For me, it just clicked. It was two years ago and there I was, on the edge of my swivel chair in a large conference room, captivated by every case study and comment presented to me at a Porter Novelli shadow day. The passion, intelligence and friendliness of everyone I met caught me off-guard. I hadn’t expected to feel so connected to a firm’s values and work after just one shadow day. But while visiting the office to explore the world of PR that day, I realized that an agency like PN was exactly where I wanted to start my career.
My name is Katie Strasberg, and as a recent graduate of the University of Georgia I couldn’t be more excited to start life in the “real world” working in the consumer practice at PN Atlanta. Many internships and classes later, I like to look back on that shadow day a few years ago and realize how much I have experienced since – studying until all hours of the night, interning at what at the time seemed like the break of dawn, organizing numerous PRSSA events and reports… the list goes on and on.
But, over the past few weeks of interning, I’ve realized that even though I’ve grown since, what initially sparked my interest in PN two years ago still intrigues me and is truer than I imagined. Sure it’s one thing to hear someone present about how everyone in the office is talented, hard-working and supportive, but it’s amazing to experience it.
So for those of you in my shoes a few years ago, I encourage you to get out there and test the waters at companies, firms and organizations that spark your interest. Go to shadow days. Reach out to professionals for informational interviews. Participate in PRSSA or IABC networking events. You never know which encounter will click with you and lead you on a path to your dream internship or job.
Hopefully during my time as an intern I can give you a taste of what clicked with me here at PN as my “real world” adventure begins.
Hi! My name is Brianna Wagenbrenner, and I am the new technology intern at Porter Novelli. I will be blogging about my experiences at PN and little things I learn along the way. Below are a few fun facts about me.
Where did I come from?
I grew up in Roswell, Georgia in a family of seven. I have a twin sister and three younger siblings. I recently graduated from Georgia Southern University (Go Eagles!) with a degree in Public Relations.
How did I get here?
After graduation I knew I wanted to be in Atlanta. Through PRSSA and my classes at Southern, I became obsessed with PR and digital trends. I attended Leadership Rally in Phoenix, National Conference in Orlando, multiple shadow days, PRSA GA’s Real World and spoke with PR professionals from diverse backgrounds. Finally after a few internships, I had my sights set on agency life.
With many decisions in my life, I have made choices based on where I felt a sense of community and belonging. I play volleyball because of the amazing people I meet on the court. I went to Southern for the small town culture. I joined my sorority because I saw personalities similar to my own at rush.
The same is true for PN. During PN’s Intern Open House, we had an opportunity to network with past interns and other employees, and I could hardly stop talking to each person. I knew after graduation I needed a challenging internship capable of providing a real-world education. I found that in the community of people at PN.
Some advice …
If you are still in school, take the time to figure out what you are passionate about. Then research a job that applies your passion. This next step is important: figure out what you need to do to enter that job market, and do it! I have plenty of friends who are waiting to pursue their passions, but I am lucky enough to do what I am passionate about every day. And let me tell you; it is worth it!
I have big dreams for my career. But to find out how the rest of my internship goes, you will have to keep reading. Happy blogging!
Ok, who here is a UGA student? If you said, “me!” then this post is just for you. I’m sure you’ve heard about tomorrow’s ADPR Connection 2011 at the Tate Center and if you hope to one day have a career in advertising or public relations, I hope you plan to attend. Porter Novelli is sponsoring this year’s event along with fellow Omnicom agency BBDO and UGA’s PRSSA and AdClub.
Look out for some of your favorite Porter Novelli Atlanta team members (and several UGA alums) throughout the event and be sure to introduce yourself. Jana Thomas, a senior vice president at PN Atlanta and head of the health and social marketing practice, will give the keynote during the luncheon on the future of social marketing. Yes, that’s social marketing, not social media. If you’re not sure of the difference, you don’t want to miss this!
If it’s workshops you want, PN’s media guru Jodi Fleisig (formerly of CNN) and PN alum Nicole Harris (formerly of the Wall Street Journal) will walk you through the basics of media relations in “Getting to Know the Gatekeepers: How to Establish Media Relationships.” PN-intern-turned-full-timer Michael Gray will also tell you what to expect during your first few months working 40+ hours a week in “Six Months In: The Inside Scoop about the First Six Months on the Job.”
If you want to learn more about Porter Novelli Atlanta and our internship program, be sure to visit our booth during the career fair for more information. We would love the opportunity to talk to you a bit more about who we are and to get to know you as well, so come on by!
Whether you’re at the event or following along from home, you can keep up with all of the action on Twitter with the #PNID and #PNUGA hashtags. We hope to see you there!
- Meghan Kidd
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
In case you haven’t heard, Porter Novelli Atlanta will be the premier, Summa Cum Laude sponsor at this year’s PRSA|GA Real World Conference, which welcomes students interested in PR from throughout the Southeast.
Look out for us during Session Two of the Conference in “Get the Interview. Land the Job,” with Tia Jackson, human resources manager, who will give you great pointers on interviewing techniques, salary negotiation and business dress etiquette.
In “Campaign Storm,” Kristy Grulikowski, vice president of Strategic, Planning & Research (SP&R), will be joined by Fuzebox in an interactive brainstorm to create a tactical PR campaign for Fuzebox’s upcoming documentary on cyber-bullying while showing off Porter Novelli’s SP&R best practices.
If you want to learn more about Porter Novelli Atlanta and our internship program, visit our booth during the Career Expo to get to know Tia and several interns-turned-full-time-employees working in both the Technology and Healthcare practices.
And, if you’re really just coming for the freebies, we’ll also be raffling off promo items with our new transformer logo in the booth.
Whether you’re at the conference or following along from home, you can keep up with all of the action on Twitter with the #PNID and #RW2011 hashtags. We hope to see you there!
- Katherine Mason, Porter Novelli Atlanta
While I was in college, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Public Relations, so choosing PR as a major was an easy decision. However, choosing a major can be a daunting and overwhelming process. It is entirely possible that you might realize late in your college career or just after you have graduated that you want to work in PR, but did not major in any sort of communications field or have much PR experience. An internship is a perfect opportunity to test out PR and see if it is really something you would like to pursue.
Do not let your major or degree deter you from applying for a PR internship. Tia Jackson, Porter Novelli Atlanta’s Human Resources Manager, provided some tips for those of you who may be interested in PR, but did not major in it:
Join a Club.
- If you won’t be receiving a degree in PR or have not completed any PR internships, look to gain experience in clubs and organizations on your campus. Some good places to start are the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Sell yourself in your cover letter.
- When you apply for internships,make sure you indicate all of your transferable PR skills in the cover letter.
Network, network and then network some more.
- The more you put yourself out there and network with people already working in the PR industry, the more likely they will be to advocate for you when you are applying for internships.
Two of the current PN Atlanta interns do not have communications degrees. Various educational backgrounds bring diversity to an office, so regardless of your major or degree, never hesitate to apply!
-Mary Featherstone, Porter Novelli Atlanta