All Work and No Play

After being away from home for my first year at college, I had a few expectations for my summer: one of them being that I would spend a great deal of time working. When I packed my things up to go back home to Harrisburg, I knew that I’d miss the city so to fill my time I planned on doing nothing but working. I originally intended to get a staffing internship at Hershey Park, but when things don’t go as planned, new opportunities arise and I say this from experience. I ended up getting an internship as a Reservations specialist at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, and what a learning experience that has been.

The first (and probably most important) thing I learned was the customer service industry may not be for me, but that’s what internships are about: finding out what you like and do not like. My days consist of answering phone calls, making reservations for lodging, and answering general questions about Hershey Park. We serve as the guests’ first point of contact with Hershey, and it’s my job to make sure they have a positive experience, which isn’t hard. It can be difficult, but when you talk as much as I do, you get the hang of it. At first I questioned how exactly public relations related to what I was doing, and then I remembered something very important: everything is public relations. It’s probably one of the most important things that I came to realize in my Intro to Public Relations class, which is how I’ve also learned that it takes a special kind of person to provide quality customer service, and that working in the hospitality industry is really built around the relationship between the customer and the company.

I’ve been doing hundred-hour pay periods and at this point, I’ve talked to thousands of people who come from all walks of life. It’s opened my eyes to all the opportunities that can come from even the most unexpected of places, and that’s why I love what public relations can do. It excites me to meet more people, and I’m even more thrilled to get into the field that I’ve chosen.

Overall, I’ve had a pretty tame summer. I learned a lot about what it is like to work in the corporate field, met some amazing people, and spent time with the people that mean the most to me. I’m really looking forward to meeting even more people, and I hope to get an internship this semester. I’m excited to have a great semester with Temple PRSSA, but next summer I really do need a vacation.

By: Thatcher Williams

When One Door Closes..

I always felt I was late in the game when it came to my major. I didn’t decide on public relations until late sophomore year, and by then a lot of my peers had already started their core classes and even had participated in multiple internships. This past spring semester, I realized I had to play catch up- I NEEDED a summer internship. This was a lot harder than I thought. I had never interned anywhere before, so I lacked major experience outside the classroom. Still, I kept trekking on and applied to new places everyday.

 My inbox soon began to fill up with the same response:

“We’ve ultimately decided to go with a more experienced candidate for this position.”

 No one wanted to take a chance on somebody who didn’t have background in PR internships, and although I was frustrated, I understood their decisions. About a week before the 2017 Spring semester ended came a beacon of hope! My sister had emailed me saying the company she worked for in DC was looking for summer interns. Immediately I applied, and got called in for an interview. I traveled to our nation’s capital with high hopes, crushed the interview, and went home satisfied… Little did I know a few days later I’d be notified they didn’t have any room in their communications field for summer interns.

 Again, my frustration arose and I was about to give up when another beacon (more promising for the first one) popped into my inbox. It was from a woman who worked at my sister’s DC office. She knew of an opening for online communications interns through Bossed Up!, a company that offers personal and professional development training for women. With nothing to lose, I applied, and after various interviews I got the job! Through my internship, I have learned so much and continue to learn more everyday.

It is so frustrating getting rejected, but that should never stop you. Perseverance and patience are key when applying for internships, especially if you’re just starting out. Take it from me, when one door closes, another one is sure to open!

By: Lailumah Faisal