How My Dream PR Internship Prepared Me for Post-Grad Life 27

This is a guest post by Alicia Kennedy. Follow her on Twitter @leeshy_b. Good luck, Alicia!

Last summer, I found myself skimming LinkedIn for any and all groups PR related. Less than a week later, I had accepted a position as an intern here at Racepoint Group. My role as a PR intern has been a natural fit for my skills and interests and I’ve enjoyed every minute of the last eight months here. But all good things must come to an end. In just a few short weeks I will be embarking on the next leg of my journey and I’ve realized just how important the skills I have developed at Racepoint are to post-grad life.

Here are five:

Time Management

It’s true that all of my experiences up to this point in my life have taught me a thing or two about time management. High school was a juggling act of basketball practice, music lessons and homework. College challenged me to balance office hours, research papers and club involvements. But until eight months ago, I had only one other job that kept me working against the clock. In my time here at Racepoint, I’ve learned to prioritize tasks under tight deadlines. No other experience in my life has challenged my time management skills quite like this. It is a skill that I am very proud of and one that will no doubt come in handy down the road.

Be Proactive

Some days are slow. Some days I finish my assignments in half the time and it can be tempting to waste away the final hours on Facebook or just pack up to beat the rush-hour traffic. But taking initiative and offering to help has allowed me to meet more people in the office and jump on new accounts. I’ve had the chance to learn about new industries that I had never been exposed to in the past. Most importantly, I’ve had the pleasure of helping Mary stock the “snack shack” on more than one occasion – a true honor! Being self-motivated is an important trait that will allow anyone to climb the career ladder quicker.

Work with Objectives

I’m not talking about page limits on a research paper or keeping a tweet to 140 characters. In PR, there are objectives and metrics tied to everything you do. Each task is measured and quantified. It took some getting used to at first, but I have grown to appreciate working with concrete objectives instead of lofty goals. Now, the goals I set for myself are more measureable and I like being able to see the returns from my efforts.

Be Concise

In PR you only have so many words or lines to get your point across. Nobody wants to read anything – even an email – it it’s full of fluff. Write clearly and write well. Speak clearly and speak well. Communication skills are something my generation lacks. I think I have a leg up on many of my peers!

Accept Criticism

My fatal flaw: I’m a perfectionist. I don’t just like to do things right, I also like to do them well. College and PR have both taught me that your first draft is never perfect. I’ve appreciated every piece of constructive criticism that has come my way during this internship. Accepting that you make mistakes shows willingness for self-improvement, a trait that will no doubt take me far in my career.

A big thank you to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with here at Racepoint this year. I hope our paths cross again in the future!

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