As a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in strategic communications, I want to share some lessons I discovered outside of the classroom. At the start of the pandemic, most classes became fully remote, compelling students to participate through Zoom. Most office spaces went unused as companies switched to working remotely. During this online transition, I had the privilege of joining the MAPRagency team. During my first few months as an account coordinator intern, I identified three core lessons about the benefits of technology, organization and curiosity.
LESSON 1) Research! Research! Research!
The PR world revolves around online communication to connect with stakeholders. Online platforms are effective tools for accessibility and data collection. Using tools — like Meltwater — for research allows the MAPRagency team to reach the right sources and helps us earn media coverage for our clients. For example, I use this platform to build media lists, search for media coverage (a.k.a. “hits”) to fill client coverage grids and research the right contacts to pitch at targeted outlets. Tools like these make the research process more efficient. Ultimately, using a media monitoring platform helps boost research accuracy and makes my work at MAPR a lot more efficient.
LESSON 2) The Magnitude of Time Management!
While working as a part-time employee and full-time student, I have significantly improved my time-management skills. I’ve been inspired by how the MAPR team handles many important responsibilities at once, such as keeping track of multiple tasks and their deadlines. Productivity and efficiency are invaluable when it comes to serving as an intern. At MAPR, I contribute to many projects, work for several clients and juggle the various tasks I am assigned on a daily basis. Managing a healthy balance is a representation of a day in the life of a PR agency employee. The lesson of valuing prioritization and organization allows me to stay up to date with tasks, meet deadlines and monitor trends. This real-life experience has opened my eyes to the importance of time management.
LESSON 3) Ask Questions!
Just four months into my role as an intern at MAPRagency, I have already gained so much knowledge about agency life and the joys of tech public relations. But in order to learn as much as possible, you can’t be afraid to ask questions. I learned that pulling off a campaign worthy of engagement, like most projects, requires consistent communication efforts, strategy and creativity. Compared to other businesses, our tech-centric clients face different challenges, including the need to easily explain their product and convey the solutions their technology provides. As a result, MAPRagency has to ask the right questions to help our clients get their point across succinctly and get coverage. The message that I’ve taken away is to place importance on curiosity and to never shy away from asking questions and clarifications.
Since this is my first internship, I feel immense gratitude for the opportunity to work and learn alongside such dynamic and skilled individuals. Every day that I show up to work, I witness more personal growth and attribute it to the internship learning experience. The lessons I’ve learned regarding the value of research, time management and curiosity for the work I do will serve me well as I continue on into my future career in PR.