Interning at Hill Impact is one of my highlights of 2018. Spending three months as a strategic communications intern left me with a deeper understanding of public relations and helped me grow my skills through hands-on assignments.Today, I am excited to share the five biggest takeaways from my experience and the skills it takes to be successful as a young professional.
Be Ready to Learn On my first day, Kira, an associate at the firm and the lead intern coordinator, introduced me to Hill Impact’s long list of diverse clients. It was intimidating-- with names ranging from nonprofits making big impacts to multinational companies developing the latest technologies. From day one, I realized that to thrive in public relations a practitioner must think creatively, develop strategies and have many different “tools” (tactics) in their toolkit. I appreciated that I was never expected to be an expert on any subject and was given the opportunity to learn and grow.
Flexibility is Key One challenging aspect of the internship was learning to juggle several tasks and adapt to fast-moving situations-- things never quite go as planned! I learned that clarifying deadlines and priorities not only helps me stay on track but makes life easier for the team. Make sure you understand expectations and communicate the plan to move forward.
Strong Writing is Essential for Success Every day I used writing throughout all aspects of my work. Strong writing skills are crucial as it’s a major component of the field (or just about any profession). The internship provided the opportunity to practice as I drafted various materials such as pitches, press releases, memos and op-eds to assist with client development. I learned many ways on how to technically perfect my writing and grasped a greater understanding of how stories are told creatively to provoke a certain response.
Stay Informed Pitching is one of the most valuable skills I learned as a young PR professional. To be successful, you have to make sure you’re reading the news and keeping up-to-date on recent events. Staying aware of what’s trending in different industries is crucial for approaching client tasks and being informed.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone If you only do what you know, you will never learn anything.This probably sounds cheesy but it’s not totally wrong. Adopting this mindset really helped me feel comfortable approaching unfamiliar tasks. Internships are an occasion to discover personal strengths, weaknesses and most importantly, potential. Even if tasks are unfamiliar or challenging, knowing that the work would directly benefit the firm forced me to push myself and break out of my shell.
Voila! l hope you enjoyed reading about my time at Hill Impact just as much as I enjoyed this opportunity. The best part of the internship was growing my skills through hands-on experience. In addition to teaching the team a little French, I liked working with a high-achieving group of professionals that provided invaluable guidance and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. As my time at Hill Impact ends, I am convinced that they will continue making an impact.