Purchasing coffee for the office and answering phone calls at a desk is a common theme I hear from many of my friends who have internships. Very few people I know have come out of a day in the office and said they learned something new or completed work they felt was important. In the industry I am choosing to get involved in, buying coffee and talking on the phone is not going to prepare me for my future. Trial and error with guidance is how I wanted to learn and evolve my skills.
Unlike other internships my friends described as a chore, my time at lotus823 involved hands on work and practical experience, which gave me a whole new insight to the public relations and digital marketing industry.
Innovation From the Beginning
On the first day of coming into the office, I had no idea what my day would entail. I have heard so many stories of people being bored at their internships that I became worried I would be just answering a phone for six hours. Contrary to my fear, from the get-go I was assigned work that I immediately felt was relevant.
Not only were there no phone duties, but also I was assigned actual tasks that made me think outside the box and understand the ins and outs of project management. My first assignment involved learning about all of lotus823’s clients, then brainstorming marketing ideas for one client. Tasks like this continued throughout my internship, and I adapted and became more efficient through learning multiple ways of researching information, improving my writing ability, and learning that even an intern can be capable of innovation.
Becoming Aware Of the World
A common task was maintaining the lotus823 intern Twitter account. Doing this helped me learn to engage with industry leaders online in ways I didn’t know were possible. From this I began to understand there is more to public relations than maintaining media relationships.
Most importantly, this caused me to research news and information from numerous industry websites that I now enjoy visiting during my free time. Looking up various articles and headlines created news awareness in my lifestyle, and now always try to stay current news in both the industry and the world. I also learned the difference between crafting a tweet that is just words with a link to an engaging headline that can be part of greater conversations. Projects and tasks such as this were never seen as a chore, and guidance from lotus823 allowed me to become confident in the work and information I was creating.
The Value Of Work
After two months of work, I believe an internship is more than a company’s name you put on a resume. It is a place where you learn skills that you won’t be taught in a classroom. Before working at lotus823, I thought the marketing and advertising world akin to some Mad Men episodes I have seen. I truly understand much more about the industry and that knowledge is invaluable.
“Your brand is our passion,” is what lotus823 believes in, and the methods the agency taught me not only stand behind those values, but they are lessons that I’ll take throughout the rest of my career.
Connor Zazzo is a 20 year-old student-athlete and junior at The University of Tampa. He is currently studying Communications with a focus on advertising and public relations. While interning with lotus823 he looks forward to learning and improving his knowledge of digital marketing. Some of Connor’s hobbies include competing on the University’s swim team and lifeguarding at beaches along the Jersey Shore.