Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Mission Control Marketing
Why did you apply to intern Mission Control Marketing?
I applied to Mission Control Marketing after reading the job description of what they required from a summer intern. The internship sounded challenging and fun- exactly the experience I needed to gain the skills expected of a public relations practitioner. They listed “an occasional episode of The Office may be showed in the office,” (my favorite show) and I was sold- I had to get this internship.
What has been your most meaningful internship experience?
My most meaningful internship experience was one that reoccurred every week. My boss took time to give “Intern Education Sessions.” These one-on-one lessons gave me the full scope of the tasks at hand and the confidence I needed to jump into the projects asked of me. Mission Control gave me a wealth of knowledge that I needed to pursue the PR industry. They took me to the Wall Street Journal to meet with a reporter and tour the newsroom, and we also went to NBC and toured during the Today Show to get a look into the behind the scenes of a live broadcast. I was never afraid to ask a question during my internship, and it created an excellent learning environment.
Describe your typical day as an intern.
A typical day as a PR intern included writing (blog posts, pitches, bylines etc.), media tracking, pitching to media, interacting with clients and performing external research. Each day was different which is part of what made the internship such a rewarding experience.
What is the hardest aspect of your internship?
There was a distinct learning curve working primarily in the technology and business space this summer. I had to pick up a lot of new terminology in order to effectively communicate on behalf of the clients. This difficult aspect ended up being extremely beneficial to me; not only did I get great experience in a difficult realm of public relations, it reaffirmed my belief that jumping into new territories is one of the best ways to learn.
What is the most exciting thing about your role?
One of the most exciting aspects of my role was being able to join the team at various events and meetings. One specific example was being able to work on a social media strategy campaign for Bose Corporation. It was incredible experience conducting research to inform the strategy and during the process I got to go to a Bose event to celebrate the announcement of their new wireless headphones. When the strategy was finished, we went to Bose Corp. headquarters in Framingham, MA to deliver the results. This project was one of many exciting aspects about my role.
What has surprised you the most about your internship?
What surprised me most about my internship was how much I learned on the job rather than in the classroom (meaning Purdue offers the building blocks, but experience solidifies the foundation). I’ve always been a firm believer that a hands-on approach is the best way to learn, but it wasn’t until I was thrown into the day-to-day of a public relations firm that I realized how much skill you develop by trial and error. For example, I was surprised by how nervous I was when pitching to the media. As a communications major, I have always been proud of my communication skills and this took me by surprise. It pushed me to practice my pitching technique and as a result I am considerably more confident pitching than I was at the beginning of the summer. This practice also led to a highlight: securing a media placement for a client in InformationWeek.
How has your internship prepared you for your career?
Working for Mission Control Marketing prepared me for my career by giving me true experience in the top city in the world for public relations. Working for a small firm, I was granted responsibilities that are typically not allotted to interns. Combining this experience with a strong foundation of the PR basics from my Purdue University education is an awesome start to a career in public relations..
What recommendations do you have for other students doing an internship?
Make sure to speak up and have a ‘can do’ attitude. Show your ingenuity, skill and tenacity. One of the best lessons my boss taught me during my internship was about being tenacious with the media. He said that the average placement is secured on the 19th call and the average pitcher quits on the 13th call. That lesson reminds me to stay the course and not give up. It also reminds me that after the 19th call I might want to rework my angle and try something new. I would recommend other students to keep this in mind in their internships as well!