Laura Shubel is a Public Relations/French double major who within one year of getting an internship at the Alliance de Francaise is now working in a management position as the organization’s Language Center Coordinator. Laura uses her PR skills by managing social media accounts, creating and editing e-blasts and newsletters, designing flyers, writing news releases, and updating the organization’s website. She also helps plan public programs and special events.
A piece of advice Laura wishes to share with students pursuing a public relations internship: If you land your first job with a small company or a non-profit like the Alliance, you’ll be able to get your hands on many different projects and are more likely to assume greater responsibility within the company because of the small staff present.
In a recent interview, Laura reflects upon the skills she’s developed through the Harrington School Public Relations program. “Since taking the bulk of my PR classes, I feel a difference in how I think and the work that I create. The most important thing I learned from the classes I took is how to develop a PR mindset; when I make e-blasts, flyers, etc. at work, I am always conscious of my message, the portrayal of what I’m selling, and its perception by various audiences.”
After being accepted into the competitive public relations program, Laura recommends that PR students interested in landing an internship immerse themselves in as many writing classes as possible. Some of the most valuable courses she’s taken are WRT 302, Writing Culture and WRT 331, Public Relations writing. In these courses she learned how to create event programs, news releases, marketing plans, and other forms of writing essential to the public relations profession. She appreciates the real-world perspective of these classes and credits them with preparing her for her internship and recent job. After assuming a management position at the Alliance, Laura found that she relied on her writing skills the most.
While Laura states that writing is of course one of the most important skills a public relations professional must possess, she also thinks its equally important to understand desktop publishing and web design. In Laura’s experience, she suggests that good writing isn’t enough, since you must also be able to format that writing and make it aesthetically pleasing on a web page or document.