Needless to say, the past month and a half has been a whirlwind for me in more ways than one.
For most recent graduates, vivid images of caps and gowns, diplomas and university ceremonies fill their minds as they enter the working world. My graduation was less ceremonious, and filled with a very different type of vivid image.
April 27 was the Wednesday of “dead week” at The University of Alabama. I had one final standing between me and graduation, not that it worried me at all, since it was in my Twilight Zone class (yes, that Twilight Zone…aliens…science fiction…you got it!). I was looking forward to taking pictures with my friends in our regalia around campus the next day. My family had reservations for the night of May 7 after graduation. Everything was perfectly planned for the culmination of my college career.
I am, always have been and always will be, a planner. But there are some things you just can’t plan for. When I woke up on April 27, I had no way of knowing that a tornado would destroy a large part of the city I had lived in for the past four years, and my plans for the next few weeks along with it. Luckily, the storm spared both me and my apartment. The neighborhoods and businesses surrounding me were not so lucky.
Within the next two days, the university canceled classes, then finals and graduation. Just like that, I was a tornado survivor and graduate all in one week. It certainly wasn’t what I had envisioned. Two and half weeks later, I began my internship in consumer PR at Porter Novelli in Atlanta.
I much prefer the public relations agency whirlwind to the tornado whirlwind I escaped. From the tornado, to quickly moving to a new city, to a fast graduation trip to New York City with my mother and godmother (we left two days after I moved in and returned two days before my internship began), to agency life, I have experienced a lot in the past few weeks. As much of a whirlwind as everything has been, having such a talented and caring team to work with every day has made it seem far less overwhelming.
I am a strong believer that the key to happiness is enjoying what you do. Throughout my internships and PRSSA experience, I have come to love PR and find it is something I grow in the more I practice. Getting to work with the fabulous team at Porter Novelli has been a joy so far, and adds to how much I love the career I chose to pursue. I cannot wait to see how much more I can learn from the talented professionals who surround me.
And don’t worry; I will still get to have a graduation ceremony. I’ll be traveling back to Tuscaloosa in August to walk at our delayed graduation. My nontraditional graduation experience is something I will never forget. Roll Tide!
By Amanda Coppock
I’m an LA girl, born and raised. I even attend college within half an hour of my parents’ house.
Every year, though, I venture east to visit friends in Chicago and New York. This year, my pilgrimage to the Big Apple had a special stop planned: a visit to Porter Novelli headquarters!
Since starting at PN in May, I have worked with some staffers in the NY office, so I recognized many of the names and faces as I strolled through the office.
Notably, I got to sit down with both Amy Inzanti (VP of Strategic Planning and Research) and Erin Osher (VP Consumer) and talk to them about their careers. It was great to hear about their rise up the ranks in PR – and to hear their insight into where the industry will go. They were so gracious, even though I was an intern that had never spoken to them before, and made me so proud to be part of a forward-thinking organization.
As an added bonus, I sat in the office’s lively staff meeting, which, in true spirit with PN’s commitment to diversity, celebrated the unique backgrounds of every employee in the office with heartwarming videos, spotlight interviews and fun skits.
The meeting, which was “The View” themed, only dubbed “La Vista,” pointed out professional achievements, exceptional experiences and the distinct personalities that make PN so special. Everyone was in such good spirits to hear about successful events for clients such as HP and Timberland, share insights into new business as well as the stories of their colleagues. At one point, everyone in the conference room rose to practice bhangra, a spirited folk dance from India.
I left the office wide-eyed and beaming. To be able to listen in to such a vibrant community so receptive to my questions and to see a side of PN I had only heard about and emailed was nothing short of surreal.
As the end of my internship at PN looms, it was just so rewarding to see all the way up to the top. The visit truly inspired me with big city – and big career – dreams.
-Clare Sayas, Porter Novelli Los Angeles
I joined Porter Novelli in June 2010 as an intern in the Digital Practice in New York. I have a background in digital thanks to internships at various tech companies, such as Encyclopedia.com. I have also gained an understanding of web production and analysis through co-founding and managing a web-based retail business over the past five years.
This summer I have had the opportunity to work on a few interesting engagements. While my supervisors were in the south of France for the Cannes Lions Ad Festival, I tracked the conversation across social media, and developed several trending reports that were re-broadcast by AdWeek. It’s also been a great experience working with the other interns on a group project. There is the possibility that elements of our campaign pitch could actually be used by the client, so I’m hoping to really ‘wow’ them!
I graduated this June from The University of Chicago with a degree in Political Science and moved to Manhattan shortly after!