As the summer comes to a close, we have individually taken the time to reflect on our experience as interns at Smoak PR. Collectively, we have not only gained unique hands-on experience in the workforce, but have fostered relationships among each other and our new mentors that will carry us through our future career paths. As a group, we want to publicly thank the ladies of Smoak PR for investing in us and teaching us more than we could have imagined in just a few short months. Here is what each of us personally have reflected on:
Meg Einstein, University of Alabama:
During my time at Smoak PR, especially given the obscure circumstances in relation to COVID-19, I learned more about the public relations industry than I could have ever expected. Not only did I learn about a constantly evolving industry, but I also learned a lot about myself. While we were only in the office for a little over one week, I learned that working in person with a team full of impactful and driven people pushed me to do my absolute best. Interpersonal relationships are a standard in public relations and being surrounded by professionals in the industry and building those relationships with both the ladies at Smoak PR and with clients was an experience I could never get in a classroom. When it comes to what exactly I’ve learned during this internship, the main thing that comes to mind is that time management and self-motivation are everything. While as a student I have taken a few online classes, working from home is a completely different ballgame. It takes a lot of self- discipline and motivation to get done what is expected, and even more so to go above and beyond. I’ve never appreciated a working atmosphere more, and I can’t wait to utilize what I’ve learned during my time at Smoak PR and apply it to the working world.
Kate Childs, Furman University:
My experience at Smoak PR has been nothing short of exceptional. Even despite the challenges that were presented by COVID-19, this summer proved to be a rare opportunity to grow in new and unique ways. I was able to expand my knowledge and skills in Public Relations more in three months, primarily remotely, than I ever thought possible! Not only was I continually impressed by the work of the women at Smoak, but I admire and appreciate how much each woman invested in me personally, and in helping me grow as someone aspiring to enter into the PR field. At the beginning of the summer, I wrote that I wanted to learn more about political campaigns and how a job in Public Relations could overlap with the political realm. Upon beginning my internship, I was given the chance to learn both of these things and so much more. Smoak gave me the opportunity to work closely with a local political campaign, even taking it a step further by allowing me to produce social media content, E-Blasts, and press releases. This is just the tip of the iceberg of some of the opportunities I was given this summer; I was able to work with a diverse group of clients, crafting content for their social media, websites, community relations, and more. Most importantly, I was able to cater all of these skills and projects to the circumstances under which we are currently living, which increased by ability to produce quality content in any environment. As I leave this internship, I am incredibly grateful for the enriching and insightful experience that I had at Smoak PR.
Emily Gallman, Clemson University:
As the summer comes to a close, I can’t help but feel gratitude for the experience I am walking away with. Of course, it is important to address that our summer was affected by COVID-19 in some ways, but that did not hinder my time at Smoak PR. If anything, it taught me more skills in time management, collaboration, punctuality, and getting comfortable with asking for help. While this summer was a change for everyone in the office, the ladies of Smoak PR did not let this affect how much time and energy they invested in the interns and our learning experience. Just a few of the skills I learned over the past few months are graphic design, social media content creation, writing, and even photography! While completing a virtual internship would typically be disappointing for most, I found that Smoak PR was able to make their job seem even more relevant during this trying time. I learned how important it is to not only address current events, but to respond to them in a timely manner. The skills I learned through this internship will be those that I carry while entering the workforce, and I feel an immense amount of appreciation for Smoak PR.
Breya Moss, Coastal Carolina University:
My time at Smoak PR has been an amazing learning experience. As a college student, there is only so much you can learn in the classroom so getting real world professional experience is crucial. Although COVID-19 changed the dynamic of having a face-to-face internship, I was able to learn just as much virtually. This opportunity made me realize how important Public Relations is in these unprecedented times. It also helped me realize that I am able to do my best when I am in the office and able to collaborate and brainstorm. I really enjoyed watching the women of Smoak PR interact with their clients and seeing their passion for PR. This summer I was able to gain experience in community relations by creating innovative ideas for virtual events. I also learned a lot about social media and ways to generate content. One thing that I enjoyed about generating social media content was working with Canva. This allowed me to become more aware of my creative side. As I leave this internship, I am able to take everything I have learned this summer and apply it to any future situation. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to gain knowledge from Smoak PR this summer.
As promised, we have put all of our efforts into making the most of this internship. Signing off with a piece of advice for the future interns: ask questions, speak your mind, and form connections with the amazing women of Smoak PR.