Going into this summer I had no idea what to expect out of my internship. It is often said that public relations is one of the harder professions to explain to those that are not in it. What makes it so difficult is the broad range of tasks you do on a day-to-day basis. This reason was why I wanted an internship in PR. I felt that I needed to experience it to understand if it’s what I wanted to do. I also knew I wanted to experience an agency. So, when I got an offer to intern in public relations at KemperLesnik I took the opportunity right away. KemperLesnik is a sports marketing and public relations agency in Chicago. This was the perfect experience for me because I got to work on my PR skills while experiencing what makes an agency so special.
There are so many reasons this internship has better prepared me for my career. I was given the chance to experience a 40-hour week for ten weeks, which really gave me a taste of the real world. I got to improve my professional development by being a professional first-hand. I also was given the opportunity to observe the best in the business. I saw how great ideas were made and executed. I had to balance valuable clients and send them work I created first hand. I had my writing published on fortune 500 company websites. While working here I didn’t feel as though I’m an employee but an equal among my peers.
I got the real life experience and exposure to the profession that I would only get from experiencing it first-hand. When I go into job interviews I will have something to speak to and work to show for what I have accomplished. This will set me miles apart from my peers who are competing for the same job but do not have this type of experience. I learned so much more about myself and what I want out of my career. Going into senior year I don’t have to say I still have no idea what I want to do with my life because I feel like I know now. I can hit the ground running after graduation and not waste time. The networking opportunities I have had here and unmatched. I not only worked with some of the best in the business but I feel like if I asked they would be willing to connect me with their own personal networks.
Overall, this experience gave me the summer of a lifetime. I never thought I would be excited for my time at Illinois to end. But after this summer I am excited about the future and Illinois is the reason I am where I am today. When I apply for jobs I know I am going to be proud to send my resume out because of my accomplishments. This summer gave me so much and interning was the best decision I could have made. So thank you to KemperLesnik for the opportunity and the University of Illinois for preparing me for it.