Even with the fall term now in full swing, many students are still reminiscing about their awesome summer internships. Rebecca Stillman ’20 is certainly one of those students, since she spent her summer interning in New York City for Makovsky, a public relations firm based in Manhattan.
Currently pursuing a degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications with a specialization in Creative Advertising, Stillman admitted that at the beginning of the summer she wasn’t really sure what public relations was or how it related to her major.
“I soon came to learn that the industry is all about maintaining a favorable image for a company or person,” says Stillman. “My supervisor explained to me that in order to complete this goal, our team had to be extremely well versed in the company and truly have a deep understanding of the subject matter at hand.”
Stillman was part of a team of six interns but revealed that she did everything she could to stand out.
“I realized that I was no longer in a classroom setting, and I had to show that I wanted to be present and work hard,” she shared. “I volunteered to take on any and every assignment I could, even if I wasn't quite sure how to complete it at the time. I wanted to immerse myself in the company culture.”
I had to show that I wanted to be present and work hard.”
She also shared that many of the skills she has learned so far at JWU made it possible for her to complete her duties on the job and have a great work ethic. Taking courses in Excel and Spreadsheet Design, Marketing Research and Honors Public Speaking — to name a few — made an incredible difference for her experience
“Without those courses and learning those skills, I wouldn't have known how to do any of the tasks I needed to,” she admitted.
That long list of tasks included creating media lists, monitoring clientele social media pages, developing background reports on potential clients, cultivating insights from interviews to make slide decks for presentations and sitting in on client calls and meetings to take notes.
However, it wasn’t all work and no play for Stillman. Makovsky provided numerous opportunities, such as visits to the Museum of Public Relations, LinkedIn, Bloomberg, Interior Design Magazine and Business of Home Magazine. These visits were part of a weekly intern program run by Makovsky called Prism.
“We were able to speak with marketing directors, writers, and publishers about their work and the role that public relations plays in it,” said Stillman. “These field trips allowed me to grow my personal network on LinkedIn and talk to people about their journey into their current role.”
The company also took her and her fellow interns to InternFest, an event where interns can network with CEO’s and presidents of various public relations agencies.
“I actually ended up winning a raffle that night, and the prize was the chance to have lunch with the CEO of a top public relations agency,” Stillman said. “It was amazing!”
Being able to complete an internship in NYC is a life-changing experience.”
Overall, Stillman’s summer internship in NYC gave her the perfect amount of work and play. She learned more about the public relations industry, worked hard to set herself apart and made a ton of new connections. But, she also got to explore the city, visit amazing cultural and professional places, eat at amazing restaurants and meet new people every day.
“Being able to complete an internship in NYC is a life-changing experience that every person should have the opportunity to do, regardless of their area of study,” she said. “It’s a place like no other, and I was so sad to leave!”