Farewell Post

 

Well, I can’t believe that the semester is already coming to a close. It feels like just yesterday it was January—and the weather still feels like it, too sometimes!

I had an amazing experience thus far at the Hatcher Group, and as you know from previous posts, I will be staying there for the summer as a full-time fellow. In my final post, I’d like to share four things that I learned this semester as an intern in my first public relations internship. In addition, I will try to provide some advice for students looking for their first public relations internships.

1.)  It all starts with a connection! The thing is, our professors at AU know people. They know important people, they know influential people, and they know people who can give you rewarding internship opportunities! The reason professors bring guest speakers to class is so that you can see the real-world implications of what they are teaching in class every other day. My best advice to anyone is take advantage of these guest speakers. If you are interested in what they do or their organization, get a business card. Follow up and reach out to them when you are applying for an internship. It never hurts, and your connection through your professor can be your “in” to any company, foundation, or government agency in D.C.

2.)  What you have to say may be more relevant than you think. In staff meetings, group sessions at work or any other interactions with co-workers, don’t be afraid to speak up if you think you have a good idea or some valuable input. I found this especially important with anything related to technology. Chances are, many of the older people you work with or your bosses might not know your capabilities when it comes to deign, video work, power point presentations, or the Internet. If you think you can do more with your skill set, offer it! They will love you for it in the end.

3.)  Take any Excel, DreamWeaver, or CSS/HTML classes you possibly can. Excel and DreamWeaver are probably two of the most important software systems you should be familiar with if you are going to pursue an internship or career in public relations. Excel will be your best friend at any level of the public relations field and DreamWeaver is the future of the business for weekly newletters, ecards, and updates for client events etc.

4.)  Don’t be afraid to ask for a job. If you really enjoy your internship and put a lot of effort into it, don’t be afraid to ask to stay for another semester or ask for a job. The worst they could say is “no.” Not to mention, it will just show that you are interested and they may think of you later if a possible job opens up. I asked to stay as a full-time fellow for the summer, and although I didn’t get an immediate answer, they did offer me the job. Taking up the courage to ask, paid off for me and it can for you, too.

 

Overall, I had a great semester as an intern at the Hatcher Group. I’m looking forward to continuing my work there this summer, and who knows what will happen in the future!

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