As I sit at my desk knowing this week is my last week at Heron Agency, I can’t help but feel a little sad that this summer internship is coming to a close. I have learned so much in the last four months, more than I ever thought would be possible. Although I am excited to be going back to school and starting a new internship, I can’t believe I am done interning here at Heron.
Last December, I applied for many internships and was not hearing back. After feeling discouraged, I decided I would try to career shadow a company to try to score a summer internship. After hearing about Heron from a friend and looking at their website, I decided to shoot Noreen an email, hoping she would let me come in for the day. I immediately heard back from Noreen and I remember being so excited to shadow someone at the agency. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I had a blast as I tried to take it all in, and was hoping I made a good enough impression to get an interview for a summer internship. Luckily for me, Heron’s former VP Kate, recommended me to Noreen, and I was hired for the summer. I found out in January and I still remember jumping up and down in my apartment when I got the phone call.
On my first day, Noreen invited me and another intern, Samantha, to come into her office to discuss the internship. She then asked us “Why do you want to be in PR?” I told her I wanted to be in the industry because I enjoy writing and I want to help people grow their business. Noreen told me something that I will never forget, and it has been proven to be true time and time again throughout this internship: “When you are a publicist and you take it seriously, you are responsible for countless jobs, and your position impacts whether a company stays in business or not. If you don’t keep your client relevant through publicity and exposure, everyone, from the president to the janitor, could be in jeopardy of losing their livelihoods.”
I was completely speechless. I remember thinking to myself, “Remember everything Noreen just said, because you are going to need this one day.”
I remembered those words every day at the office. I wanted to make sure that everything I did, to give 100 percent. I still will never forget what Noreen told me as I will use it throughout my career. I really appreciated the conversations that I had not only with her, but with everyone in the office. I can honestly say that every person I worked for really took the time to get to know me and offer me advice. Anytime I could get insight on how to be like any of the women in the office, I really appreciated it. They are all successes and class acts.
Within the first few weeks of my internship, there was a big grand opening party that we were working on for the Renaissance Hotel. I remember compiling press lists, writing pitches and helping out with details for the event. It was an exciting time to be starting this new internship! What really intrigued me was that Robin Thicke and Natalie La Rose were performing at the event. I was over the moon that this was my job, and honored to be part of the process. Unfortunately, to my dismay, I learned that I was unable to attend the event because we learned that all attendees had to be 21 and it was a ticketed. If there was ever a time I wished I was older, it was that day!
However, fate always intervenes and I ended up with a wonderful alternative. I was able to go to my first TV and radio segments with the agency’s social media specialist, Kelly, the same of the event. I had never been to a TV or radio segment before so I was really excited for this new experience. Our client, Theatre at the Center, was featuring the comedian Tom Dreesen, (he was at one time Frank Sinatra’s opening act, and a regular on The David Letterman Show.) We accompanied him to his segment to promote the engagement. I remember being in complete awe of the whole experience. I loved every second of it, and I did not want the day to end! It was an experience that I will never forget. Tom told us all about his life and was interested to hear about ours as well. Naturally, I told him I worked at Portillo’s (my other not so glamorous summer job) and how I wanted to be in the PR industry. Tom told me that one day I should write a book about how I got my start at Portillo’s and Heron Agency, and how to become a successful publicist. He suggested the title to be “Hot Dog Girl”; I hope Tom is right on this. If he is when you read my future book, you’ll see his name in the dedication section. Check it out on Amazon in 15 years!
I could go on all day about many of my great experiences at Heron, but that would turn into a novel. What really made this internship were all the women in the office. Noreen, Lianne, Jennifer, Holly, Ellen, Kelly and Courtney – each of them went out of their way to make sure I was successful in everything I did. Noreen really hit the lottery when it comes to all the people on the team. Each of them are such hard workers. I never felt like I was bothering anyone when I didn’t know something or had a question. Each of these ladies were always happy to help, were approachable and friendly. I can honestly say that they are people that I look up to and really aspire to be like. There were countless times when I would take mental notes of something someone did and said, “Okay, I need to be like that when I am a publicist.” I will never forget Heron and I am extremely grateful for all that I learned from the team.
After this internship, I know that I picked the perfect career for me. Working with these women and receiving all these great experiences has made me realize that I’m truly on the right path to my dream career. This internship not only gave me valuable real world experience, but it changed me as a person as well. At 20 years old, I know exactly what I’m meant to be doing, and that is a luxury that I can’t say most people my age have. I am much more confident when it comes to my writing, interpersonal, creative and organizational skills, and I hope that one day I can inspire someone the way this internship has inspired me.
Thank you Heron Agency – this was a summer I will never forget.