Editor’s Note: Welcome to February, a month where we think about the wonderful relationships in our life! On that note I am showcasing several guest bloggers starting with Kristen Pierce, my wonderful public relations intern.
I am an intern with MarketingMel. Mary Ellen Miller (Mel) chooses one intern to mentor each school year. The amazing opportunity was awarded to me for the 2012-2013 academic year.
My time with Mel started off a little differently than most internships. Yes, I sent her my resume, headshot and several writing samples like most hopefuls do when applying for a job. What was different about Mel was that she requested me to complete an assignment before our interview and before we had ever met! She had me research personal training marketing strategies. I was confused on why she needed this information but was determined to impress. At the time I had no idea the “trial-run” would turn into one of the tasks I would be working on with Mel.
As you know, I got the position as her intern! My time with Mel has been crucial to my growth as a young public relations professional. She has taught me how to apply the skills I learned at East Tennessee State University to real world situations. Some of my responsibilities include: meeting with Mel and her clients, accompanying Mel to Chamber of Commerce events, writing news releases and stories for the student newspaper for Mel’s clients, compiling agendas, helping her enter awards programs and so much more.
To elaborate on my responsibilities, I would like to talk in depth about my work with the Johnson City Turkey Trot. During this project, I was able to work with another fabulous mentor, Jenny Brock. Some tasks I was to complete included: writing a Turkey Trot article to run in the East Tennessean, ascertain quotes for yard signs and banners, link sponsor logos to their websites on the Turkey Trot webpage, create the sponsor appreciation flyer that was in every race packet and distribute promotional posters on the ETSU campus. It was a great learning experience to be a part of such a huge event in the Tri-cities area. This year the event was the largest ever with over 4000 participants!
Another venture I worked on is Mel’s Personal Branding How-To Webinar. As I mentioned earlier, I was confused on my pre-interview assignment. This project is where it came into play. I learned how and where to send press releases for a national project. That’s something I did not learn in Writing for PR! I was able to see how much work it really does take to launch such a huge product. I saw first-hand how to promote and sell products. Overall, this is something I think I’ll be able to implement in a new job when I graduate.
Tips to getting an internship:
- Clean up your social media
- Research the company before applying
- Check with your schools advisement offices to learn of new opportunities
- Polish your resume and cover letter
- Dress to impress. Make sure you are completely put together.
- Relax and be yourself in the interview
Mel has given me a wonderful opportunity and I will forever be grateful. Among teaching me the ins and outs of public relations, she has given me the gift of confidence. If it weren’t for Mel’s encouragement and belief in my abilities, I would not be the young professional I am today. I owe it all to my amazing mentor and am eager to continue with Mel this spring semester!
Kristen Pierce is a senior public relations major at East Tennessee State University. She is active in the Public Relations Student Society of America. In her spare time she studies Chinese. She loves traveling, fashion, big jewelry and dogs. Connect with her on twitter @kristen_pierce.