It’s not a surprise that an internship at Dale Curtis Communications will teach you basic, tactical knowledge about communications and public relations work.
In my year at DCC, I learned how to write and format a press release. I learned how to create and maintain media lists, compile and summarize news clips, and pitch stories to media outlets. I learned how to format e-newsletters in MailChimp, draft and schedule social media, perform website updates, and copyedit communications materials.
But my internship at DCC gave me something much more important: confidence.
I began my internship at DCC with no experience in public relations. It was my first summer internship in Washington, DC, and even though I was a rising senior at Georgetown University with previous internship and work experience, I was nervous to begin this particular job. The team at DCC is small, and if I made a mistake, it would not go unnoticed.
During my first week, however, I quickly discovered that I had nothing to worry about.
On my first day, Team DCC encouraged me to speak up at our all-hands meeting. Also on my first day, my colleagues asked me to sit in on client phone calls and introduced me to the client over the phone. They gave me clear tasks and goals and offered nothing but support and help on that first day. I knew immediately that I would be nurtured at this small PR firm.
And I was not wrong.
This sort of work environment encourages better and stronger work from its employees. Knowing I could ask questions or make a mistake here and there without feeling pressured or anxious was empowering to me. Being encouraged to give my thoughts, opinions and ideas allowed me to forge a voice for myself and grow confident in my ability to contribute to the firm’s goals. I never, ever felt like a lowly intern doing grunt work at DCC; I felt like a full-fledged member of the team.
By the end of my year at DCC, I was being asked for ideas on strategies and tactical plans. I was coming up with marketing tactics for the firm itself and had a lead role in DCC’s social media accounts. I grew confident enough in myself and my role at DCC that I could confidently begin my own projects and know I’d be supported along the way.
Going forward into my career, not only will I have polished communication skills – I will have greater confidence in myself and know that I am a valuable member of whatever team I end up working with in the future.
I know that my voice and my ideas matter.
And I owe that all to Dale Curtis Communications.