By: Kayla Rodriguez, summer intern
The summer before my senior year came in the blink of an eye, and my goal of landing a summer public relations internship became a sudden stress. I applied to about 10 internships with hopes to land one before my junior spring semester came to an end. As I enter the #PRWorld as a young public relations professional, I find myself noticing the competition that you encounter at every step along this career path. With many hours of researching the secret to landing a PR job right out of college and late night conversations with my fellow PR colleagues, I learned that the one-way ticket to setting yourself apart from all other public relations undergraduate students is by becoming an intern superstar who has a number of diverse internships under her/his belt.
Being a goal-getter and having aspirations to find my niche as a public relations professional in Austin, Texas, I accepted three internships for the summer.
Crazy, huh? No. More like, SUPER CRAZY.
It was a month prior to the last stretch of my junior year when I received a lovely e-mail from Newton O'Neill Communications (NONC) asking for an interview at Seventh Flag Coffee (I 100% recommend their iced chai latte!). I was thrilled to have been considered for this agency opportunity and before I knew it, I was the new intern for NONC set to start mid-May. Things were off to a great start and about to become busier. Within a few weeks of accepting NONC's internship offer, I was contacted by someone working with Austin Tidbits. After a brief phone interview and days of deep thought during which I pondered if I was putting too much on my shoulders, I accepted a second summer internship from this local news and events platform. A week later, Tribe + Glory offered their press outreach internship to me and left me contemplating whether three internships was pushing the limits. I came to the conclusion, through the amazing support and constructive discussion among my parents, co-workers and friends, that this is my time to take on whatever life throws at me — especially opportunities to grow as a PR professional.
I am now entering the third month of being a dedicated intern for three diverse companies, and the challenge has been more than gratifying. Each internship has provided me with valuable takeaways and the subtle comfort that I am pursuing a career that I am passionate about. At NONC, a boutique PR agency which builds the reputation of clients to help grow their brand awareness through media placement, social media, community relations, etc., I’ve learned lots about traditional public relations practices which help provide the best success for business. Through Austin Tidbits, an online editorial that provides the inside scoop on locally fun places to be for women to gather together in the city, I’ve been working to hone my events skills. Finally, I’ve gained in-house brand communications experience with Tribe + Glory, a non-profit jewelry line handcrafted by artisans with a mission to transform the lives of women in the village of Zirobwe, Uganda.
There are many perks despite the 45-minute drive every week to my internships in the thriving city of Austin! I enjoy working out of a contemporary co-working space at Vuka's Impact Hub for NONC. Vuka is laid back and offers complementary happy hour chips and guac each Wednesday (socializing is encouraged). It’s a great location where I can frequently grub on scrumptious Gourdough's Donuts and savory Mellizoz tacos because they are both located literally across the street. Can you say #winning? Interning at Austin Tidbits has also been a boon to my social life giving me full access to exclusive events at Austin's chic boutiques, chic spas or the latest trendy place to be as well as providing me with a fun opportunity to network among Austin social set.
As crazy as the thought of interning for three separate companies simultaneously was at first, I realize that when you have the passion to pursue a fast-paced career in a field you enjoy, you’ll find the drive to get the work done and have fun along the way.