This is the first in a series where we asked our Grady students to tell us about their internship experiences during the summer. To see pictures of our Grady students interning, please see our #GradyInternDiaries social media collection.
Name: Kelsey Ann Williams
Title of Internship: Public Relations Intern
Company: High Museum of Art
Location: 1280 Peachtree St. NE Atlanta, GA 30309
Describe a typical workday in your internship.
At the High Museum my internship was Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for eight weeks. I would get to work in the morning and go over our Cision report, the media tracking company that the High Museum uses, and I would read through all of the High’s placements. I would then decipher what exhibitions were covered and save the relevant placements to our PR hit list database. After finishing that, my everyday jobs were different. Some days I would attend interviews and b-roll photo-shoots with various media outlets. Other days I would work on various assignments such as make a pull quote list for an upcoming exhibition, draft a media pitch to send out to bloggers around Atlanta or update the PR contact list, etc.
What was the biggest challenge you faced at your internship?
The biggest challenge as an intern was down time. It was important to find the balance between asking if there was any work I could do and making work for myself. I learned that it was more work for my supervisor to come up with a project for me, take time out of her day to train me how to do it and then check my work afterwards. As an intern I learned to be patient and grateful for the time that my supervisor was devoting toward enhancing my PR experience.
What was the most influential experience or most important skill you learned at your internship?
I learned how to work with all kinds of people and all ages of people. At UGA, we are all accustomed to working with people who are in our age group, and that is not how the real world works. I learned that there is a large generational gap in the work force today. It was a revelation to me when I sat down with the head of marketing at the High and was teaching her about Snapchat. It is important to be patient and open minded when working with all kinds of people.
What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?
If you have the chance to go into the workplace that you want to intern with and do an interview or just visit, do it. When you do, look at the work culture, the atmosphere and the expression on people’s faces. Are they happy? Stressed? Bored? I have learned the importance of work culture as I have done this internship. The work culture and people sitting right around you are the most important indicators to look for when looking for an internship or a job. Do not work somewhere just because it makes you sound cool. Work in an environment that is going to make you happy everyday and challenges you to be a better person.
What part of your Grady education did you find most valuable during your internship?
The most valuable thing I have learned from Grady and could apply to my internship is that I had a basic knowledge of the different areas of PR and all of the terminology. Every company does interviews, fact sheets, and press releases differently. As long as I had a basic knowledge of what everything was and what it meant, then I could learn and be trained on how the High Museum of Art ran their public relations department.
August 4, 2015