When I walked in the door at O’Donnell Agency as their first summer intern, I never expected that five weeks later I’d be able to deconstruct – and reconstruct – the elements of digital communication and understand the role they play in the fascinating world of advertising and PR.
My name is Grace Marshall, and I am a junior at Jupiter Christian School. O’Donnell Agency selected me as one of their two summer interns this year, and it’s changed forever the way I view use of social media, brands, logos, outdoor advertising, earned media, and how they all come together to influence perceptions and actions.
Very few 16-year-olds have any knowledge about how communications works despite the fact that we are surrounded by it– from exploring cutting-edge social media tools to repeating the lines from famous ad campaigns, forming perceptions about issues or brands after reading a newspaper or watching television, or just noticing eye-catching logos and understanding the elements that went into their development.
The first few days were a whirlwind, but I didn’t experience the stress I anticipated. Each member of “Team-O” took me under their wing and shared the details of their jobs, explaining how their roles fit into the structure of an advertising and PR agency, and how the work… works for clients.
I’ve learned so much from my five weeks at O’Donnell Agency, including learning how to structure and write a clear, relevant press release; how to create social media content schedules; how an advertising or PR strategy takes shape through the initial “intake session,” and what it’s like to attend client meetings or formulate a presentation—or “pitch” – to a prospective client. Communications is essentially all about informing the public about issues or brands – large or small — and we are the shapers and presenters of the message(s).
Looking ahead, I can see myself working at a public relations firm in New York City. Of course, that is a big step from where I am now, but interning here at O’Donnell Agency has lit a fire in me to want to learn more. My experience has given me exposure to the business world that I will never forget, and the peek into the world of communications may very well shape my own career.