Hello friends of Shank Public Relations Counselors! I am the new intern in town, Rick Teitloff. I’m a senior at Ball State University majoring in public relations. I grew up in South Bend, Ind. (Go Irish!). My route from South Bend to Indianapolis has been a circuitous one. After high school I enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Since returning home from the Navy I’ve attended three different colleges with my final landing place at Ball State because of its nationally acclaimed public relations program.
One requirement of BSU’s public relations program is an internship. Since I started college late I’ve been taking classes full time during my summer semesters to graduate as fast as possible (which I’m doing in three years), leaving me this summer to complete my internship. That means that I had to make that one internship count. That’s where Shank Public Relations Counselors came in.
I was initially introduced to Shank Public Relations Counselors through one of the litany of emails our internship coordinator sends out from companies seeking interns. The email was informative and most importantly, stated that the internship was paid. That was enough to get me to look more into the company.
During my interview with David Shank, the company president, I got a really good feel for the vibe of the company and, of course, was shown their case of awards that is wider and taller than me.
There were many reasons why I chose Shank Public Relations Counselors. Most of all I could tell David was sincere and meant it when he told me I would be doing meaningful work and not be an extra set of hands to deal with small things they didn’t feel like doing. Being a smaller company, I knew I’d get a lot of hands-on experience being an integral part of the team, from planning to writing to meeting with clients. I truly believed that Shank Public Relations Counselors gave me the best opportunity to get the most out of my summer.
As you can tell, I have high expectations for my time at Shank Public Relations Counselors. I expect to be given challenging, meaningful work that will make me a better professional. I expect to learn different aspects of public relations, everything from the initial planning stages all the way to the implementation of the final strategy.
One of my biggest expectations is to learn interactions with clients. We can learn how to write and plan strategies in the classroom, but nothing can substitute true interactions with clients. How does the dialogue go? Where do you draw the line when you can tell that it’s not going to work with a client? How do you handle a call from a client about a crisis? I expect to learn how to handle situations like that. And I expect to give my portfolio quite a boost to make me a desirable asset when I enter the job market in December.
So far Shank has lived up to my expectations. After I got comfortable with the office on day one I was given assignments. Day two I was on-site at 7:15 a.m. corralling the local ROTC Color Guard at a Walmart store grand reopening.
In my first full week, the assignments have been constant and educational. I was just assigned a full assignment all to my own, which I was thrilled about. Most of all, working here so far has reaffirmed my choice in choosing public relations as a major and career path. Doing “real” work as opposed to hypothetical school work makes a huge difference. The work is much more fulfilling and exciting. So far so good and I’m looking forward to the next nine weeks here!