FAQs With A Recent Intern -- And What You Can Learn From Her Experience
If you're interested in pursuing an internship but you'd like to get a handle on what it entails, it can help to hear about the experiences of others who have been in the role. College Confidential sat down with Amy Pomeranz, a rising college senior who was an intern with a public relations agency in New York last summer, to get the scoop on her experience.
College Confidential: How did you find your internship?
Amy Pomeranz: Initially I applied for three or four internships through my school's career center, and I didn't hear anything back after a few days, so I applied to this one through Indeed.com. Then I got an interview for one of the career center jobs, and also got an interview for the Indeed job right around the same time. I did both interviews over Skype since both internships were in New York and I go to college in Florida. I had two rounds of Skype interviews on both jobs, and got an offer on one and not the other. So I moved to New York last May and the internship started in early June 2017.
CC: What your role at the PR agency and what were your daily tasks like?
AP: It was a small company (about 15 employees) and I was the only intern, so I did a little bit of everything and had a chance to work for everyone there. I worked three days a week for them, so one day I would do social media posts promoting the client products, then another day I might be helping with media placements, and another I might set up calls with clients who we wanted to interview, so it was really a great view of the entire agency life.
CC: Did you run into any challenges that you didn't expect during the course of the internship?
AP: At the beginning, I was a little overwhelmed about how fast-paced it was. People were taking calls and moving so quickly that it was hard for me to understand the workings of the business. It turned out that I just started on a really crazy day. Some days were like that, and others were really quiet and I would just help the staff get caught up on scheduling and emails. So I think I didn't realize that the work came in such big waves, and there were so many highs and lows. I think it was really good for me to learn that not everything in PR can be scheduled – sometimes crises or events come up that can't be anticipated and you have to learn how to react under pressure.
CC: Did the internship help you decide what you want to do with your career or change your perception of the industry at all?
AP: Yes, for sure. It really made me see which parts of PR I want to pursue. I feel really lucky that I was at a small agency where I got to see every aspect of the business. I initially thought I wanted to get into influencer PR, but that part of the job wasn't as appealing to me once I was actually at the agency. Instead, I really liked writing press releases and article placements, so I learned that content creation was more appealing to me than the influencer side.
CC: What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing internships in the future?
AP: I would say don't just apply to the big-name companies – you can really learn a lot from a smaller firm, where you're able to get more face time with a wider variety of people and gain exposure to new roles. I would also encourage interns to ask a lot of questions – they don't expect you to know everything, and you will learn more about the industry if you ask more. Two of the executives where I interned told me to call them when I graduate if I'm interested in working there full-time after graduation, so I think it's a really valuable opportunity to take an internship if you have the chance.