.
But before we do that, here’s a little about us and what we plan to write about in the coming months.
Practice: Global Tech
College/Major: University of Southern California, Communications
What aspect of PR attracted you to the industry?
I discovered PR was the career for me when I landed my first PR job after graduation. Each day was different and I got to work with a diverse set of clients. That’s when I realized that I prefer constant, new challenges rather than routine work. PR offers new experiences every day and the work is fluid – from communicating ideas to the client, to learning new tools, to building a media list for pitching. There is never a dull day. Interning at Weber Shandwick Seattle has also been a breath of fresh air in terms of people and work culture. I am fortunate to be a part of a creative agency that gives maximum opportunity to its interns.
Watch for Deepthi’s upcoming comparison post of the LA and Seattle PR scenes.
Marina Ferrer Lopez [@marinaferrerlo, LinkedIn, Website]
Practice Areas: Global Tech, Creative Services
College/Major: University of Washington, Masters in Digital Media
Why did you come to Seattle?
I left Spain for Seattle a year and a half ago – leaving behind family, friends, work and the sun. Do I regret it? Not at all. Aside from the challenge and excitement of living abroad, I came to the U.S. to get a deeper understanding of the digital world. I believe that the U.S. is where all newest and best digital trends, start-ups and innovative ideas are coming from. Here at Weber Shandwick Seattle I am learning new PR and digital communications skills, getting great experience working at a global agency and exposing myself to a different culture and work environment than I had back home.
Look for Marina’s comparison post of working in sunny Spain versus rainy Seattle.
Caitlin Joyce [LinkedIn]
Practice Area: Global Tech
College/Major: Seattle University, Strategic Communications with a Minor in Creative Writing
What experience led you to a career in PR?
The first indication that PR was for me came when I was a high school junior. It was then that a local Florida band introduced me to the world of street teams and guerilla marketing. In no time, I was hooked on the exhilaration of brainstorming, sharing my obsessions with like-minded individuals and being innovative with events. When I factored in my love of the written word and my lack of patience with novel writing, PR just made sense as a career. It was a decision I made senior year of high school, and I haven’t changed my mind yet.
Keep an eye out for Caitlin’s thoughts on the entirely different worlds of the classroom and the office.
Krystal Lin [@lin_krystal, LinkedIn, Blog]
Practice Area: Global Tech
College/Major: University of Washington, Psychology; Law, Societies, and Justice
What skills learned as a student apply to PR?
You might be surprised to know that a lot of the skills and knowledge I’ve learned from my “non-typical-PR majors” are actually quite useful in PR. For example, being a Psychology major required me to be well versed in research, which helps me to develop systematic ways of monitoring client coverage, as well as execute analysis and tracking reports. And all those papers I wrote for my Law, Societies, and Justice classes definitely helped me sharpen my writing skills – you can’t expect to succeed in PR if you dislike writing! I was also heavily involved in various student organizations during college, and my experiences there helped me learn how to work and communicate effectively with others. It also helped me to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions while under a tight budget. Overall, I believe that the various experiences I had in college contributed to both my interest and motivation to succeed in PR, and I look to fully leverage these skills and more at Weber Shandwick Seattle.
Stay tuned for Krystal’s examination post of the differences between the Hollywood perception of PR and real PR.
Andrea Ruge [@andrea_ruge, LinkedIn]
Practice Area: Global Tech, Consumer
College/Major: Seattle Pacific University, Communications with a Minor in Business Administration
How does Weber Shandwick Seattle provide a different experience from other PR internships?
Weber Shandwick is unique in that it provides an engaging environment for interns to thrive and succeed. Since I’ve started, I have had nothing but great experiences. From team meetings to office parties, I have never felt more welcome. I have felt valued and respected, which are two feelings that can be hard to come by when you’re just an intern. At Weber I don’t feel as though I’m “just an intern”—I am an essential component of a well-oiled machine. My team continues to challenge me and mold me into the PR professional I desperately want to be.
Keep checking back for Andrea’s post on how to always keep your eye on the ball.
Practice Area: Global Tech
College/Major: Gonzaga University, English with Minors in Journalism and Music
What has been the most exciting part of working in PR?
There are a lot of exciting parts of working in PR, but my personal favorite is the opportunity to learn about a lot of different industries. I switched careers a lot during and after college, getting experience in book publishing, magazine journalism, teaching and even working as a shipping coordinator at a holly farm (no joke). I genuinely enjoyed all of those experiences, and know that all of them allowed me to learn about a wide variety of topics. During my short time at Weber Shandwick Seattle, I’ve primarily been on the Samsung team, but have done small projects for a number of clients. I’m constantly looking for new experiences and subjects to learn about, and working for a company that is so supportive of that provides a wonderful experience.
Watch out for Julia’s post on repurposing skills you learned in non-PR classes and jobs.
Ivan Vukovic [@ivanvukovic, LinkedIn]
Practice Areas: Government Affairs, Consumer, Social Impact
College/Major: University of Washington, Communication
What kind of splash are you looking to make in the PR industry?
Content stands tall as the driving factor in my PR pursuits. Whether it’s a blog post, video or infographic, nothing ignites me more than a tangible piece of media that can be experienced, discussed and shared. In PR, we introduce content that affects how audiences perceive a brand. In my eyes, there’s simply no better approach and Weber Shandwick Seattle is the perfect place to do this. By working alongside experienced team members who are knowledgeable about engaging audiences, I hope to create, curate and distribute content that will help clients become the centers of conversations. With the volume of online content that exists today, the challenge will be to orchestrate something big, something sleek, something unique. It’s a challenge I look forward to taking on.
Keep an eye out for Ivan’s post that will try to explain just what it is a PR professional does.
Whether you’re a Communication student, a recent grad or one of the fortunate that has already landed a great internship, we hope our posts will be helpful. But it’s not all about us. Post a comment. Hit us up via tweet. Start your own PR blog and send us the link. We want to hear from you!