From intern to teacher

As yesterday marked the new Dix & Eaton intern’s first day, it also represented the official end to my spring internship.  As I had been engulfed in the culture and work of the firm for the past 5 months, D&E asked me to return, help train my replacement and impart as much knowledge and insight as I could fit into a 7.5 hour workday.   After finishing my day of training, I left with a slightly hoarse voice and a realization of all I had gained throughout my time at the agency. 

Media Relations  While going over Ken’s first project, follow-up calls to national reporters regarding a book previously sent and the expert source who wrote it, I remembered what it was like that first day and how far I have come in my media relations skills.  As Ken made his first call, starting off with a smaller pub and working right up to the main news outlets on day one, I remembered going through the same experience- the uncertainty and fear one feels when you are asked to jump head first into something completely new and hopefully land on your feet.  I can confidently say I have and now feel great confidence in my ability to not only call the media, ranging from a local paper to an international publication, but also be able to speak with confidence and knowledge, while providing reporters with real, relevant news, foster placements and gather useful feedback.

Research and media list building skills While research is something we all must be familar with in school and in the workplace, is something that many people struggle with as it must be thorough, well-compiled and completed in a timely fashion.  I have always thought of myself as someone with strong research skills- I am naturally inquisitive an therefore enjoy learning all that I can about the world around me- but after going over the different tools and research tasks used and required at D&E, it solidified for me the importance of these tasks and the benefit of being proficient in using and compiling strong research, especially in the public relations world.  PR practitioners are expected to be experts on their clients and have deep understanding of what they are pitching and who they are pitching to.  This requires a strong research background in all aspects of the the pr process and makes daily news clippings and recent coverage reports seem all the more important.

Writing Skills  To be a skilled writer is a one of the greatest assets a person can have.  It is also something that you can work on and improve throughout your entire life, no matter what skill level you currently are.  I consider myself a strong writer, but this internship has helped me improve my abilities and better understand writing for pr and the importance of capturing the attention of your audience and making your writing clear, concise and well-edited.  It is also something I plan to continue to work on everyday as everyone can always use more practice 🙂

Confidence in my abilities and my future in the world of pr  Although not a tangible asset gained from my time at D&E, this may be the most valuable.  D&E was a fantastic opportunity as they truly allowed me to test the waters of the pr world and see if it is a field I am well-suited for and going to thrive in and enjoy.  I can safely say that my time with D&E not only strengthened my desire to pursue a career in public relations, but also has given me the confidence to know that I have the skills and the ability to succeed in this field.  Confidence is something that is hard to gain, especially when beginning one’s journey into the working world at such a challenging time, but I feel confident in my place right now; I am ready for the world of pr and can’t wait to jump head first into my next endeavor.



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2 responses to “From intern to teacher

  1. chuckhemann

    Hey Erika – thank you for the kind words about your experience at D&E. I know we are going to miss you! I’m glad you got something out of all those ridiculous projects I asked you to do. You are right, of course, research is an essential part of a PR program. Good luck to you, and let me know if I can help in anyway.

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