Internship Expectations: Concluding Remarks from Function's Spring Interns

Jessi:


Before coming to Function: my experience with work and internships was primarily in Journalism. I wrote for newspapers and magazines and have a degree in Creative Writing and English, so when I saw the ad for this position proposing the opportunity to write, I knew I wanted in. Little did I know that Journalism and PR writing are two different animals.


I admit that it took me a while to get comfortable in this new field. I knew how to research and write leads and conduct interviews and tell the difference between news writing and features writing. But if you asked me what the contents of a press release were or how to assemble a media kit, I would have given you a funny look and spouted something about content and bias and continued on my way.


Joslyn, our Director of PR here, gave me some sage wisdom during my first few weeks that helped me bridge the gap between my two areas of work: “When you’re writing a press release, include everything that a journalist would need if they were writing an article on the subject.” That I could understand. At last, my knowledge of angles and backgrounds and credibility was not for naught!


The biggest result of this experience, aside from the learning and the connections and the introduction of a whole new architecture and design lexicon into my vocabulary, is that I will be staying on at Function: this summer to continue my work. Hopefully, I am not done learning and I can help the incoming interns figure out their place here like I did.


Jessica:


An intern is a funny creature. As an intern, you’re always trying to make sure that you do everything right, because you think everyone's going to notice if you screw up. You furiously study the industry terminology because you don't want anyone to know that you once confused BPM with BIM. You pay attention to every little detail, from how you sit to how loud you speak, and how to greet your boss to how to sign your emails. But when it’s all over, what you realize as an intern is that it was never really about them watching you - it was about you watching them.


Every time I came into Function:, I sat at my desk and just watched (don't worry guys, I did work too). I learned how good coworkers interact. I realized that sometimes, things just don’t go according to plan. But when that happens, the people at Function: somehow know just how to make it a little better for the person who had a rough morning or a late night. I've seen what it's like to get really excited about a job, a client, or even a potential client. I've noticed ambition, encouragement, support, frustration, laughter, barking (mostly from the dogs in the office on Fridays).


But most valuably, I've realized that I no longer worry about knowing everything or saying the right thing -instead, I've just worked hard and let myself learn from the amazing people that I've met at Function:. And they have become my role models, mentors and friends. They have given me more than I had ever expected when I began this internship – they gave me serious tasks, critiqued my resume, introduced me to my first contacts in the PR world, helped me with my applications and were just as excited as I was when I got my first post-graduation job. And somehow, they’ve transformed a girl who can’t remember the last time she held a hammer into someone who can happily chat away about the perplexity of building certifications, the value of retrofitting and the various types of wallboard.


Allie:


I’ve never interned before. I just didn’t think there were really many internships available to English majors. I mean, English majors have a reputation for being flighty academics, sitting in an ivory tower researching irrelevant theories all day; what possible use in the real world could we be? On a whim I decided to apply for the internship at Function:. The email that was distributed at GA State University was targeted to English majors, and I decided I was just as qualified as the next person. When Function: agreed and hired me, I was so excited.


I went into my first day with a lot of inhibitions and pre-conceived notions about internships, though. I imagined a lot of coffee- making, a lot of busy work and filing. I imagined a The Devil Wears Prada-style boss, and mountains of paperwork to be hauled about on my back. I imagined 4 AM calls about deadlines to meet, and I imagined no one knowing my name.


This internship was quite the opposite of any of that. I only made coffee once or twice, and that was for my own consumption. Never once did I do busy work, or filing for that matter. Jody and Joslyn are possibly the sweetest ladies in the world, and there isn’t even a glimmer of the devil (though maybe some Prada!) in them. Sometimes I hauled around piles of magazines, but they always allowed me to use my hands rather than my back. Here at Function: 4 AM is for sleeping, not working, and one of the first things Jody did was print out pictures of each intern and post them on the fridge with our names underneath; everyone knew who we were.


Apart from proving my movie-based ideas of internships wrong, working here at Function: taught me so much. Going into this, I knew almost nothing about Public Relations. I assumed all PR people were party planners following around celebrities. Instead, I found that almost everyone and everything needs a good PR person. I learned how to write a press release, and how it gets distributed. I learned what a webinar is, and that it takes incredibly quick typing to accurately transcribe one. I helped Function: develop a social media campaign, and learned that Twitter and blogs have uses beyond fun. Compiling clipbooks became a regular activity for a while, and AEC publications became leisure reading. I lost my fear of email and over-communicating, and found that I really enjoy talking to people on the phone that I don’t know (weird, right?). A side-by-side comparison of my serving job to my internship made me more glad than ever that I will soon graduate into having a real job like this. A job based on mutual respect and using my brain is a possibility this internship showed me, and has lessened my fears of the real world.


Interning here at Function: has been a fantastic experience. I learned so much and grew a lot, both personally and professionally. I made some great contacts, and some great friends. Most importantly, I developed a sense of confidence in myself and in my ability to succeed in a professional atmosphere. For all of these things, I will be forever grateful to Function:. I wish future interns the best of luck!


FUNCTION:we’re into building things through marketing, design and public relations

1 comment:

  1. I have to say that these three young ladies have been a wonderful addition to function:. I have been so impressed by not only their maturity and drive, but their passion to learn. And they have inspired my motivation to learn new things, especially in the realms of social media! Not to forget, joslyn, jody and ted who did a great job leading the team and making the internship program an integral part of function:. Thanks to you all!

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