In my final year of my communications degree, and despite a couple of internships under my belt, I found myself unsure of where I wanted to land in the media landscape.
Finance was not an industry I pictured myself in at the beginning of my university career. But come this final year and wanting to experience a new sector of communications, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to begin an internship at Madden & Assoc. and delve into the world of finance PR.
Beginning my first day at the office, I remember feeling nervous that I wouldn’t understand any finance jargon and would be haplessly floating about the office. Fortunately, everyone in the Madden team was beyond welcoming and throughout my internship have walked me through everything I would need to know about being a PR professional. Six months down the track, this is what I’ve learnt on how to navigate a new internship.
Do your research
Wrapping my head around the finance industry has been the biggest challenge in starting at Madden. The only way to combat this was to constantly read industry news and subscribe to relevant publications. Having insight into the greater issues in finance provided a better understanding of why we were offering certain solutions to clients, as well as helping me become familiar with the key journalists in the industry.
Ask questions and get feedback
Transitioning from the conceptual world of university to the practical and fast-paced world of PR isn’t without its learning curves. What I learnt at university is implemented so differently in an agency, so as hard as it was to be the annoying intern with a hundred questions, sometimes it just had to happen! I also found expectations and preferences change between different people and client accounts, so it always helped to clarify before beginning a task.
As an intern, people understand that the role is new to you and are happy to help and give guidance. Having the team give feedback on my work has been really beneficial to my growth but has also greatened the value of my contributions as an intern.
New experiences go hand-in-hand with life as an intern, and I’ve found that submerging myself in the role has been the best way to navigate any uncertainty.
Undertaking new work, and having it looked over by people far more experienced than you, can be a little daunting. As can mingling with a room full of journalists you’ve never met before! Or being entrusted with a task that you’re not sure you’ll be able to complete. The best remedy was to forge ahead, and I now firmly believe being involved in as much of the business wherever possible is key to a great internship experience.
I’ve been fortunate at Madden to have a mentor who has actively asked what skills I’d like to develop and what I want to gain out of my internship. This has been extremely beneficial, and I think taking the time to practice the elements of PR I was unfamiliar with was one of the most useful aspects of my internship.
Finance PR presents many exciting opportunities and challenges, and I count myself lucky to be introduced to the sector by the team at Madden.