What it Means to Be a Team

This past fall, my freshman year at Southern Methodist University began.  Being the oldest of four children, I was the first of my siblings to move away from home, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. Undeniably, I was excited, but the petrifying thought of being “alone” overshadowed all of that.  It was a major adjustment, as it is for everyone, and I was faced with many fresh decisions. What major should take up my next four years? What should consume my time? Would everything work out?

Although I didn’t know much, my heart was pulling me toward the world of advertising.  Creating, writing, and business have always been some of my truest passions, so I decided to take a closer inspection by enrolling in an “Intro to Advertising” class.  As we all know, the professor makes the class, so I was fortunate enough to have an incredible one.  Professor David Hadeler had so much experience and devotion in his work, and I guess his excitement influenced me as well.  At the end of the semester, he encouraged me to look into the public relations field and recommended me to his friend Scott White’s company.  That is how my journey at BizCom Associates began.

Take Chances and Dive in.

To start off, I’ve learned an incredible amount of material in the past six months.  But this might be the most important one to me, because it’s something I was not familiar with to start.  I would’ve never had this job if I didn’t listen to what I wanted versus what I thought would work out.  If I never took the advertising class, if I never reached out to my professor for advice, if I never took the chance to intern at BizCom, things could have been much different. 

To be honest, starting at BizCom was stressful. I was taking 15 hours of classes, becoming involved in extracurricular activities, studying material, attempting to meet new people, and mastering college life on top of working 20 hours a week.  The idea of this was frightening to me, but this internship was an opportunity I wholeheartedly desired to take.  Therefore, I went with that gut feeling.  I drowned out the voices in my head declaring that I couldn’t do it.  I was aware of the workload, but frankly, I knew I could accomplish my goals.  These past months have proved that to be true, and it was one of the best experiences I could’ve had my freshman year.

Be Persistent.

The requirement to be persistent in public relations is legitimate.  This is not a job for individuals who are scared to send a follow-up email, because in order to get a response, 49 more emails may be necessary.  The world is so fast-paced nowadays, and it’s only gaining more speed.  Everyone has various priorities, schedules, and needs.

So, it’s highly likely that your email isn’t first on their list.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to respond.  In the end, most people appreciate the effort of consistently reaching out.  Life is busy, and sometimes we all need a few reminders.

Details, Details, Details.

The little things are critical, especially in public relations.  There were numerous times that I had to pull a media list for which the press release required a specific audience.  The location, outlet, and interests of a particular group can make or break a story. That’s why it’s vital to target the right people.  There were times where I thought I created an accurate list, but then I would learn an additional detail about the intended audience and realize the list no longer fit.  Verifying that I was aware of all the details made the job go more smoothly and ensured that I was using my time efficiently.   

Coronavirus = Chaos.

I had the pleasure of working for this public relations company (also known in an industry that deals with crises) during the COVID-19 outbreak.  It was unbelievable to see how in a day’s time, everything completely flipped for the clients we were working with.  Immediately, our company was striving to find ways to best deal with the outbreak, push stories out about how franchisors were dealing with the virus, and keep each brand’s name in a favorable light.  This was an incredibly difficult task, but I am grateful I have been able to see BizCom’s calm, dedicated spirit throughout this pandemic. 

Learning What It Takes.

Going into this internship, I was nervous about how I would feel about my major’s studies afterwards.  Would I regret the field I entered?  Would I have preferred another profession?  I shouldn’t have been concerned, because it only revealed the reverse outcome.  Although advertising and public relations are distinct, they both strive to represent a brand’s name positively.  Both professions are for creative, social, and hardworking people who enjoy helping others – all of which I aspire to be in my future endeavors.  This internship not only trained me how to use Cision and Critical Mention media tools, but also showed me how my passions and gifts can be used in the outside world.  

A Team.

This morning on our conference call, the team and I were talking about this blog you are currently reading.  They told me I just needed to write how I felt about my internship, good or bad, and that I didn’t need to “sugarcoat” my impression.  In all honesty, I don’t need to sugarcoat it one bit. 

The experience I had with BizCom was phenomenal.  I remember telling my family this was my first “real-world job,” but I didn’t know quite what I was in for.  I always hear about people dreading their 9-to-5 jobs.  Yet, I don’t think anyone could ever dread working with this group. From our morning discussions over breakfast tacos, eating Sarah’s king cake and cookies, eagerly gathering to watch Fiona the Hippo with her Edible Arrangement splashed across national media, hosting Zoom pizza parties, to analyzing the latest “Bachelor” episode, this truly was an opportunity I’ll never forget. Not only did I learn valuable life-long lessons for my career, but I also found what it means to be part of a team of genuine, fun, compassionate, and hard-working individuals. Thank you for everything, BizCom.