By Brooke Hollowell
After recently graduating from John Carroll University, I was thrilled to start my first full-time job at Inspire PR Group. I held previous internships at organizations including The American Lung Association, The Cleveland Clinic, Zig Marketing, and Dix and Eaton. Due to having so many experiences at different companies I had a lot of expectations going into my first day on the job!
Two of my internships during school were at agencies, which helped prepare me for full-time agency life. Coming into Inspire, I had experience pitching reporters, working with bloggers, using media databases, such as Cision and Critical Mention, writing press releases, tracking analytics, and working closely with clients. My previous internships provided invaluable experiences and taught me the ins and outs of what it is like working at an agency.
If you are looking for an internship, it will be both scary and educational. It forces you to think about your career like an adult. Each company has its own unique culture. One thing I experienced everywhere that I interned is that people don't hold your hand like they do in school. My best piece of advice would be to constantly request new assignments and to ask questions. People are happy to teach, but you have to be willing to ask.
The summer after my senior year, I interned at one of the biggest PR firms in Cleveland. Its office was located on the 39th floor of the tallest building in the city and the lobby had a 360-degree view of the entire city. Senior level associates with more than a decade of experience in the industry made up nearly half the team, and I was lucky enough to get to work with them. It had a more corporate atmosphere where everyone dressed professionally, and it wasn’t rare for many of my supervisors to only leave their offices around noon for lunch.
Internships are also all about relationships and networking. I met some of my best friends at my summer internship, and I gained lifelong mentors. My internships all taught me something and set me on the path that led me to Inspire.
Because Inspire is a smaller agency than the two I interned with previously, I was nervous to see what the culture would be like. I was surprised to find that everyone was so warm and welcoming. Inspire is like a family, and it isn’t rare that everyone knows about what is going on in your life outside of work. I love the fact that I got to see pictures of my supervisor’s kids in their Halloween costumes, and listen to my colleague’s apartment horror stories. After moving to a new city where I didn’t know anyone outside of work, I found it extremely comforting to have friends at Inspire!
Inspire also has a unique client roster, which ranges from agriculture to healthcare to five-star restaurants. Regardless of which account I am working on, each client has been great to work with. Not only are they responsive but they appreciate the work that Inspire produces. After having worked on multiple accounts, it is great to see the relationships you start to develop with clients, as well. They always notice when a new associate has been added to their account, and they try to get to know you on a personal level.
I believe this mentality stems from the team at Inspire, which is one of the most dedicated and hardworking groups that I have ever been a part of, and it always shows in the work they produce. I am thrilled to be a part of this team, and can’t wait to see what my future at Inspire has in store!