I graduated from Berry College this past spring with a newly earned communication degree. Upon graduation, I was eager to make like one of the three little pigs and set off to the big city to seek my fortune (while averting the bad wolf, I hoped). Cut to my birthday on August 21, when I received a phone call offering a three-month internship at the public relations agency enshrined on my vision board. (Yes, I have a vision board.)
What did I think it would be like?
I imagined a big-city environment with a Southern spin. I suspected that I may be allowed to assist with simple tasks pertaining to leg work on various projects, while catching glimpses of what makes the world’s businesses and industries go ‘round. I hoped to subtly slip in my creative voice while subconsciously affirming my chosen career path. I expected quick decisions and a fast pace.
What is it really like?
I am in a comfortable, spacious cubicle with all of the resources I need at my fingertips. I look above my manufactured hedges to see my team actually connected to me. We email, call, meet, help each other, and sometimes do lunch! There is a wide variety of accounts and with four weeks under my belt, I’ve dipped my toes in nearly every pool. Interning at Cookerly has allowed me to learn about industries I otherwise wouldn’t, while discovering professional areas of interest.
I correctly predicted that the environment would have a Southern spin. The office is rather posh, but with a corn hole set and large paintings of country landscapes.
What I hadn’t anticipated was the ease of access to every member of the Cookerly team, which has been a huge perk. Whether an AAE or EVP, I have been able to learn and assist, spend one-on-one time, listen-in on calls, and brainstorm with nearly everyone in the office. The culture here is welcoming and I would feel comfortable walking up to any teammate to ask a question or seek advice.
Notable experiences after one month include:
- Monitoring news coverage for a retail operation in Georgia, for which I help compile a daily report
- Assisting with interview prep and joining calls/conversations pertaining to a financial client
- Contributing to research in areas of finance, healthcare and much more
- Observing the Cookerly team in action as they manage crises
- Connecting/inviting the press to a client’s grand opening
What have I learned?
As a fully immersed intern, I have learned to roll with the punches, stay healthy and well-rested, value differing perspectives – and that when you put good in you get good out. I’m improving on skills such as prioritization, organization, and communication with co-workers, clients and the media. I’ve learned how to build media lists, to follow business etiquette, to always come prepared and that five minutes can make a 15-minute difference when it comes to traffic.
I have much to look forward to, including the remainder of my internship and a full-time career in public relations. There’s no question that my Cookerly experience is helping me build a house of bricks.
Spencer Watts is an intern at Cookerly PR.