Intern Insights: Not a “Fetch the Coffee” Experience

Author: Chad Cyrowski
Date: April 1, 2019

Each semester, a group of students is given the opportunity to work alongside seasoned communications professionals while interning at Truscott Rossman – and we pay them! Although each intern’s time at our firm is unique, we make mentoring our students a priority and work to give each of them a positive internship experience. At TR, we consider interns an integral part of our success.

In January 2019, our spring interns joined the TR team. Check out their insights on what they have learned, and advice to future interns:

Chanel Taylor, Detroit Office Intern

My internship experience at Truscott Rossman has enhanced me as a young professional and given me opportunities to strengthen my skills and expand my network.

Some of my favorite moments include media monitoring for the Chemical Bank/TCF merger, assisting during the Chemical Bank and COBO renaming announcement, going to WXYZ for the DMC heart month kickoff and attending a Deloitte professional development event. Through these experiences, I was able to apply my industry knowledge that I had learned through my college courses. At TR, I see campaigns written, pitched, and executed, which shows how public relations functions in a tangible way, beyond the classroom. Also, watching how the team handles a crisis has taught me the importance of time management, task prioritization and how to go with the flow.

I was surprised by the size of the firm compared to the amount of work done. TR has 20 team members who produce stellar work for large clients. Account executives are expected to multitask effectively to produce quality work for clients in different industries.

My advice to future TR interns is to get plugged into the industry by signing up for newsletters and email blasts from sources like TechCrunch, PR Daily, The Holmes Report and more. Reading about industry trends and best practices enhances your understanding of tasks and conversations that take place in the office.

Also, be constantly grateful, even when you’re tasked with what you may consider “small” work. I promised myself when I got this internship that I would never complain or grumble because I was so thankful for the opportunity. At the beginning of starting a new job, or project, it’s easy to be excited about what’s to come and be grateful for the experience. Once you’ve spent some time there and get comfortable it’s easy to become careless, develop a mundane attitude and forget why you started. It’s important to take each day as a new opportunity and do quality work.

Verona Pinto, Lansing Office Intern

I’ve had the great pleasure to be a communications intern at Truscott Rossman for the spring semester. So far, I have worked on a variety of projects and filled various roles that contributed to “the bigger picture”.

I’ve had a number of learning experiences during my time as an intern. One of my biggest lessons learned would be the behind-the-scenes structure necessary to carry out big picture goals, and the small goals along the way that make it possible.

To future interns, I would recommend being upfront about your specific interests but stay open-minded about working outside your comfort zone. I think this internship has really aided me in so many ways, not only figuring out what I like but also eliminating things that I know I don’t want to work on in the future.

Overall, I think the experience has been extremely rewarding. I look forward to finishing the rest of this internship and continuing sharpening my skills.

Alex Gapinski, Lansing Office Intern

I have really enjoyed getting to know the Account Executives and their respective areas of expertise.

Looking back on my intern experience thus far, there are three major lessons I’ve learned:

  1. Barb Holland, Director, taught me that in a professional environment you may not always get the level of affirmation you would like or expect.
  2. I learned the second lesson from Rob Brown, Account Executive. Rob taught me to be more confident in my work. You may not always receive praise for the work you do, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t make a difference.
  3. Finally, Josh Hovey, Executive Vice President, taught me to take risks by giving me opportunities to prove myself. Josh continually assigned me projects that I sometimes considered beyond my abilities. However, I was able to grow exponentially from those assignments and develop myself professionally.

Truscott Rossman is an amazing opportunity for interns to explore their interests. It’s a safe environment to make mistakes, so it’s important to take advantage and learn everything you can. These lessons have forced me to find a balance between asking questions and being self-reliant. The expertise that I have gleaned from this internship with guide me professionally, as well as personally.

To apply for an internship at Truscott Rossman, visit: https://www.truscottrossman.com/who-we-are/intern-with-tr