#ProfilesOfTenacity: Alaina Booth

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Believe it or not, people that don’t know me are really surprised when I tell them that I’m in school. I never talk about it because I’m always shooting or editing videos for my company, and I travel so often (shoutout only Tuesday and Thursday classes) that people don’t really ever see me posting about school.

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

I have a little personal office space for my business in the Entrepreneurship building in Studio 225. It’s such a vibe.

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

When I thought about answering this question, I realized it was never really a choice for me. I knew I belonged in Grady, and I didn’t really think about applying to any other school. Throughout high school, I knew I wanted to do something creative, and I started making videos of my life throughout my senior year. When I got to UGA, I started out as an advertising major, but ultimately the world of entertainment excited me more. I’ve always been making things into stories, and I’m a huge dreamer, and being EMST just makes so much sense. I remember sitting in the intro class for EMST and one of the slides on the board saying, “Move to LA” and I just knew these were my people and this was my program.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about telling honest stories and I want that to be my line of work, but nothing makes me more excited than connecting with people on an emotional level through video. Outside of this, I am really passionate about encouraging people that they can do it – whatever it is they want to do. I want to be the person people feel safe talking about their dreams with, and throughout my career, I want encouragement and inspiration to be a common thread. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

My favorite piece of advice is “Do what you can with what you have and who you know” and I love it because I think people get really overwhelmed that they need to be making HUGE things with expensive gear and amazing taste as soon as they start, but really that’s just not how you learn. And it’s way too much pressure to put on yourself. You just have to start, and you have to let go of what other people will think about your work when you’re starting out. When people ask me how I’ve built such an extensive portfolio, I tell them I literally just started! I kept saying yes to things I thought I wasn’t ready for and showing up to them like I knew exactly what I was doing. People believed me, and then eventually, I believed me too! 

What is an example of a time you used your studies and skills in a real-world experience?

This past summer I spent two months in Los Angeles. Throughout the summer I got an internship, worked on a couple freelance projects, continued to run my business remotely and finally, had the opportunity to be a production assistant on a huge documentary shoot. Throughout the summer, I drew knowledge from every single course I’ve taken in the EMST program, and I was so grateful for my education that I sent Dr. Hamilton an email thanking him. I knew how to give proper script coverage because of my writing for digital media class. I could properly set up a C-stand because of production basics, and I could create really awesome pitch decks thanks to the producing for the screen class. It was a very rewarding summer to see how much my education is really showing up in my future career path, and I’m really grateful for the foundation Grady has laid for me.

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Well, I love Los Angeles, so the plan is to move there and start working. I really like pretty much everything, so I’m open to following the path that excites me most. I’m particularly interested in producing, because I’m definitely a sales-minded person and will pitch in front of people all day long. I like unscripted, because I like watching the story unfold itself rather than trying to control all the aspects of it. Lately, I’m also considering marketing, because I’ve realized I approach the majority of my work with thinking “how can we make people feel an emotional connection to this piece of work?” Before I move to Los Angeles, though, I might take a year or so to travel and live in different parts of the country. I think as a media creator, the more life experience you have, the better creator you will be. So, I could call it “taking a gap year” but in reality, it’s an investment in myself as a creative person. Who knows where I’ll be in a year — I just know it won’t be boring. 

What is your favorite app or social media channel and why?

Easily Instagram. I think it’s mind-blowing that one day in like 30 years, my kids will be able to scroll down and see pictures that I posted when I was 20 years old. I mean how cool is it that we all have an internet record of our lives? If I think about it too much, I will get emotional.   

Who is your professional hero?

It might seem kind of random, but Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal and GIRLBOSS. It’s not really what she does as a profession that I look up to, but rather how she does it and how she conducts herself as a professional. She just shows up 100% unapologetically. She uses humor and realness to connect with people, and she’s not shy about her failures. She’s bold, genuine and she just makes people feel like they can do anything they want. I love that. Even though my career looks different from hers, I want to show up similarly in professional spaces. 

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Rather than one specific moment, I’m really proud of myself for moving to L.A. alone. It wasn’t easy at first and it took a minute to adjust, but I’m really proud that I believed in myself and trusted myself to take the leap. It was the most life-giving summer I have ever experienced. So, I think rather than one singular moment, it’s all the little moments I had driving on I-10 (or I guess, sitting in traffic on I-10) that I was like “oh wait, I’m really living my dream!” 

Grady InternViews: Drew Hubbard

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.A graphic saying Hubbard is a journalism major working as a Digital and Social Media Intern for Nashville Soccer Club out of Nashville, TN

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I am a digital and social media intern at Nashville Soccer Club this summer. In the internship, I help assist the digital marketing team to help brainstorm social media ideas and execute them on different platforms. I mainly focus on the club’s Facebook account and working on TikTok ideas but also engage with fans on Instagram when they tag the team in Instagram posts or stories. 

The internship is in-person based out of the club’s office in Nashville, but I work remotely as well. Some of the club’s interns will report to the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays while myself and other interns report Mondays and Wednesdays while the entire office is remote on Fridays. For all home games, the interns are at the club’s current stadium, Nissan Stadium, while we work from home when the team plays away. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge has been trying to find a unique voice for the team on social media. Because there are so many sports teams in the country, it is important that our club is different and creative to bring fans into our social channels and get engagement across all different platforms. The challenge is finding inspiration from other teams in different leagues, but also having our own voice and content that sets us apart.

Hubbard typing on his laptop from a box overlooking the soccer stadium
Drew focuses on the soccer team’s digital and social media. (Photo: submitted)
What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship?

The most memorable experience I have had was working at the Mexico-Panama international friendly at Nissan Stadium. Both teams played in Nashville to prepare for their competitive tournaments later in the summer. I was lucky enough to experience an international match and how different it is than a regular Major League Soccer match. There were a lot of Mexican and Panamanian media members I got to work with and learn from while also experiencing an incredible atmosphere for the match. 

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

I would say network as much as possible and always be looking to learn new skills or improve the skills you already have. Social media is an evolving field with new things happening all the time. So, being able to learn new platforms and learning how to handle the digital side of things like a website is really important and will set you apart from a lot of other candidates. 

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?
Hubbard holding a soccer ball and wearing a Soccer Club scarf in the stadium
Drew has the opportunity to work in person this summer in Nashville. (Photo: submitted)

Going back to Athens, I’ll know better how to work with other people on projects and combine my ideas with their ideas to do our best possible work together. Grady classes are a lot of collaborative work, and I’ll be able to work and communicate with others better because of this experience.

Grady InternViews: Nhilynn Nguyen

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. Graphic explains Nguyen is an advertising major working as a Social Strategy Intern for dentsu X remotely from Athens, GA

Every morning I wake up at 8:30 a.m. and get ready for my morning meeting with the rest of the team. This recurring meeting is to go over all clients, priorities and updates. Every day varies, but most of it is managing social media, collecting and analyzing data and providing insights to clients. Facebook Ad Manager has definitely become my best friend! After work, I have team project meetings and labs for my fellowship to attend. During these labs, we’re able to hear from companies and agencies directly on how they’re working to improve diversity and inclusion internally and learn more about those efforts.

My internship is fully remote! It’s been more challenging to network and get to know the rest of my team, but everyone has been really kind and has reached out to connect with me! 

Explain your opportunity with MAIP. 

The Multicultural Advertising Internship Program is a selective program for multicultural students in Advertising. Once MAIP fellows are selected they begin cultivating tangible, transferable skill-sets through Spring Training, a 12-week virtual series; connecting with their MAIP mentors and collaborating with cross-national teams on a project brief. Throughout the summer, fellows participate in agency-sponsored professional development workshops and seminars, which provide a deeper dive into the various advertising and media disciplines. 

As a MAIP Fellow, we are also selected by one of the partnering companies and agencies for an internship! So I am currently interning for dentsu X as a Social Strategy Intern under the Paid Social team. This internship is remote, so I have been working from Athens!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far would definitely be imposter syndrome. As a newcomer and minority, it’s easy to feel underqualified and undeserving of the opportunities you receive but throughout this summer I’ve learned how to gain more confidence and feel more secure about my abilities. I’m thankful to the 4a’s foundation and the rest of my MAIP fellows for providing a space and community where I can be candid and honest about these feelings! 

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

My biggest growth over the summer has been gaining more confidence in my skillset and abilities. I’ve learned so much about paid social and I’ve learned how to do things more confidently!  Walking into this internship I felt very underprepared and anxious but as the weeks went on and I learned more about paid social, I’m able to complete tasks without hesitation! 

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

The best advice I’ve heard so far is “the other side of adversity is an opportunity,” from the Chief Equity Officer for dentsu Americas, Christina Pyle. This has resonated with me after battling a year of Zoom university and the aftermath of quarantine. It can be really difficult to stay motivated when life keeps challenging you, but in the long run, opportunities will find you!

Grady InternViews: Sara Camuso

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.A graphic saying Camuso is a public relations major working as a Corporate Communications Intern at Georgia Ports Authority from Garden City, GA

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I work in the Corporate Communications office for Georgia Ports Authority so every day can look a little different from the next! I have been able to sit in on meetings to discuss event planning, take and edit photos out on the terminals, and I am currently writing two stories that will be featured in their annual employee magazine, “Great People in Action.” What I am most proud of is that I created a tagline for merchandise that will be distributed to employees soon!

It is in-person every day. It is a little challenging waking up early, but it is nice to have interaction face-to-face with people every day!  

How is your internship affecting the ideas you have about your future?
Camuso in a hard hat and yellow construction vest standing on the ship
Camuso says she will look back and remember the cool experiences from her internship, such as when she went up in a ship-to-shore crane. (Photo: submitted)

Being in a real communications environment has helped me see a bigger picture of what I would like to do one day. It is nice to see what I have learned in classes play a role in this work setting.

What is the most valuable lesson or skill you have learned during your internship?

How to interact in a corporate setting, along with how the ports work in general. They are the powerhouses of moving commerce in Georgia and it is fascinating to see it happen in person here every day, and it also helps you appreciate how all your everyday basic goods move to the shelves you buy them on!  

How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job? 

I have done a lot of writing here and if it wasn’t for JOUR3190 with Lori Johnston that I took last semester, I would have been very behind! I am more than thankful for that class and her now being in this internship.  

What has been the most memorable experience you have had during your internship so far?
Camuso in black pants and a black blouse standing with a ship in the background
Camuso says she was able to tour a ship at work and narrate a Facebook Live from inside. (Photo: submitted)

The largest vessel to come to the Port of Savannah, the CMA CGM Marco Polo, docked in Savannah my second week here. We held a huge event with press and many other state and local-elected officials to commemorate it. I was able to tour the ship as well as narrate a Facebook Live from inside!

10 things I gained from my networking experience

Editor’s Note: The reflection below was written by third-year Public Relations major Peyton Dennis, who created her own internship experience this past summer. Below, she shares her biggest lessons learned.

I ended my sophomore year in May feeling stuck and uncertain about my post-graduation plans. After a year of cancellations and empty promises of “normalcy soon,” I decided this summer to stop letting the pandemic disrupt my professional goals, and I built a network of connections across the country consisting of over 20 PR professionals.

I am coming back to Athens with a deeper understanding of how valuable my education and involvement is during this formative time as an undergrad. It felt liberating to shift my focus to the things I can control, as opposed to the things I’m currently unable to do. Here are 10 intangible gifts that my mentors gave to me.

1. Professional confidence

I got into the routine of holding at least two informational interviews a week. Each call felt easier and I was able to open up fairly quickly to these strangers. 

Takeaway: Confidence and a willingness to listen and learn mean everything. Each successful Zoom call built my confidence as I expanded my network.

2. Interviewing skills

Before my first few calls, I would spend time overthinking my appearance and how I presented myself. This experience gave me constant practice in no-pressure environments, allowing me to grow as a communicator and focus on the bigger picture.

Takeaway: I learned to stop putting too much emphasis on the impression I made on the connection, but to truly focus on what I could learn from them.    

3. Exposure to different opinions

My plan was to cover each PR sector: corporate, agency and nonprofit, and within those categories speak with someone at the senior and junior level. I’ve always felt drawn to nonprofit PR and hoped that my networking would carry me straight there after covering all of the bases. Many people I spoke with suggested that agency work would give me a range of exposure so valuable that I would learn skills necessary to become very successful in my profession, whether I continued down the agency track or pivoted to corporate or nonprofit PR.

Takeaway: Hearing about so many career paths that led people to fulfilling jobs reminded me to keep an open mind.

4. Reassurance

Some of my best advice came from recent UGA graduates. I learned about virtual application processes, networking on LinkedIn versus email, and what organizations were worth getting involved in. It felt refreshing to speak with people from my generation in my desired field because I could ask them the questions I wasn’t comfortable asking older professionals. They promised that if I took advantage of Grady’s resources, I would graduate in an excellent position.

Takeaway: Young alumni helped me think about how to bridge the gaps between where I am and where I want to be when I graduate.

5. A sense of direction

I’ve always struggled to visualize what came before and after my dream job of managing the PR for a nonprofit. Speaking with people between their 20s and 50s helped me get excited for my career path in its entirety. I used to feel overwhelmed by the number of post-grad routes I can take, but now I view my options as exciting opportunities. 

Takeaway: There is no perfect, straight-lined career path that I am expected to follow.

6. Realistic steps toward my goals

Last semester I was lucky to have my JOUR3190 class fully in person with Professor Lori Johnston – I was so appreciative of her advice, encouragement and genuine want for all of her students to succeed beyond the classroom. This summer she encouraged me to look into the UGA mentorship program and apply to the Paw Print Agency, along with sharing the contact information of seven people she knew for me to reach out to. 

Takeaway: The pandemic is no longer a valid excuse to remain uninvolved – most organizations have zoom options!

7. Reliable resources 

I feel comfortable reaching out to the people I connected with, whether to ask them a question about an application, ask for a connection, or ask for another pair of eyes on my portfolio. It is empowering to know that people see potential in my efforts to learn and grow more.

Takeaway: A huge benefit was connecting with people who truly wanted to stay in touch after  our 30-minute Zoom call.

8. Insight on the strengths of each PR sector

I associated the agency lifestyle as overwhelming, but people working with agencies explained that they don’t feel bored and love the range of their projects. I assumed corporate PR would feel restricted, but those in this category appreciated their room to grow within their large company and potentially work their way up to senior-level positions. People in nonprofit work claimed that prior experience in a profitable environment prepared them better for their current roles.

Takeaway: Because I spoke with people in each sector of public relations, I identified positive attributes from agency, corporate and nonprofit work.

9. An extensive list of “dream jobs”

     After many of my calls, I would lose track of time scrolling through LinkedIn searching internship possibilities and picturing my exciting next chapter after graduation. Thankfully, there are PR opportunities everywhere, and I don’t feel restricted when thinking of a dream job.

Takeway: One piece of advice that stuck with me was to think of a city or area I love, and go from there.

10. Motivation

The conversations I had with PR professionals over the past three months inspired new ideas and plans for my future. I’m so grateful for their advice; now I’m ready to take action! I feel so motivated to become more knowledgeable about my field, and I realize that at this point, experience will supplement the lessons that textbooks and mentors aren’t able to provide. I cannot wait to apply the wisdom that has been so graciously passed along to me to my classwork and beyond this upcoming year.

Takeaway: This fall, I will invest my time in resources that will help me learn more about myself as a communicator and team member.

Grady InternViews: Matthew Brown

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I work as a communications intern for Nike Inc. The team I report to is Nike’s North America Comms Employee experience. Regularly, the internship is done in Beaverton, OR, but because of COVID-19, I’m Zooming in from my apartment in Athens, GA.

To start my day, I’ll chime in on NikeUnited’s Black Employee network morning kickoff. It’s called “Wake Up with BEN.” The meeting features notable Black employees from Nike and it’ll spotlight one of Nike’s major cities: NYC, LA, Beaverton, Portland, St. Louis, Boston, Memphis or Atlanta. The panel will discuss current events and the meeting is open to all employees at Nike, not just its Black counterparts.

Following that, I’ll have a touch base with my Nike manager discussing my tasks for the day. I had three main things on my agenda as an intern: personal project, intern combine (group project) and connection meetings. So, my manager would help advise me as to who would be best to network for my connection meetings. Oftentimes, these were employees who have been at Nike for years with tons of job experience and advice. Other times they were people in areas whose work I’d be interested in: sports media and sports marketing.

Following meetings with my manager, I’d attend my Nike NA (North America) Employee Comms meeting to discuss updates, planning and new features for Nike’s “North America: Now” newsletter. We collaborated with other teams to effectively compose a newsletter with stories and corporate updates so it can be a “one-stop-shop” for our employees.

After that, I would meet with other interns from different industry cohorts of Nike to work on our project, called our Nike intern combine. Everything at the company was competitive, so the group project competition was nothing short of that either. The five of us plus our Nike Supervisor helped create a business proposal that would envision a partnership between Nike and UberEats to save Nike Athletes and members time in the kitchen, giving them more time for sport or rest and recovery. The prompt was to help Nike address ways to help increase Nike membership accounts while connecting and partnering with another company.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

My biggest challenge was trying to balance football, summer classes and my internship. I learned the value of organization and rest and recovery to better my performance. No matter how hard you work or how organized you are, if you do not prioritize some time for your body and mind to rest, you will not operate at peak performance. And I am happy to say that I learned the lesson from Nike and my team. They were always willing to share advice and drop gems as to how to be successful when balancing life and work.

What has been the biggest growth you’ve experienced so far?

I’ve learned how to operate and function in the corporate world. I learned that regardless of your age or job position, it’s best to communicate with your co-workers and your superiors as another peer. Despite the southern etiquette, there is no need to say “yes sir” and “no ma’am” in the workplace. You will gain more respect without it.

I’ve also learned what I want to do and what I do not want to do. I’ve grown fond of working with a team that issues individual tasks that contribute to a bigger project at the end. It’s just something about that “teamwork-feeling” that made me happy to work with Nike. Projects are more fun when you work with an energized and passionate team. That’s something I want to be a part of. 

Lastly, my confidence in myself has grown. I’ve left good impressions on people who have seen interns come and go, but I know they will remember my name and how I presented myself. I constantly looked for ways as to how I could help the team address a “hole,” seeking an opportunity to help the project grow or have a greater reach.

What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship?

Brown said his most memorable experience is from a group project presentation involving Nike & UberEats. (Graphic: submitted)

My most memorable experience was writing a video pitch for my NA Comms team. The pitch’s purpose was to help lead the appropriate production agency to create a video that will help energize and spotlight the Nike employee experience of employees in our major North American locations. After I presented it to my core team, it was time to pitch it to creative agencies who would then consult their teams and come back to us with a game plan as to how to fulfill the vision of our idea. So in a way, I was kind of a director of what this “hype video” was to be for our Nike cohort, which consists of over a hundred thousand employees. I was able to critique and give feedback to these creative agencies, sharing what I did and did not like in terms of the team’s vision for the video. It was a cool experience.

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

 I’ll remember to take leaps and provide thought-out solutions and ideas that could contribute to a group’s project or mission. And when I succeed, I’ll remember to let that good feeling fuel my confidence to keep going.

Also, I remember to be intentional and to be present. Being an intern, you can be afraid to provide your opinion because you sometimes feel like a “fly on the wall.” But there is always something to contribute, no matter how big or small your role is. Leave your mark.

Grady InternViews: Ciara Pysczynski

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. Graphic explains Pysczynski is a public relations and theatre major working as a Film PR Intern and Communications Intern at both PR Collaborative and NP Agency both remotely and in-person in Washington, D.C.

With both of my internships, my primary duty is basically filling in the gaps — helping out with big tasks and taking on smaller ones. There isn’t too much consistency to my day beyond showing up! At NP Agency, I get to write a lot of social copy, and I’ve also compiled clips, transcribed press calls and pitched journalists. At PR Collaborative, I’ve tracked media hits for a major film festival, identified images to share with the press and conducted research on journalists and other organizations.

I have one position that’s fully remote with only one regular staff meeting each week, and then one fully in-person, where I see my co-workers/bosses every day. With NP, I’m on the clock from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, but unless a press call or other time-sensitive task comes up, I get to decide how I structure my day. My internship with PRC has a bit more structure to it. On Thursday and Friday, my day starts with our meetings at 10, and then I’m given my assignment(s) for the day. My first-ever internship was in the middle of the pandemic last semester, so I’ve been so grateful to experience in-person work. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Pysczynski posing outside Delta Hall
Pysczynski poses outside Delta Hall in Washington, D.C. where she is working in-person for PR Collaborative. (Photo: submitted)

In all honesty, the biggest challenge I’ve faced has been myself. Through my work this summer, I’ve discovered I like work that is a) creative or b) made up of very clear, discrete steps. So, things like writing tweets or filling in a spreadsheet. Tasks that are neither of those things – that are really open-ended and don’t allow me to be creative, like a research assignment – are much more difficult. Especially while working from home, where something much more engaging is only a tap away and I don’t have my boss in the next room, I’ve found it at times incredibly challenging to stay on task. That said, I’m learning strategies to deal with that and keep myself focused, because I know this won’t be the last time in my career that I have to complete less engaging duties.

How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?

My coursework at Grady has given me a lot of confidence in my writing and approach to PR. I have to give a special shoutout to Tom Cullen and his PR Communications class, because I learned so much in that course that I refer back to, from press release guidelines to AP Style rules. If I don’t think my social copy would get me an ‘A’ in that class, I know it needs more work!

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

Don’t underestimate yourself. When I first started writing social copy for NP, I thought it was so terrible. Like I thought they were going to send it back to me absolutely torn to shreds. But everyone seemed to be pretty happy with it! Make no mistake, my work still gets a lot of edits, but that’s the nature of the business. You might have used the wrong dash or not known a client-specific style rule, but you probably have the right idea with the concept, which, in my opinion, is the most important thing. And even if you do write some absolutely abysmal copy, it is NOT the end of the world, and your boss will NOT think you are stupid. Everyone does that sometimes.

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

Pyscznski sitting in front of a laptop at her desk
Pysczynski works remotely for her role with NP Agency. (Photo: submitted)

I have a lot more confidence in my ability to do this work now, and a much better idea of how I fit into the world of PR. As I finish out my Grady coursework, I’ll be able to think about how the work I’m doing would fit in the context of what I did at NP and PRC and be able to understand and apply the lessons more fully. I’ve also learned a lot about myself and what I’m interested in, which I think is the most important part of any internship experience. I know I want to focus more on my copywriting beyond social, and on longer-form writing in general. I’ve learned I like working for a smaller agency/team, and that I am (as I suspected), most engaged and inspired when I’m applying that second major and working in the entertainment industry.

Grady InternViews: Hallie Turner

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. Graphic saying Turner is a journalism major working as a Congressional Intern and Radio Intern at both Congressman Austin Scott and Joy FM Radio out of Washington, D.C.

This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to obtain two internships. For the first seven weeks of the summer, I was a Congressional Intern with Congressman Austin Scott in Washington D.C.  I lived right across the street from the Senate, and I enjoyed an easy commute. My day would start with the typical intern duties of making sure the office was set and ready for the day. Then I would turn on the phone lines for the countless calls that I would answer to converse with constituents of the eighth district of Georgia. While the phone rang throughout the day, I also had many press projects. Depending on what event and or holiday we would have coming up, I would design a graphic for it. After the congressman finished speaking with the press, I would clip the interviews and send them over to our Press Secretary to post to our social media platforms. Once that was complete, I would go through and do our Press Memos. This included research of all the articles that were posted in the last 24-48 hours that mentioned Congressman Scott, the Georgia Delegation, health, agriculture and economic development that was occurring in the district. If there was something pressing that week that needed to be sent out for immediate release, I would sit with the Press Secretary and craft a press release. For the second part of the summer, I am an intern with The Joy FM radio station. I am looking forward to this opportunity and building on my reporting skills. A typical day is sitting on the radio segments that go live throughout the day. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge I faced was giving myself grace during a learning experience. I tried many new things for the first time, and it was a challenge at times to feel like I wasn’t meeting my own expectations. Luckily, I was blessed with the opportunity to be surrounded by leaders who were invested in my professional growth. 

How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?

Grady emphasizes the importance of industry experiences. It’s known worldwide that Grady graduates are recognized for excelling in their field. For me, I view this internship as a first step in my own professional journey towards success. My Grady course work has prepared me to be a versatile communicator. These various skills allowed me to be an asset in my congressional office this summer. 

What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship? 

My most memorable experience would have to be the day that the Legislative Assistant asked me to design a new graphic that would go on our one-pager letters. It was because of the skills I have learned in Grady and through Dr. Kyser Lough that I knew exactly how to design something that was eye catching, professional and efficient for our office. I was excited that my design would be on display and meaningful for the eighth district of Georgia

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

Step out of your comfort zone and don’t let the location of an internship avert you from tackling the opportunity of a lifetime. You never know where it may lead you. 

What lessons will you take back with you to Athens in the fall?

I have learned about the significant relationship between the politics and the press. I now have a reinforced perspective of the importance of public service and my desire to give back to my community through meaningful communication.

Grady InternViews: Amari Tillman

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities. A graphic explaining Tillman is pursuing an M.A. in Integrated Advertising and Public Relations and working as a Strategy Intern for Weber Shandwick NYC remotely

I am working remotely at Weber Shandwick NYC as a Strategy Intern. I use analytics tools and syndicated data for social listening and market overview respectively based on the research plan developed by the project lead. The strategy team touches base a few times in the research process to establish areas of interest or improvement in the data. Once the research is conducted, the strategy works together to come up with a cohesive strategy to present to the creative team.

I am interning through MAIP, which connected me with Weber Shandwick. The internship is remote – it took some adjusting at first but I have grown to like it. I get to research in the quiet of my home without any distractions. Much of the correspondence is done through Microsoft Teams so meetings and organization have been a breeze. 

How do you feel that Grady has prepared you for tackling the job?

I’ve done many projects that dealt with campaigns and from start to finish. This helped to better understand the relationship between research and creative as well as always keeping KPI’s and budgeting in mind.

What is the most memorable experience you have had during your internship?

Both MAIP and Weber Shandwick NYC have the interns work on (hypothetical) campaigns that is shown to the agency. It’s very reminiscent of days in Grady when we had campaign projects we worked on throughout the semester and is super fun to do. As a strategist, your role in creative execution is limited but doing a campaign from scratch is fun as you get to bring many of your ideas to life. Since it’s hypothetical, the sky is the limit!

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role?

The analytics or software certifications and research you do for classes helps a lot with the role. It helps to have fundamental knowledge in how to conduct research and ask meaningful questions because it will help you think like a strategist.

Grady InternViews: Caroline Kurzawa

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.A graphic explaining Kurzawa is a journalism major working as an intern in the integrated communications department for Enterprise Operations at Lockheed Martin in Washington, D.C.

I am an intern at Lockheed Martin. I am based out of the headquarters in Bethesda, M.D. but work remotely from Delta Hall in Washington, D.C.

I log on early because we work on a 10-hours-a-day schedule Monday-Thursday with each Friday off. I can see meetings and tasks come through in my inbox. I have worked on presentations, communications drafts and quality checks for other projects. I check in with my supervisor once a week to track my progress and discuss other projects I may be interested in.

How is your internship affecting the ideas you have about your future?

I have loved my experience so far, and it has confirmed that communications is the right field for me. Every day is different!

What has been your favorite part about living and working in DC?

The energy! There is always something to do and places to see. This is a great place for young professionals who want to be at the heart of public affairs.

When you look back on your internship 10 years from now, what part of your summer internship do you think you’ll remember most?

I know that my supervisors value my ideas and that I’m viewed as an important member of the team. My co-workers are kind and take the time to send projects my way when they know I’ll be interested. I’ll always be grateful my hiring manager gave me the chance to join the team.

Kurzawa in the doorway of Delta Hall
Kurzawa is a rising senior journalism major. (Photo: submitted)
What is the most valuable lesson or skill you have learned during your internship?

Communicate! It sounds kind of silly from a communications intern, but talk to your supervisors and your co-workers. Tell them how you’re doing, what you can do for the team and what you need from them.

What do you think made you stand out while applying for the job and what qualities do you have that are helping you succeed?

I think the Public Affairs Communications program catches the eye. It is different and specialized and people always want to hear more about it. In addition, I am personable and love to learn, which drives me as a self-motivated person. It is also critical to have strong communication and time management skills, especially as a remote worker.

How do you feel that the PAC certificate has prepared you for tackling the job?

The writing and strategic thinking skills I have learned through the PAC program made it much easier to start my position and anticipate what my supervisors were expecting of me.

What is your advice for other students looking to take on a similar role, and what advice would you give them if they’re considering a PAC certificate?

Apply anyway. Not sure if you’ll get it? Apply anyway. Take the risk because the education you are receiving will support your goals. To students considering the PAC program: this program is one of a kind and will provide you with the kind of skills that employers in the public affairs realm need. Professor Watson brings his real world experience and knowledge to the classroom to prepare you for your future.