interns

Not Your Average Internship

By Rebecca Ellis, Guest Contributer and TrizCom PR Intern, Summer 2017

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The word “internship” is one that college students know well. Internships are just as, if not more, important as what you learn inside a classroom. If you’re like me, you’ve spent hours researching companies online and calling everyone you know asking if they know anyone looking for interns. Finding a company that you like and that likes you can be incredibly difficult. Luckily for me – and hopefully lucky for you if you’re reading this, I found TrizCom.

There aren’t many companies that value their interns the way TrizCom does. In fact, value isn’t even the correct word to use. TrizCom invests in their interns. TrizCom selects young professionals who are eager to begin their career and takes them under their wing. They not only teach them, but they shape them and mentor them until they are ready to go out on their own.

TrizCom taught me so many things that helped me succeed throughout my college career. The most important skill I learned from TrizCom is how to write. I’ve taken that with me through all of my classes. Whether it’s a press release, media alert, fact sheet, resume, cover letter, blog post or just a professional email, I learned how to write from TrizCom. From my PR writing class to my business communication class to my women’s studies class, my writing has improved in every aspect.

If there is one word I would use to describe how I felt during my time as an intern at TrizCom, it would be “supported.” TrizCom supports their interns. There was not a day that went by that I didn’t feel like I was a part of the team. There was not a day that went by that I felt like the work I was doing wasn’t important. There was not a day that went by that I wasn’t excited to go to work. Where you have strengths, they let you shine. Where you have weaknesses, they show you how to improve.

When you are a TrizCom intern, you are not a coffee-fetcher. You are not a copy-maker or a phone-answerer. You are a part of the team. You are an employee. You are a creative mind that has valuable input. You are just as important to them as they are to you.

A Meaningful Experience

By Jeff Cheatham, Senior Account Supervisor at TrizCom PR

Excuse me while I take a moment to brag on the Intern Program at TrizCom PR. Headed up by my colleague, Katie Mudd, it’s a culture-driven credit to our organization as a whole. For several years, TrizCom has instituted a semester-oriented program for current university students and recent graduates. We run a five-month program in the spring, a three-month program in the summer and a five-month program in the fall.

I think we’re coming off one of our best classes ever. This summer, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting Rebecca Ellis and Amanda Brown, both of Texas Tech. These two remarkable young ladies have made significant contributions to the earned media wins of our clients, and we’ll be sad to see them go.

So what exactly makes a good intern program?

Many moons ago (I won’t say how many moons), I was in my final semester of college when it dawned on me that I might want to seek an internship to have something to put on my resume other than University of Texas Student Union Marketing Committee. I think I went to one meeting, sat in the back, and then later claimed I ran the whole show. I doubted it would fly when the real job interview process began.

I found a suitable intern program at an Austin-based ad agency (name redacted). I was one of 12 picked to participate, and I can still remember my dad on the phone asking incredulously, “What do you mean it’s unpaid? Can they do that?” I thought I was lucky enough to have landed somewhere. It didn’t take long for me to get a sense of what an internship was like.

On the second day, one of the girls in the program quit because they asked her to sit up front and answer the phones. I was busy working on real-world advertising business such as making copies for a meeting that my bosses had no intention of inviting me to attend. I stayed at it, however, and after the internship ended, they asked me to stay on full time. For minimum wage. Six months later they laid me off, so I got an early taste of what downsizing meant.

Looking back, the internship program at that agency was terrible. And I can say from my experience at TrizCom over the last three years, internships have come a long way. Let me tell you why ours is both different and meaningful. We’re committed to making sure that our interns are valued. If you intern with us, you’ll be in our weekly staff meeting. You’ll be in client meetings. You’ll go to media interviews. You’ll pitch stories. You’ll write talking points. You’ll be an integral part of account planning and PR campaigns. And it’s paid work.

Most of all—you’ll get the credit you earn. We pride ourselves on creating a real-world atmosphere at TrizCom so that you’ll be prepared for real public relations down the road. And that’s if we don’t offer you a job. Our program is specifically designed to promote from within. You show us what you can do, and we have the business to support you as a full-time employee, and you’re in.

Our fall internship program is currently underway, and we’re looking for the next Rebecca Ellis and Amanda Brown. If you desire a place where your opinion and hard work are valued, reach out to Katie Mudd and let her know you want to experience the TrizCom Difference™.

A Bittersweet Goodbye to TrizCom

By Maelyn Schramm, TrizCom PR Intern

Maelyn in a completely casual, totally candid, hard at work shot.

Maelyn in a completely casual, totally candid, hard at work shot.

My time at TrizCom PR is about to come to an end. As the sun sets on the month of May, I will bid adieu to my nook in the little office that I made my workspace. It truly is a bittersweet moment.

Firstly, it’s bitter. I love working alongside such creative, like-minded individuals who have a passion for storytelling and a dedication to produce excellent work. I will miss playing – and ultimately losing – Yahtzee during lunch, and I will miss popping my head into Katie and Dana’s office to ask them about their weekends. I will miss hearing all of Jeff’s crazy stories and catching up with Jen about what her adorable family is up to. I will miss how Jo surprises us with sweet treats to reward us for our work. In many places, it’s hard to find a boss who acknowledges 1) interns and 2) your sacrificial efforts to complete tasks and meet deadlines. She says “thank you” at the end of every day, and as someone who cherishes words of affirmation, it means the world to me.

Secondly, it’s sweet. Over the past four(ish) months, I’ve experienced such exponential growth as a creative storyteller and human being. TrizCom pushes me to exert 100 percent of my energy and passion into every project I produce – this includes reports, releases, social media outlines and blogs. TrizCom equipped me to write stories about any and everything, with assignments ranging from Heroes for Children – a nonprofit that benefits families who have children battling cancer – to Healthway Education Systems, a medical marijuana continuing education program. TrizCom gave me an idea of what I’m looking for in future employers – to find companionship, to test my limits, to receive respect from my peers and superiors alike.

I’m about to leave, but this is not a permanent goodbye. I plan to stay in touch with every person I’ve connected with, to hear about TrizCom’s incoming intern class, and to shriek with excitement on the word of new clients. To leave behind an era of so much growth and refinement is bittersweet, but my time at TrizCom was nothing but sweet.

The 4 C’s of College Internships

By Katie Mudd, TrizCom PR

The best way for college students to get a taste of their major in the working world is through internships. However, not all internships are created equal. When selecting an internship program to apply to, it’s important to keep the 4 C’s in mind: culture, career development, coaching and connections.

1. Culture – When seeking internship opportunities, you should have an understanding of what kind of corporate culture and work environment will best suite your ability to learn. Some work environments are full of energy and fast paced, while others may be more predictable and provide a conservative work atmosphere. Whatever your preference is, determine what type of culture and workplace environment will be most conducive to your internship experience.

2. Career Development – It’s important to seek an internship that is relevant to your area of study to enhance your learning experience. The end goal is to gain experience and knowledge of your field as a full-time career before you enter the working world. To ensure you are selecting an internship that is appropriate to your field of study, use your interview opportunity as a way to gather information about the specific duties that are required for the position. This is a great way to discover whether or not the internship program aligns with your career path.

3. Coaching – A good internship should provide interns with strong leadership and mentors who will help guide young professionals as they start their career. Most established internship programs provide interns with a supervisor they should feel comfortable talking to. Interns should feel free to ask their supervisor or team members for advice to help make the internship experience productive and fun.

4. Connections – In the working world, it’s all about who you know that determines where you will go with your career. Internships allow students to gain professional experience while building their network. Interns should take advantage of every opportunity available to them to meet people during their internship, whether it’s an after-hours event or grabbing lunch with the team. Most organizations hire within their intern pool or recommend their interns to other members of their industry – but usually this only happens with interns who have taken the time to get to know their team.

TrizCom hires interns throughout the year to help develop successful public relations campaigns for local, national and international clients. The ideal candidate should be detail-oriented, creative and passionate about crafting the perfect media pitch, while having tons of fun!

Tips for PR intern interviews

By Nikki Darling, TrizCom PR

Dear potential interns,

Less than one year ago, I was in your exact same shoes – staring at the abyss of my closet the night before an internship interview, trying to find something passable to wear and fighting off the worry that there is probably a spelling error somewhere in my portfolio or resume.

Don’t furrow your brow for too long, though. It will all work out. I interviewed, secured the internship and after a few months was hired on full time. 

Yes, interviewing for an internship in public relations can be nerve-wracking. It may be your first big foray into the industry, where all you’ve learned so far is put to the test. But while internships can be scary, they are also exhilarating and can be amazing opportunities to learn what it’s really like to work in the public relations industry.

So, you want that coveted internship right? Here are a few tips to get you going and position you for interview success:

1.    Dress professionally: This is a no-brainer but still worth stating for those who missed the boat. Guys – a suit and tie goes a long way in maintaining that professional look. Ladies – a nice dress and jacket or a women’s suit will show you mean business. Even if the company isn’t very formal, show you are willing to dress the part of a PR professional.

2.    Bring extra copies: Bring extra copies of your resume, portfolio or any writing samples, even if you aren’t asked. Having backup copies ready to go shows you are thinking ahead and prepared.

3.    Read the company’s website: Understand how the company works, what the culture is like and especially who the clients are. You don’t want questions about clients or why you want to work there to come as a shock.

4.    Study the company’s social media pages: This is a really great way to get to know the firm’s clients, activities and company culture. Follow, like, comment – make your presence known on their social channels. Start a conversation before your interview even begins.

5.    Follow up: Always, always, always follow up after the interview. Thank your interviewer for taking the time out of their day to meet with you, and ensure they have all of the documents they need to make a decision. It also doesn’t hurt to send a hand-written thank you note.

6.    Have nice nails: Bad hair days happen. Makeup can get messy. But when in PR, you had better have nice nails. You are constantly shaking people’s hands and sitting at conference tables with your hands on the table. Guys and gals: clean up those nail beds, file those jagged edges, and make those nails shine.

Interested in an internship with TrizCom? Email Katie Mudd at Katie@TrizCom.com for more information on our internship program. And if you’re lucky enough to score an interview, keep the above tips in mind. They may just help you out.

Nikki is a junior account executive and former intern at TrizCom Public Relations

From national industry leaders and Dallas-Fort Worth’s largest companies to startups and growing enterprises, TrizCom PR provides public relations and social media services to a wide variety of businesses encompassing startup, healthcare, lifestyle brands, B2B, energy, tech, entertainment, food/beverage and beyond. TrizCom PR has a dynamic track record of local, regional, national and international media placements on behalf of its clients that, if monetized, would equal hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2014 and 2015, TrizCom PR has been named in the top 25 of PR Firms by Dallas Business Journal. TrizCom PR is a Certified Woman Owned Business Corporation (NWBOC). For more information on TrizCom PR call 972-247-1369 or visit www.TrizCom.com.

Nikki’s contact information: 
O: 972-247-1369
C: 469-667-9371
E: Nikki@TrizCom.com
L: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkimdarling
T: https://twitter.com/nik_darling