Emily and Chris have made valuable contributions and learned so much since they joined our team in September. As their internships come to an end, we are immensely proud of their successes and are confident they have bright futures ahead.
Before their internship is over, we asked for their thoughts on their most remarkable moments during their time as our interns and to share some advice for our new interns, who will be joining us just in a few weeks!
What are the most relevant skills you have gained during your time at K&P?
Emily: My internship at Kaiser & Partners has put my skills to the test, allowing me the chance to finally apply my five years of communications and PR education into real-life work. One of my biggest goals when I joined K&P was to strengthen my familiarity with writing across multiple media channels. Being able to naturally alternate between writing styles, while simultaneously considering each client’s expectations, key messages, tone of voice etc., was a challenge that I was willing to take on. Whether it is a social media post, press release or blog post, the team has provided me the chance to draft various written pieces to ensure I reach my goal of successfully progressing my writing skills and expand my talents as a writer.
In addition, starting an internship working from home during a global pandemic in an industry that is reputed to be unpredictable was hard to navigate at first. This unique experience has taught me to strengthen my adaptability skills – which I am confident will come in handy throughout my career in public relations.
Chris: Throughout my time working with the K&P team I’ve been able to hone my skills in many areas as well as amass new ones. One skill I’ve really been able to hone is my writing. Having the opportunity to write a wide variety of communications has further strengthened my confidence in my ability to write compelling messages for different audiences and understand how organizations across a variety of industries expect their content to be written. The constant constructive feedback from senior members of the team has also played a huge part in my confidence and growth.
I’ve also found that my competence, when it comes to conducting thoughtful research, has significantly improved. Whether it be finding relevant stories for K&P’s morning news updates or client-specific media monitoring reports, I find that my ability to compile information in an effective manner has progressed.
What are you enjoying the most?
Emily: This internship is offering me exposure to so many opportunities, from media relations to reputation management to content development. Although it is hard to pinpoint what I like the most, I’ve enjoyed and appreciated building relationships with reporters and helping the team to identify the right targets to leverage media presence for our clients.
Chris: Participating in social campaigns. A career in social media coordination is something I’ve always been interested in and a lot of the work I’ve engaged in at K&P has served to bring me closer to my goal. Writing social content has a creative aspect to it which I really enjoy. I like seeing campaigns come together and observing the process that goes into bringing them to life.
What has been the most challenging/rewarding?
Emily: Working at a PR agency like K&P means working in a fast-paced environment. The most challenging part of my internship has entailed keeping up with the time-sensitive workload and being prepared for unexpected challenges that come my way. Improving my hard skills has been a huge priority but advancing my soft skills, like time management, has also been crucial towards growing my success and navigating the ins and outs of agency work.
Chris: Keeping up with the agency-life pace at times. Tasks with tight deadlines may become a regular occurrence so adjusting to the pace and learning how to effectively manage your time may take some time. However, the most rewarding aspect for me is seeing all of your hard work bear tangible results. It’s always a great feeling to be able to watch or listen to an interview you helped secure, see a blog you helped write posted on a client’s digital platforms, or witness the level of engagement the social content you helped produce is receiving.
What advice do you have for future K&P interns?
Here are a few tips from Emily and Chris for our future interns to make the experience the best one possible:
1. Set your internship goals. One of the great things about working for K&P is that the senior team will happily accommodate you if there are certain skills you’d like to hone during your internship. The key is to go in with an open mind and try your hand at different things. An internship is a great way to find out what you like and your strengths, but also what are the aspects you may need to work on. Also, make sure to raise your hand and offer support whenever there’s an opportunity for you to learn something new!
2. Always ask questions. No question is considered a bad one, so feel free to reach out to team members if you need clarity on anything. Not only will it show that you’re taking your work seriously, but it will also prevent situations in which you may have to go back to re-do something, which will ultimately save you and the team time. The senior team would much rather have you ask a million questions than none at all, no matter how insignificant you think the question may be. It will only serve to accelerate your growth.
3. Never be afraid to reach out for support. Some weeks can be a lot busier than others, so if you have conflicts in your work or feel you won’t have the time to complete something, reach out to the team to see if the internal deadlines initially set can be accommodated. If you’re proactive in flagging conflicts, your team members will find a way to ensure what’s on your plate is manageable. Everyone is here to support one another so make sure to reach out when you feel overwhelmed. On the flipside, make sure to offer your support to others who may need it if you have the time.
4. Keep a positive mindset. Everyone runs into challenges at some point, especially when learning, and the key is to not get discouraged when that happens. Make sure to let your team members know when you are having difficulty (they’ll always be there to help you out!). Also, taking short breaks throughout the day goes a long way in maintaining a clear mind and will ultimately allow you to do your work more effectively. Your health and wellbeing should be your number one priority so don’t feel ashamed if you need a minute to recalibrate. The important thing is to not get down on yourself.
Thank you, Emily and Chris, for sharing these thoughtful insights and for choosing K&P to sharpen your skills! We wish you all the best in your careers in PR.