Why My Internship with Brandware Was the Best Thing I Did During My College Career
By: Will Popiel
As an intern at Brandware for three months, I was fortunate to get a candid look at what a career in public relations is really like. Every day presented me with a new challenge or opportunity to learn. And, now as I leave with new skills, insights, and confidence for my next step as a professional. Here are my key takeaways from my internship experience.
What I learned
To have a successful career in public relations, it’s crucial to have a diverse skillset rather than a specialized skillset in the digital age. Services provided can vary greatly from client to client, and by having a narrow focus, you limit yourself as to what you can achieve. Developing your digital media skills can really enhance traditional PR responsibilities and save your agency from outsourcing projects. I’ve also learned the importance of being proactive in your work, especially when it comes to planning. Opportunities for securing coverage aren’t often going to present themselves, and if you wait until the last minute of a deadline, the likelihood of having your story hit are slim. Being a go-getter will help you stay ahead of the game.
What I liked
My favorite things about working at Brandware were the frequent opportunities for creative work. Whether I was creating videos for clients, preparing visuals for business proposals, or writing blog posts for the Brandware website, I was always doing something that required me to tap into my creative side. Being able to take ownership of projects and having a finished product to be proud of made my work engaging and rewarding. The wide variety of projects I was tasked with also meant I was never sitting idle, which not only made the day go by quickly, but also pushed me to learn new skills and become a better worker.
What I’ll miss
Being on a team of supportive, energetic, and all-around fun people will be what I miss most about working at Brandware. Office banter kept things fun on even the dullest of days, and there was always something to look forward to whether it’s bonding over team lunch, talking about our weekends, or having a slice of cake. Brandware wouldn’t be what it is without these great people running the show.
New skills I learned and current skills I improved
At the beginning of my internship, I felt I had decent skills in video editing, photoshop, graphic design, and writing, but had never really used them for important reasons. Being tasked with projects from the agency as well as clients along with the guidance of my colleagues really helped me improve these skills with a more efficient pace and higher quality results. Things that were completely new to me included managing business-facing social media accounts, conducting research for projects and proposals, and performing PR functions such as building media lists and pulling client coverage.
How it prepared me for the next step
Getting this internship experience was extremely helpful for preparing me for my future career. I was able to build a portfolio of projects I completed during my internship that I can use to showcase my skills in future job interviews. Having real world experienced also helped me recognize my strengths and weaknesses, which will help me focus my studies on what’s important as I return to college for my last semester. It also just helped me develop a general sense of confidence by knowing where I fit in an organization. Lastly, my experience enabled me to develop valuable relationships and connections that could help me in the future.
Why internships matter?
I believe it’s crucial for college students to have some sort of internship experience before graduating, especially in today’s competitive job market. Without applicable work experience on your resume, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to land a job right out of college. Internships not only give you that valuable resume material, but also help you get a foot in the door of an organization that could end up being a future employer. Plus, once you do land your first job, you’ll have more realistic expectations for what work will be like, which makes starting the job less overwhelming.