The Best of Both Worlds
I apologize for evoking memories of Hannah Montana during such a controversial time in pop culture, but I have to say that right now - as Miley once said - I get the best of both worlds. By day I am a PR intern at Zapwater Communications. I get to travel to the trendy West Loop and assist the Zapwater team on nine fantastic accounts, while learning the ins and outs of the PR industry. Every night, I spend time on the good old CTA as I commute home to Evanston, where I am currently a senior at Northwestern University.
As a Northwestern student, I absolutely value my education and I’ve been lucky enough to have taken some incredible courses at NU. But after having spent a month at Zapwater, I can confidently say that there is no way I would have learned as much as I have so far if I was sitting in class and reading a textbook this fall. At Zapwater, I am learning about media tracking, writing effective press releases and planning events not through hypothetical examples, but through hands-on work that has an actual impact.
I enjoy the fast pace of the PR industry and working on meaningful projects with visible results much more than studying for tests and writing midterm papers. I know I shouldn’t wish away my time as a college student, but at least I am excited for what’s to come if it is anything like what I have experienced so far at Zapwater.
On the other hand, I am still a student with few of the responsibilities that go along with having a “real” job. At the end of the work day I get to head back to campus where I go to football games (go ‘Cats), hang out at my sorority house, and enjoy not having as much homework as the rest of my friends do!
I would recommend taking a semester to intern at an agency to any student interested in PR. You will learn more than you can believe, and you will definitely be able to determine if it is the right industry for you. It may sound difficult to balance the demands of being a real working person with the lifestyle of a college student, but as long as you’re willing to work hard, it is definitely doable and so worth it!
Danielle Nash, Intern