If you’re like most people, you probably picture an intern as a student running around a large corporate environment grabbing coffee and serving as a glorified personal assistant.
Lucky for me, I had the exact opposite experience as an intern this summer. I was immersed in the world of marketing and public relations and was able to work side-by-side with a team of professionals who were willing to teach me anything I wanted to learn. And on some levels, I actually learned more about the industry in my summer internship than I have in my college courses.
Interning at Sweeney Marketing & Public Relations – a full-service, high-energy, yet intimate and personal agency – proved to be an invaluable learning experience for me, and one I think anyone entering the business would benefit from. Here are the three top reasons why:
- Seeing projects go full-circle. Sweeney allowed me to see and experience projects at every phase of its development. In my other internship experiences, it was common to work on part of a project and never see the other phases or final product. Seeing a project all the way through is an important learning experience and really helped me understand the big picture of how and why my support mattered.
- Working side-by-side with top executives. Learning from the top people in your profession is more valuable than any textbook. Sweeney’s open environment gave me the chance to receive feedback, gain advice and build a relationship with both the president and CEO.
- Wearing multiple hats. Since Sweeney is truly an integrated agency, it is necessary for the staff to understand traditional, digital and social strategies and tactics. So just because you are good at media pitching doesn’t mean that is all you do. You get the opportunity to expand your skill sets in other areas. In fact, account personnel are trained and encouraged to understand every facet of the agency business. There are no silos in this agency, though there are areas of specialization. Learning different skills and working on different aspects of the business not only expands your resume, but helps you realize what you like and don’t like.