Lottie Smalley is interning with Coca-Cola in Atlanta this summer.
Grady Intern Diaries: Lottie Smalley
This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.
Grady College: Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. LS: In my role as a public affairs and communications (PAC) intern, I assist members across the PAC team within Coca-Cola North America. I work largely with the brand PR team where I help with projects primarily for Dasani, Powerade, Smartwater and Zico. When I’m not working with the brand PR team, I’m likely aiding with sustainability communications, internal communications or customer communications. Additionally, my work supports government relations, community and stakeholder relations, sports marketing and issues management.
Grady: What is the biggest challenge you faced during your internship? LS: I would say one of the biggest challenges I faced at the start of my internship was simply adjusting to the 9-to-5 lifestyle. However, this obstacle came as no surprise because it’s something I’ve struggled with at the beginning of every summer internship. As a student I have so much autonomy over my schedule, and I often take it for granted during the school year. After about two weeks I got the swing of things and now I stay so busy that the days fly by!
Grady: What was your favorite part about your summer internship? LS: My favorite part about interning with Coca-Cola has been the incredible connections I’ve made. Every day I have the opportunity to work with industry experts and grow as a leader and a professional. I’ve also loved connecting with the other summer interns at Coca-Cola and learning more about their experiences. Some lunches we as interns are even joined by members of the executive leadership team for a “Lunch & Learn” where we can directly ask their personal advice. Without a doubt, the people are the best part of my internship.
Grady: What is the most memorable experience you had during your internship? LS: One of the most memorable moments of my summer internship happened on only my third day – one of my supervisors let me tag along to a Sprite commercial shoot! I love all things video so this was a dream “field trip” for me. The ad premiered a few weeks ago at the BET Awards as part of Sprite’s #ThirstForYours campaign and it was so interesting to see how a shoot comes together to produce a final product. Check out the ad here.
Grady: What is the most valuable lesson or skill you learned during your internship? LS: One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned while interning is how important it is to set and meet goals throughout the summer. The weeks start to fly by and intentionally setting goals allows you to reflect on what you’re truly looking to get out of the experience. Some of my ambitions this summer are to get more hands-on experience with pitching, to have one networking lunch per week and to get a better understanding of campaign budgets, among other goals. It’s so important to take advantage of the knowledge your supervisors have and mindfully setting goals can help make that happen.
Grady: What part of your Grady education did you find most valuable during your internship? LS: The skills I’ve learned thus far at Grady have really allowed me to be confident in my work since day one. The class that has been hands-down the most valuable was Public Relations Communications with Professor Tom Cullen. Tom’s class not only improved my writing and multimedia skills but taught me to trust in my capabilities. The work I produced for his class prepared me extremely well for my internship.