When starting out at a public relations / marketing internship, everyone in your non-PR life will always ask, “what are you learning?” You’re getting some key, inside info about how companies and brands shape their images. But in the process, you’re also learning about yourself. Each PR / marketing internship is different, but from my time at SHIFT, I’ve learned four main lessons that I can distill down. And what better way to characterize them than with characters from a favorite classic story?
Lesson 1: Winnie the Pooh – “Think, think, think.”
Pooh’s catchphrase encapsulates a lesson every intern learns early on: agency life is constantly changing. Many different tasks get thrown your way every day, and you have to keep up. Whether it’s something silly (but important) like figuring out how to get into your Team’s DropBox or looking at client figures, it’s important to keep the neurons firing.
Lesson 2: Piglet – Overcome your fears
Anyone who has read A.A. Milne’s books knows that Piglet is timid and shy, especially when out-of-the-ordinary events occur in the 100 Acre Woods. As a new intern, it’s tempting to feel this way, whether it’s about absorbing new technologies or simply meeting members of the office. But it’s also important to remember that, in the stories, Piglet eventually overcomes his reservations. Taking in a different piece of knowledge every day even though you may feel trepidation, such as when I first tried my hand at one of our extensive client reports, is crucial in a PR / marketing internship.
Lesson 3: Eeyore – Ask friends for help
Eeyore can always rely on a helping hand from his friends to make him feel better and go on adventures. This is the same lesson you can learn in your internship — never be afraid to reach out to your mentor or members of your team. I have learned so much by working closely with the members of SHIFT’s marketing team, and I have learned to never be afraid to ask them a question.
Lesson 4: Tigger – Be Bold
As the most adventurous character in the books, Tigger is always on the go and taking risks. He’d fit in well at SHIFT, where one of the 7 Core Values is being “ballsy.” I’ve learned that it’s important, in the right scenarios, to be bold and try to go above and beyond to try and help. Whether it’s contributing an idea in a team meeting, or volunteering to help rejuvenate the agency’s Pinterest, being bold is a key takeaway.
We all grew up with these characters from Winnie the Pooh’s tales. As we keep growing, we start to seek internship opportunities like Pooh on the hunt for honey – and lessons from the characters can be applicable to navigating the 100 Acre Woods of the PR and marketing world.