guiding the career in public relations

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Senior Year Tips from Exiting Intern

August 15th, 2011 · No Comments

Alex Moulchin

As I’m finishing up my last days at Wheatley & Timmons, a Chicago-based PR firm, I got the chance to ask the professionals some basic questions for the road ahead.  The one question that stood out the most to everyone:  Any advice for my senior year of college?


The industry, social media, local and world news are important, so pay attention!  They all can change rapidly.

Even though I’m going to be a senior, I’m going to enjoy my final year of college!  I’m going to step off my cloud and take a different business or communication class. When I was a junior, I took a radio/audio production class and loved it! Bottom line:  The more you explore, the easier it will be to find your niche.

Something I’ve learned:

So you don’t have a blog?  Get one!  It doesn’t matter if you blog for your PRSSA chapter or rescue dogs, blog about it and publish yourself.

Make yourself stand out.  Don’t just come into the office and act like an intern.  I felt like a member of W & T’s team.  Instead of easing into a project like a shy intern, I realized what needed to get done and did it with full force.

Use your voice. Participating in brainstorm sessions shows you want to be involved with a client.  The worse thing is to sit at your desk and realize you have nothing to do.  Whenever I had an easy day, I made sure to ask around if anyone needed help.  Whenever I used my voice, I was busy all day bettering projects for clients.

What I understand after my internship experience:

Research:  Yes, research is very important in the public relations industry and sometimes you need to dig deep to find what you’re looking for.  I researched everyday for new business opportunities or client competitors.

I’m not perfect. While working on fact sheets for a client, I royally messed up the layout for every fact sheet! Although it was my first week at my internship, I caught on after that to not be afraid and ask questions.  Even if you are unsure, ask!  Asking a question is simple and will save you time in the long run.

How an agency operates:  The equation of agency employees, clients, and a shared goal equals success. Anyone who works for a client wants to make them happy.  When you work for an agency, you should be passionate about promoting your client’s brands.

How my summer internship can make an impact on my senior year:

Working at an agency has changed my personality.  I use to be shy, but now I feel confident!  During lectures this upcoming year I plan to participate and share my opinion with my classmates, like a brainstorm session at an agency.

Reading trade publications are going to be a daily ritual.  Finding out new information during my internship made me more aware of certain industries.

Writing press releases, client emails and media audits transformed me into a better writer.  I don’t want to lose these skills, so I plan on writing press releases for practice. The writing center at my school can review them and give me feedback.

Alex Moulchin is entering her senior year at Valparaiso University where she is a Public Relations major.

Tags: Day in the Life · Future Leaders · Guest Post

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