From a Virtual Classroom to a Vibrant Office: My Experience at Madden



Grace’s internship experience at Madden & Assoc. became a fulfilling journey of personal and professional growth. The account below details her time at our agency, and the valuable skills she picked up along the way.

What inspired you to take on an internship with Madden & Assoc., and what attracted you to the field of public relations?

My university experience completely opposed all expectations, to say the least. During my second week of classes in 2020, my entire cohort was rushed out of a lecture hall and sent home, where we intermittently remained for the next 2 years. Zoom became the new way of life, and in-person classes and lectures became a far-away dream. Instead of making new connections and meeting friendly faces, I became familiar with my peers’ profile pictures and blank Zoom screens. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to apply for an on-site internship, I grabbed it with both hands.

I was originally attracted to Madden and Assoc. as they provided strong opportunities for growth within the field. After some LinkedIn stalking (let’s call it background research for the purpose of this exercise!), I saw that team development and business morality were key, and the growth of employees within the firm was paramount. These factors have been continually proven to me over the duration of my employment.

Coming from an economics background, the opportunity to work with companies advancing the Australian financial sector appealed to me, and the personable skills that I had picked up during my years working in hospitality made entering the field of communications an attractive prospect. However, my lack of experience in public relations presented a learning curve for me, and picking up the ropes was tough, but the boutique nature of the firm ensured that help was always close by, and I was continually learning and developing.

Good thing I love a challenge!

What specific skills or knowledge did you gain during your internship that you believe will be valuable for your future career in PR?

During my internship at Madden and Assoc., I picked up many invaluable skills, beyond that which can be learned in a classroom.

At the outset, I was able to gain experience working in the corporate sector, which has proved to be very different from anything I had experienced before. From the cold, early morning commutes to the copious amount of caffeine, the adjustments were definitely difficult. Moreover, learning the terminology of Public Relations was almost like learning a new language (cue me asking: “What is a press release?”), but the team was always willing to assist wherever possible and reassured me that no question was a dumb question, especially when in the formative years of a Public Relations career. The PR Handbook, or as I like to call it, my bible, that was handed down to me on my first day became my right-hand man.

Each day, I walked out with a new skill under my belt, whether this be learning to correctly format documents for clients, or more nuanced skills such as writing a pitch note for a journalist. The learning process was ongoing and everchanging – no two days were the same.

Were there any professional or personal development opportunities provided during your internship, such as workshops, training sessions, or mentorship? How did they contribute to your growth?

I consider myself extremely lucky to be part of a team that values both personal and professional growth. Over the course of my internship, I was welcomed to numerous client events, such as an ASX Bell Ringing Ceremony, a Client Symposium, the GOLD ETF Anniversary Celebration, and networking events such as the PRIA Young Guns Breakfast.

Through interaction with like-minded peers, clients, and professionals within the financial sector, I was able to grow my network and increase my knowledge and awareness in a way that I was not able to do in a classroom during my studies.

Moreover, during my internship at Madden, I was provided the opportunity to attend the highly regarded Financial Standard Marketing, Advertising and Excellence (MAX) Awards in June, where Madden and Assoc. was honoured to receive the PR Agency of the Year Award.

These experiences made for an extremely rewarding internship experience.

What advice or tips would you give to future PR interns who are considering joining our firm or entering the PR field?

My experience as an Intern was one that completely pushed me out of my comfort zone, from the beginning of the interview process, right through to my last day. Despite this, the sense of self-fulfilment and the opportunities for growth which were presented to me, far superseded any doubts in my mind. The team at Madden were extremely welcoming and continually pushed me to achieve my best.

My biggest piece of advice for anyone entering the PR field (even if you’re a newbie like me), is to give everything a go and take all feedback onboard. This is a niche field, you will make mistakes – there is absolutely no way to avoid this, but stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way you will grow into a new role, and an internship with a boutique agency such as Madden, is a perfect way to do this.

I am delighted to announce that at the conclusion of my internship, I was offered a full-time position as an Account Coordinator with Madden and Assoc., and I am excited to see what the future holds for me in my PR career.

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