Having worked as an Intern at Zapwater Communications for four months now, I have had the opportunity to work in close contact with two of the Senior Publicists. During the first three months, I worked with Annie Neyman on a variety of hospitality and restaurant accounts. Although I am currently a graduating senior at the University of Chicago with a concentration in Public Policy Studies, working with Annie has allowed me to pursue another one of my passions: the food and restaurant industry. As my first introduction into the world of Public Relations, Annie has not only provided me with a basic and general understanding of day to day tasks, but also indulges me in “foodie gossip”. During this time we basically discuss our favorite restaurants in Chicago and provide suggestions for one another.

This past month, I began working with Ali Hazlinger on a variety of accounts, but I often assist with Empire and Elm Street Liquors. Building on the basic research and communication capabilities I learned with Annie, she has provided me with the opportunity to practice my writing skills with a series of pitches. In addition to all of the behind the scenes workings of a Public Relations company, this will allow me to leave my internship with a portfolio of written works. Both Ali and Annie have played the role of mentors for me, and their guidance is something that has been extremely helpful.

Due to the fact that the other four days of my week are spent running around attending classes and other activities, it is incredibly refreshing to come to work and experience a change of pace. Immediately after walking through the doors, I am greeted by a smiling Susan, and it is only after catching up with her that I proceed to the main room. Being an intern, I am conveniently located in the large common room, which is surrounded by all of the other offices. Therefore, I am guaranteed interaction with everyone in the company. Ali always likes to joke that we must at first be a little scared by the self-described “loud and chaotic” work environment, but I see this as an environment where there is an open flow of ideas that we interns then get to take part in as well. Within one day, I had the opportunity to work on projects within lifestyle, hospitality and public affairs, something that given my background and where I would like to be in the future has been a perfect fit. I cannot imagine a more informative and fun atmosphere to work in!

Rebecca Palkovics
Zapwater Monday Intern