On my first day of diving into my lotus823 internship experience, I honestly had no idea what to expect.

Based on my experience with other internships, I assumed that most of my duties would entail grabbing coffee, printing papers, and filing, with a hope that I would gain a sliver of experience in the field I hope will one day be my career. I am happy to say I was completely wrong! From day one of my time at the integrated communications marketing firm I was welcomed with a packed day of trainings and client meetings. Throughout the next few weeks, I was tasked each day with a project that would be directly impacting the agency and its clients. While I have had prior internship experience, this was my first true hands-on education into the world of public relations.

A typical day at my lotus823 internship included kicking off the morning by developing the internal “Industry News.” Using a media monitoring service along with social media platforms, I would find relevant news for the each of the client verticals that the agency was working in. At first the thought of sending any of my work for the entire office to see was terrifying to me, but while I got to know the staff the first day I was pleasantly surprised with how friendly and encouraging everyone on the team was to all the interns.

The “Industry News” assignment showed me the value of research and staying on top of trends within your client’s industry. I was able to learn tremendously about many competitive markets, such as consumer electronics and housewares, and the stakeholders and influencers that shape those industries.

Luckily for me, the lotus823 team was also excited for me to learn and grow within my internship role. I was always given the opportunity to work on assignments that would allow me to grow my skill set in public relations and social media, something a lot of interns cannot say. I was invited to strategy meetings and team trainings with different staff members through the week to learn the different techniques they used in their day-to-day tasks. From managing a Twitter account to researching promotional events, my projects were all diverse and challenging.

I am fortunate that my internship was filled with so many hands-on experiences that I can put towards my future career in public relations. Looking back, I laugh about how nervous I was my first day stepping foot into the office. Lotus823 made my first true intern experience so exciting and I was taught to be comfortable and confident when sharing my ideas, and to be open to feedback and collaboration. I am happy to say I am walking away from this experience with far more knowledge about this industry than I’ve ever had before and I’m armed with the skills to get the job the done.

Summer Beal is a student at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and is currently studying Communications with a concentration in Public Relations.

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