By Patrick Hynes

I stared at the screen in disbelief. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. After five months of applying to firms in Chicago and Atlanta, I had an offer to work at an agency. And not just any agency, one of the top agencies in Chicago! As soon as I snapped out of my daze, I replied saying how grateful I was and how excited I felt.  The Heron Agency was about to have its newest intern: Patrick Hynes.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am always running late, but I showed up to my first day of work almost an hour early. I sat in my car, bouncing with nervous energy. I was going to be a sponge, absorbing all the knowledge I possibly could. As I walked in down into the basement of our makeshift office, I was greeted with a chorus of “good mornings!”. After some brief introductions, I got right to work.

The culture at Heron is amazing. You can tell everyone wants to be here and that they enjoy what they do. Each member of the team is treated with respect regardless of title. New ideas are always welcome. Work is collaborative, communication is consistent and clear, and we all want to help grow the agency and create the best possible content.

Before coming to Heron, I had no idea what life at an agency looked like. I didn’t even know what the job titles were at a firm. My courses at Loyola taught me that public relations was all about writing, and a lot of the classes overlapped with advertising and marketing coursework. I had no idea how much more goes into it. Event planning, social media, networking, and so much more go into PR. I committed myself to being the best intern I could be.

In college, they never tell you how truly different working is different from the classroom. Working at an agency is hectic, fast paced, and all about learning as you go. I can see marked difference in my work now than at the beginning of the internship. Being open to feedback is vital to any intern’s success. I always look for ways to learn and develop, and my supervisor Kathy, our CEO Noreen, and the entire team are always willing to help. Every task is a collaboration and a chance to grow.

My favorite part of my internship so far (besides my coworkers) has been getting to participate and learn more about agency/client dynamics. Nothing in a textbook can prep you for having to think on the fly, meet short deadlines, and how to accept feedback. It’s a high-stress internship at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The experience I’ve gained at Heron has been phenomenal, and I look forward to returning to continue my journey with them as a part-time employee this fall! Thank you to everyone on the Heron team. You all have welcomed, helped, and taught me so much.