This summer I had hoped to get an internship in Dallas so I could move to the city I hope to call home after college. God had different plans in mind; plans that I am now grateful for.
I applied to two different PR internships, both of which were amazing opportunities. After the interview, both decided to go in a different direction. I began to feel worthless as I wondered if any of my hard work was worth it. I thought the world – even God – was against me.
In June I began to feel sorry for myself and continued to wonder why I didn’t get the internships. I kept thinking about how great I was and how they would regret not hiring me. I began to feel entitled and little did I know, I had more to learn.
This summer was definitely a humbling experience. No matter what I can do, someone can do it better. Whatever I can offer, someone else can offer more. This summer has taught me that I still have a long way to go. Despite not getting those internships, it was still a productive summer.
I began working with my dad to promote his business. I had to do every thing myself because he is the business. There isn’t a communications or marketing department so I had the opportunity to create the company website, social media accounts and print materials such as brochures. Despite not having a mentor, I learned a great deal on my own.
Working with my dad allowed me to be flexible because I didn’t have set hours. One thing I took advantage of this summer was the PRSA member directory. I got to meet with PR professionals who are already in the field and conduct an informational interview with them. I learned a great deal from the field through the wisdom they shared. I’m excited to post the particles on our new PRSSA blog.
I also planned for Relay For Life and PRSSA, developing a PR plan for the upcoming school year, which will take off some pressure during the school year. It’s always a good idea to be a step ahead of the game because it allows us to develop back up plans.
Later in the summer, I found out that I needed to take summer classes because I would have been six hours short. Had I had those internships, I wouldn’t have been able to take those classes. That would have meant graduating late, ruining my plans for the most important summer of my life – post graduation summer.
I also found an amazing church. A month ago, I officially became a member of Champion Forest Baptist Church. I had been going to the church since July and became a Digital Media Volunteer. After weeks of training and shadowing, I had the opportunity to be a videographer for the church. It was an amazing experience and spurred my desire to work in the digital world.
While I love technology PR, I’ve always wanted to try Health Care PR. I had the opportunity to be a Marketing and Public Relations intern at West Oaks Urgent Care. They never had a marketing or communications focus, but with competition rising, they decided to get some interns. This internship was great because it didn’t interfere with school, but it still allowed me to be productive. I had the opportunity to develop clinic’s print material, meet with clients when working booths, writing blog posts for the company website and newsletter and doing social media.
I also kept busy by teaching myself the basics of HTML coding. It was hard at first, but I have the basics down. Having this knowledge is important because everything is becoming more digital. I also created a website for myself and developed my brand.
Lastly I read and wrote. In a PR agency one has the opportunity to work with many different clients thus one needs to be as well rounded as possible. I began reading books on business, communications and writing in addition to PR books. When working with a client it’s important to know their business. The book I am reading gives you a basic rundown of what you would learn taking a business course. I also managed to write…a lot. I blogged frequently and wrote articles for my internship. I realized how much better my writing became when I wrote more (obviously).
My goal is to learn every day and to prepare myself for next year. I sulked for a while, but I realized that there was nothing I could do. Life gives us opportunities, we just have to make the most of what we are given. Some are given more than others, but in the long-run I wouldn’t trade this summer for anything. This summer gave me the strength to move on. The amount of “No’s” and “rejections” I got this year only fuels my fire to be the best. These experiences allowed me to share God with my dad. He always asks me why bad things happen to good people, or why God doesn’t answer us. I now realize that God does hear us. However, his timing doesn’t always go hand in hand with ours. The Lord has a plan, we just need to have faith and persevere. Despite all that happened, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.