When senior public relations major Gary Azera called the Narragansett Beer Company asking if they had any open internship positions, he was thrilled when he was offered an interview. As the marketing intern, Gary is often asked to contribute his ideas and thoughts to his supervisors about their new products.
Gary’s main responsibility is managing the Narragansett Beer email and responding to customer inquiries. He also helps manage their social media accounts.
When Gary was enrolled in PRS340 with Regina Bell, he was assigned a project where he analyzed Narragansett Beer by researching the company’s target audiences, products, marketing tools, and history. That project opened his eyes to this company as a possible future employer. “When I showed the person interviewing me my analysis, it was apparent they appreciated my knowledge about the company,” Azeera says.
Finding an internship can be difficult and frustrating at times, but Gary’s advice is inspiring to anyone in the Harrington School. “Don’t give up. It can be difficult to find an internship sometimes. If you don’t get hired, just keep on trying. Make sure you are applying for positions that you’re interested in and that you really want. Internships are very hands-on, and they can help you find out what you like and do not like to do.”
Senior public relations and writing and rhetoric major Bill Matson landed an internship with TRP Associates LLC. as the Proposal Writer and Marketing/Sales liaison for his firm. Bill is in charge of writing complex sales proposals for every RFP the company has responded to since January. Bill also collaborates with the marketing firm that TRP hired for rebranding the company’s image both locally and nationally.
Bill and his boss play at the same golf course. One day, they struck up a conversation about business when his boss mentioned he was looking for someone to write proposals for contracts. Bill shared he is double majoring in public relations and writing and rhetoric. That conversation resulted in Bill writing a proposal; the first step in the interview process. Bill was hired.
According to Bill, the main thing he has learned from his classes it to always put himself in a position to win. “I’ve always strived to be at the top of my classes grade-wise, and that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t taken control of my own academic success, especially in group work settings. My public relations and writing teachers have held me to high standards, and I always try to exceed them,” says Matson.
The best advice Bill has for Harrington School students is to network as much as possible. “Do anything in your power to make a personal connection, whether it’s with your client or your boss. Push yourself to the limit, and take on challenges. Develop some business sense and experience, because it will be invaluable. Public relations and business are directly related, so go out there and find an industry that you can benefit from with your skill set,” says Matson.
Laura Giarrusso -NBC 10
Laura Giarrusso, a senior public relations and film double major, is currently interning at NBC 10 at the assignments desk. Laura has been lucky enough to be sent out with two different reporters and photographers to complete stories that later aired on the news. Much to her delight, she is able to shadow producers of the 5:00 p.m. show which provides her the opportunity to learn more about producing and the news environment. Another aspect of her internship involves taking calls from Rhode Island residents about possible stories. Laura then refers appropriate stories to her supervisor for final selection. Laura continues to be appreciative of the opportunity to be part of the process in determining what stories will eventually appear on NBC10.
Last semester, Laura was enrolled in PRS 340; one of the assignments was conducting an informational interview with a professional in a career field that related to public relations. She reached out to a producer at NBC 10, Suzanne Nadeau, and conducted an informational interview. Nadeau suggested that Laura apply for an internship at the assignment desk.
According to Laura, she feels that all of her classes have prepared her for the real world in some way. “The most significant classroom experience that has helped me in my internship is the level of professionalism that some of my classes have asked of me. My busy class schedule has also taught me the importance of time management in the professional world and how important it is to be organized,” says Giarrusso.
The best advice Laura has for Harrington School students is to never wait for someone to tell you what to do. “Don’t think that an internship or your dream job is just going to fall into your lap. You need to make it happen. Ask questions, even if you think they’re irrelevant to what you need to do. Be in the moment and think about what’s going to make you happy, not what’s going to make you the most money.”