The season of giving is upon us! And it’s also that time of year when we begin interviewing candidates to “gift” our next glorious, paid internship.
That got us wondering: “What’s happened to some of our past rockstar interns since we gave them a glimpse of the PR life?”
We took to our email database and LinkedIn accounts for a quick chat with those former “newbies.” And needless to say, they continue to amaze us with their accomplishments. Dare we think we may have had a little influence in their pursuits?
We certainly won’t boast like that. (Although it’s very true that an internship at BizCom is a world apart from fetching coffee and making photocopies. Hint…hint…to all future applicants!) However, the graduates of BizCom’s internship program certainly continue to impress us!
From rookies to pros, these former BizCom interns still shine
Nelli Tokleh became the president of PRSSA at the University of North Texas when she finished her internship with BizCom (spring 2010). She followed that up with several other internships in the industry and full-time agency jobs after graduation. She got her Master’s degree. And today, Nelli is an account executive at Shiroma Southwest where she enjoys taking care of multiple consumer and nonprofit accounts. She also serves as a content manager and regularly blogs for GenPink and DallasFoodNerd, dishing all the latest hot topics. For her, PR is a perfect blend of fun and creativity.
Rana Rizvi earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, PR and marketing at the University of North Texas and then was working on her MBA at the University of Dallas when she interned at BizCom in 2011. She was so good that we tried to hire her full-time after she graduated. But a marriage and a move to California took top priority. [We won’t ever forget that her going away party at BizCom included a little wedding cake that we had baked up for the occasion.] Her career began in marketing and community outreach at the non-profit Blood Centers of the Pacific. Then a move back to Texas for the happy couple led to Rana’s current gig – working in corporate marketing for PrimeLending. She’s a pro at community relations and marketing and now has the best of all things: work, love and a home back in the Lone Star State.
Nicole Morten interned at BizCom and then graduated with a broadcast journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Let’s just say she not only knows how to pitch a story, but also how to report it! So it was no surprise that her career landed her in front of the camera, working as an investigative TV news reporter and anchor. She worked at WJHG-TV in Florida and at KBTX in Texas. And she also traveled internationally for documentary film work. That love for delivering a story led to launching her own business. And since 2010, she has owned a video production company called “Water to Wine Productions.” The consummate multi-tasker, Nicole now runs a successful business, juggles on-location shoots, and makes time as a wife and mother too.
Amy Lux realized her passion in the communication and media field right after her internship at BizCom PR (spring 2013). She graduated that semester with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and PR from the University of North Texas and moved to San Antonio where she began working in advertising. She began her career as an account coordinator at The PM Group, and today Amy is an account executive for Texas Creative. Her experiences at full-service advertising agencies combine numerous skills. She says she loves the variety of her work, ranging from TV and radio production to website development.
Susan Harling interned at BizCom (summer 2013) right after her first year at Barnard College in New York City. Susan was an exception to the rule for our program. We usually hire upperclassmen as interns. But in this case, Susan was a remarkable fit for BizCom, not to mention a great writer. In fact, she wrote this blog about her internship at BizCom. Apparently, her love for the field has kept on growing. Her next internship was with the integrated marketing department of People Magazine at Time, Inc., in the Big Apple. She then spent her junior year studying in Paris. And today, as Susan prepares to graduate in May of 2016, she says that she is still pursuing work in the broader media/marketing/PR field. Way to go!
So….what do these knowledgeable professionals have to say about the time they spent with us? And what would they tell future interns? Read on!
The biggest lesson that I learned at BizCom is…
Nelli: I learned to be persistent when reaching out to media and not to be discouraged but to follow-up a lot. Reporters are very busy, so it is absolutely normal for them to read the message after 2-3 follow-ups.
Susan: By watching Scott and Monica work, I learned that PR does not just happen but is the result of optimizing contact networks, making connections, and actively searching out new avenues for client exposure. I’ve taken this with me through the rest of my time in college and in my other internships. By reaching out and being active in making connections, I’ve fostered a whole network of academic and business contacts that I can now go to for help, questions, or career advice.
Scott and Monica are great mentors
Nicole: Monica is professional, passionate and creative. She is fun, charismatic and passionate about her clients as well as her team. She takes time to get to know people, including the hungry interns who walk through the doors of BizCom every year. Scott is focused, dedicated, and professional, too. He diligently works to keep the business running like a well-oiled machine.
Rana: Both Monica and Scott are fantastic to work with. They are full of innovative ideas and quick to make suggestions on what can be done better, while building on your platform. They give you the freedom to work in autonomy but also to be able to reach out to them when you have feedback or questions.
If BizCom PR is hiring, you go for it!
Susan: Take on as much as you can! Monica and Scott really invest in their interns and give them a lot of opportunities to build a great portfolio of work. So take advantage of getting your hands on real world experiences and use them to find out what you really like about media, PR or marketing.
Nicole: Always stay busy. Show up early and leave later than the rest. Don’t ever sit and wait for someone to give you a job to do. And take time to establish and maintain great relationships with your peers, whether it is your boss, the janitor of the building, or your fellow interns – you never know when you’ll run into that person again in the corporate world.
Amy: Come to work every day and try to soak up as much information as you can from each of your mentors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because you will gain so much from them.
If you know a great future intern (or, if you ARE that great future intern)…
…reach out to BizCom. Contact our awesome internship coordinator, Account Executive Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At BizCom, we always welcome candidates to come and explore the exciting world of public relations and marketing with us. As much as we miss our interns, we are happy that they continue to pursue their passion in the working world. And we wish them continued success in their future endeavors.