It’s hard to believe I’m writing my last blog as a Shank Public Relations intern. Back in May, when I was still adjusting to adult life, it seemed like the time was going to drag on. Of course, like the last 21 summers I’ve lived, it sped by before I even knew what was happening.
I’m getting ready to start my senior year at Ball State University, and unlike most, I’m dreading graduation. College has been the most fun I’ve ever had, and I’m sad to see it go.
But while I’m sad about college ending, I’m no longer scared about what the future holds. Before my internship I wasn’t confident in my abilities as a public relations professional. The thought of not only getting a job, but being good at it, left me reeling. I paid attention in class, I got the grades and I was proud of my resume, but I often asked myself, how much knowledge was I actually retaining? Would I be able to apply everything I was learning in the real world? How do I stack up not only against my own classmates, but PR grads from all over the country?
All it took was a little hands on time to realize that I’m not terrible at this. At Shank Public Relations I feel like I’ve gotten the whole gamut of public relations experience. I’ve written releases, I’ve made contacts with the media, I’ve worked events, I’ve created social media plans, I handled some crisis elements and in a lot of instances, I found myself really “relating to the public.”
What I think I liked most about my internship was that I actually enjoyed the things I was doing. Art exhibits, charity work and school open houses were all things that felt more like fun than work. I think some internships can be tedious, but mine was fulfilling.
I really admire David and Marilyn for the business they’ve started and the way they run it. In today’s crazy world, sometimes a paycheck is worth more than morals and that’s unfortunate. The Shanks run their business with class and ethics, and I’m lucky to have worked with people who were able to show me dignity is more important than extra zeros on an invoice.
It’s also evident to me that the intern program here is not just a way for them to have a temporary extra set of hands. The Shanks genuinely care about the profession and its future. Since I began here, I’ve been able to think of them as teachers rather than employers. A mentor like that is invaluable to an intern.
I wrote a blog earlier in the summer and I mentioned that an internship is the best way to learn a profession. That’s true, but I know now that the right internship will teach you much more than that. Mine taught me to be optimistic, more confident and it honestly helped me grow up. I’ve also gotten two great role models to hold myself to as a young professional.
I’m so happy that this was my first internship experience, and although I’m sad the “real world” is so close, I’m not scared about it. I’ll definitely take with me everything I’ve learned as a Shank Public Relations intern.