This post was originally published on the SOC Dean's Internship Blog.
Over the past two months, I have had the opportunity to work as a Client Services Intern for APCO Worldwide in New York, NY. Being a recent graduate who had to place other priorities over internships during my time at AU, I knew I needed more experience at a larger agency to better understand agency life, where my interests lie, and how I would proceed with my job search. My time at APCO has helped me do just that.
Upon starting my internship, I was imbedded on three different clients in varying industries: one in energy, one in retail, and one in food, more specifically McCormick, the leader in flavor. In addition to working on these accounts, I also completed ad hoc projects for clients in logistics, transportation, healthcare, and education. Not unlike any other project assistant, I have learned to manage projects for multiple clients, prioritize tasks, and work toward hard deadlines.
Everyday has brought new challenges, but some of the projects I have worked on include building media lists, conducting research for pitches, writing pitches, and daily media monitoring. Though these projects may seem like tasks one might do at any PR internship, I have learned to do them for multiple industries, each having their own specifications and intricacies. It may sound like recreating the wheel a few times over, but in actuality, it is more like building houses, same foundation but with differing architecture.
Additionally unlike at other internships, I have attended internal meetings for my clients where I am able to see the bigger picture and where my work fits into it. Having this opportunity, I feel how much my work is valued everyday as part of larger strategies and tactics. It has also helped me better understand what role I would play at an agency in my next job.
Interning with APCO has also provided me with the chance to work on both the corporate and consumer side of public relations, and I have had a blast doing consumer work for McCormick. I have worked with the pitch team on writing various spice and flavor trend pitches, helped plan a production day, and aided in building brand relationships with influencers. These projects have allowed me to be creative and gain experience in areas I had not touched before.
Even though I have found that I enjoy the consumer side more than corporate, I have gained an appreciation for corporate communications. From being the first person to flag an article that could potentially be an issue to seeing corporate social responsibility break through the news cycle to helping clients keep up with their industry through preparing daily clip reporters, I see how important that work continues to be.
Through all of these projects, my internship at APCO Worldwide has given me a glimpse of what agency life can be like and helped me solidify my desire to work at one in the future. I have been able to hone my skills with a wide variety of work for a diverse set of clients, so I know I am well on my way.
My advice to any PR student unsure of which direction to go in, apply for an internship at any of APCO Worldwide’s offices, and you’ll encounter mentors and experiences that will aid you in strengthening your skills and finding your passions.