Internship Story: Emma Pankratz
New, bold experiences are always a bit different than we imagine they will be. I spent much of my college experience wondering and imagining where my professional life would take me when I left—what that elusive “first job” would be like. Needless to say, when I began my PR internship at Beehive a few weeks after graduating, it was not exactly what I had expected—it was much more.
What I Did Expect
To work hard. When I began my time at Beehive, I knew it would be hard work, and I was right about that. There is an incredible amount of of care that goes into the internship experience, and much of it is centered around making you, as an intern, an important part of the agency. It is a symbiotic relationship that has amazing results, and it taught me what it feels like to valued part of a team and to work toward a common goal. As a part of the Beehive team, interns get the chance to be part of everything, from team outings and celebrations to presenting your own unique thoughts at team ideation sessions. Don’t shy away from speaking up and being a part of these team experiences—they are opportunities to learn about the power of partnership and collaboration.
To learn new things. Moving to an entirely new city, taking on a new role and responsibility, I knew that I’d learn a lot, and I was right about that, too. Every day you have a fresh and exciting role to play, and no matter what that new role is, you can make the most of it. While there will definitely be times you will be thrown into new projects and have to think on your feet, don’t shy away from the unknown. Help yourself by treating everything as an opportunity to learn. Up the status quo for yourself, dive headfirst into new projects and opportunities, and you will grow.
What I Didn’t Expect
The fun. Much of the time, work is exactly what it sounds like—work. A common trope about leaving college is that it marks the end of freedom, and that taking on concrete “adult” responsibility is presumably the end of fun altogether. I’ve had some “okay” jobs, and I’ve had some “good” jobs, but this has been a great job each and every day. I’ve been challenged to work toward my personal goals, reach for new insights and look at the world in a new way. The people, the positive atmosphere and the endless good espresso will make it easy for you to come into the Hive. Enjoy it. Then channel that fun into creative, meaningful work.
The people. The Beehive team is as talented and unique as they are supportive. I knew that I would meet some experienced PR professionals who could teach me a thing or two, but never did I imagine a team with such personality and conviction. The urgency with which they help and encourage each other is inspiring. Every day that I was there, there was a sense that I was supported, and that my goals and work mattered. No matter what, don’t let any of this support fall to the wayside—your team is full of information and insight that can help guide you long after you leave.
What You Can Expect
If you find yourself in my shoes as PR intern, I know you’ll spend a lot of time imagining how it will be. But there are a few things you can know for sure—you’ll be challenged, you’ll have fun and you’ll learn a lot. Some things are going to surprise you, and some things are going to scare you a little as well. But accept it with the grace of someone who knows that at the end of the day they will be better for it—a better communicator, a better thinker, and a better person.