When I first started this internship at S&A, I thought I’d spend my days learning solely about press releases and media contacts. Boy, was I wrong.
While it’s certainly true that I know a heck of a lot more about public relations today versus eight weeks ago, I am astounded by how much I’ve also learned about Wall Street, healthcare, law, and philanthropy, among other industries and sectors. While I spent one week mastering medical jargon and looking at healthcare studies, I spent another week peeling through court cases and laws. I have practiced being an investigator, a writer, and an editor. I’ve done all these things while leading you all to think that I was just doing PR.
Who knew that to be good at public relations you needed to know so much about every other business? This internship has been a real eye-opener, and I mean that in a good way.
I bet you’re also wondering how I could possibly adapt to all these areas in a few short weeks. Well, sorry to disappoint, but if you’re thinking that I might be superhero disguised as an intern, you’re wrong. I wish that I possessed a secret power for being the human chameleon of professions, but I don’t.
I have always enjoyed throwing myself into new topics. On a whim while at Oxford, I elected to take a course on Renaissance Art just for the fun of it, even though I knew almost nothing about the Italian Renaissance. (Fortunately, it turned out to be a fascinating course!) As I learned this summer, that “try anything” spirit is quite helpful in the workplace.
I thank Holy Cross and my liberal arts background for my ability to adapt easily to new situations and my general zeal to learn new things. Congratulations Mom and Dad, you can sleep easy at night knowing your tuition money is paying off already!
Over the past three years, Holy Cross repeatedly challenged me to get my feet wet. In addition to taking classes for my English major, like every other Holy Cross student, I had to step outside my comfort zone and take classes in other core areas, such as religion, art, science and math. Ancient and Medieval Hinduism, anyone? Yep, I took that one (and highly recommend it!).
Although some of these classes may seem off-topic for an English major, they actually enhanced my understanding of literature while broadening my general knowledge. One day we discussed the same topic of linguistic determinism in my Honors linguistics course that we discussed in my 20th Century British Literature course. Recognizing these connections helps me easily adapt to a new area of study.
By learning through a system that forces you to branch out, I acquired the skills that would help me adapt easily to reading medical studies and court cases. Instead of turning into a deer in the headlights when I am drafted onto a new project, I am confident that, if history is an indication, I will eventually figure it out.
So, there you have it, I have spent my summer traveling through many careers in true Holy Cross style. I have played lawyer, doctor, and philanthropist (in the broadest sense of those words) while simultaneously being a PR agent.
And you thought I was just a PR intern…