By Lexie Bowser
For the past three months I have interned at SHIFT Communications in Boston, MA. If I were to describe my first day, or month, of work in one word it would be: intimidating. Seeing as this was both my first internship and first experience in PR, I was not sure what to expect. I was frequently dodging terms, such as b-doc, clipping, media list and other various jargon words, while trying to maintain my composure.
However, after learning from my remarkably patient team and the mistakes that I can’t pretend I didn’t make, I started to get the hang of things. I worked on a team whose clients were mainly tech and social tech. Three months ago, I would’ve had no idea what that meant. Even after conducting my own researching and scheduling a briefing session with my team, I wasn’t remotely close to being comfortable with what the clients do. If I had never immersed myself into this internship, I never would have known what phenomenon’s like BYOD and cloud computing were.
Most college students would be fine with never knowing what these tech-y terms mean and I have to admit that I was one of them! But instead of staying in my comfort zone and dealing with concepts and situations that I was familiar with, I was determined to master an entirely new set of skills, which is a critical take away for any intern experience. Whether it’s technology, finance or bio-chemistry, learning about a new space, and becoming comfortable with it, is an imperative life skill.
Before I knew it, I was monitoring for coverage and drafting clients’ tweets like it was second nature. I created and managed media lists, found potential events for clients and performed various administrative tasks. When I was asked to do research on a prospective client, I had the confidence to jump right in. SHIFT fostered an environment for me where I wasn’t scared to ask for help, but I was also assured that I had the ability to do the tasks asked of me.
As the summer comes to a close and I begin gearing up for school, I am realizing the impact this experience has had on me. Instead of being terrified of what the “real” working world has in store for me after graduation, I am excited for the options I can explore. I am so thankful for the opportunity that SHIFT gave me to learn the ins and outs of Public Relations and I can’t stress how much this real-world experience has helped me learn. I will miss being at SHIFT, but I would not have wanted to spend my summer any other way!