As my time at Crosswind draws to an end, I can’t help but reflect on everything I have learned here. I always take something away from any of the internships I’ve held but working full-time in an agency setting all summer was certainly a new and exciting experience.
I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. The experience I have gained is invaluable and I couldn’t be more grateful for my time here. Here are a few of the key lessons I will take with me when I leave and I hope they will help other interns as well:
Confidence is Key
My first day of work, the agency decided to plan a flood relief benefit concert for Central Texas flood victims, which was to take place just four short weeks later. Having lived in San Marcos for the past 4 years (Eat ‘em up,Cats!), the Memorial Day weekend floods devastating Central Texas had a significant impact on me and I knew the benefit concert was something I had to be a part of.
Simply by raising my hand and offering to help, I was thrown into the whirlwind of event planning and ended up being the point person for the event’s social media and web content. It was sink or swim, so I gave it my all and learned so much in that short amount of time. The concert was a huge success and it was an honor to give back to the communities that gave so much to me while I was in college. That experience would have been wasted had I not stood up and volunteered.
If you’ve ever worked or interned in any kind of mass communication setting you know that deadlines are EVERYTHING. If you want to keep your clients happy, be on time.
With the benefit concert, and every other project I worked on this summer, there was no time to be dragging my feet. Event details had to be planned and media had to be pitched. I had to move quickly and efficiently to get things done or it simply wasn’t going to happen. That will leave you with unhappy clients and as we all know, happy clients = happy life.
90% of PR is problem solving
This summer has convinced me that one of the most useful skills I have acquired over the years is problem solving. As a PR professional, my job is to make things happen. But as anyone in the industry can tell you, things rarely go according to plan. So ultimately my job is to be a problem-solver.
Things have to get done (refer back to the happy client bit). So if something doesn’t work one way, you come up with a different way to do it. If it turns out it won’t work at all, you come up with other options to replace it. It’s all about figuring it out and making it happen, despite the odds being against you.
The Importance of Work-Life Balance
Along with interning full-time at Crosswind this summer, I was also planning my wedding that will take place a week after my internship ends. So to say that my summer has been hectic is a huge understatement. This was also my first time working 8:00-5:00, five days a week and that was a serious adjustment.
I quickly learned that just going home after work and binging on Netflix was not going to cut it. I needed to do something productive with my time outside of work that was fun and was just for me (and my fiancé). I made time to explore the city, find a new favorite place to hike, picked up my knitting again (give me a break, I’m an old soul) and we even joined a gym, which is huge if you know how much I dislike working out. In a city like Austin, it’s not hard to find your niche and I’ve had a blast finding mine.
While my time at Crosswind seemed to go by way too quickly, I will forever be grateful for the lessons I learned and the skills I gained while here.