I vividly remember the doubts I had after jumping for joy when Dan offered me an internship with Hill Impact. My imagination ran wild with possibilities -- I was worried I would make a lot of mistakes as an intern. But I had no reason to stress, as Hill Impact gave me a warm welcome on my first day and I was excited to start my internship experience, which turned out to be better than I could have expected. Below are some of my favorite memories and lessons I most appreciated during my internship:
The Value of Teamwork
One of the things that stood out during my first few days was the teamwork culture at Hill Impact. Dan once said in a meeting, “when we succeed, we succeed as a team, and when we fail, we fail as a team.” That mentality was highlighted during many situations. When a team member needed support, others would quickly jump in. When we crafted a press release on a deadline, we teamed up to condense a sentence or polish word choice. Those
moments taught me that having great skills is important but the ability to collaborate is crucial.
A Continuous Learning Process
Besides an excellent team culture, Hill Impact focuses on continuous learning which means that everyone in the team, from the CEO to interns, receives feedback on their work to advance their growth. When I conducted in-depth research and produced a wide range of materials, Kira and Kate guided me on how to approach my assignments and outlined the format I needed to follow. Most importantly, they were always open to all of my ideas and questions, spent time offering me helpful feedback and taught me to think strategically and from a client’s perspective.
An internship is a professional experience, but it is not only about work. Getting to know the team makes going to the office a huge joy. A great day in the office included a discussion on puppies (I used to have a Husky, but Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers steal my heart) and Netflix shows, or listening to Dan’s career stories and wisdom over a great lunch. While my assignments stretched my skills, the team gave me the mentorship I needed as a young student. I learned a lot from their writing advice, interesting college experiences and lives as professionals. I also won’t forget all the funny Vietnamese lessons, where Kira and Kate hesitated when hearing Vietnamese words through headphones, but then absolutely nailing their pronunciation like a Vietnamese would.
Three years ago, I was a liberal arts student who did not know much about public relations. But a full-time summer internship at Hill Impact provided me a great deal of hands-on experience and a closer look into the fast-paced, interesting and ever-changing public relations industry. Additionally, my team’s mentorship and passion for their work inspire me to keep learning and moving forward.