April is National Internship Awareness Month and, as we dig into our search for a summer 2020 PR intern, we thought it would be helpful for you to get the “real deal” on interning at Breakaway from one of our all-star interns, recent St. Edward’s graduate, Simmone Harding. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Simmone for a full year – since May 2019.
- How did you find the internship at Breakaway PR?
When I began my internship search, I stumbled upon this list of Public Relation firms in Austin, Texas. Breakaway PR stood out to me due to the firm’s emphasis on social impact organizations. I have a strong interest in the nonprofit sector and wanted the opportunity to learn within a close-knit team dynamic, so it was a perfect fit!
- How important is this internship in your career search?
Interning at Breakaway PR has been an incredibly important part of my career search. It has given me the opportunity to try out different PR roles and discover the areas I prefer over others, guiding me in my search. Not to mention that it shows potential employers I have agency experience!
- What is a typical “day at the office” like?
One of my favorite things about Breakaway is the office atmosphere – it’s a perfect mix between relaxed and productive topped off with lots of team support. A typical day in the office consists of intermittent team and independent work; we sit together and are ready to collaborate in a moment’s notice. The day-to-day tasks change, and a bonus is there are always dogs in our co-work space!
- What PR tools did you work with and find most effective?
I have worked with several PR tools including Cision, Coveragebook, MailChimp, Google Analytics and WordPress. Cision and Google Analytics are intuitive and easy to get the hang of. I wish I could say the same about MailChimp and WordPress…
- What PR or communications skills do you feel were most improved via this internship?
Through this internship, my written communication skills have been greatly improved, as well as my knowledge of AP Style writing. I have greater experience and confidence when drafting pitches or reaching out to members of the media. My research and analytical skills have been refined to a higher standard. Lastly, my graphic design skills have grown exponentially.
- What responsibilities did you like most? Like least?
Managing Breakaway’s social media profiles has been my favorite responsibility. I enjoy the creative freedom social media offers — it also gives me a reason to bug the team for dog pictures! My second favorite responsibility has been maintaining our client’s media lists or, as I call it, “stalking.” I like the research aspect of this task as well as the strategic thinking it can require. Although it’s really important to ensure our clients receive coverage, my least favorite task is calendar listing follow up. It is definitely the easiest responsibility, but that’s why I dislike it.
- Do you think your internship prepared you well for a “real job” in the PR world?
100% – I’ve been exposed to a wide range of PR specialities including media and influencer relations, social media management, copywriting and content creation to name a few. I have greater confidence in myself and in the level of work I produce. This internship has proven that I can tackle any challenge, no matter how daunting or unfamiliar it may be.
- What advice do you give future interns when looking for a PR internship?
First, identify what you’re hoping to get out of an internship. This guides your search. If you want general PR experience, your search will be much broader than if you want experience within a specific PR area. Second, it is really important to recognize your personal work style and apply to companies that have a similar one. Lastly, a well functioning website is an indicator of a well run company. If you had to dig deep to find an internship job listing on a company’s website (or they didn’t have one), you don’t want to intern there.