How a Social Media and PR Internship is Preparing Me for a Professional PR Career

Natalie smiles outdoors on campus.

Senior Rowan Blog contributor and Public Relations major Natalie DePersia shares her experience working as a Social Media and Public Relations Intern for a local PR agency.

Some opportunities in life are presented to you when you least expect them. 

A few months ago, I was a student majoring in Public Relations, finishing up my junior year at Rowan University, with slim-to-none work experience in the PR field. 

Despite having experience in writing, developing and conducting interviews, and using publication software like WordPress from working as a Rowan Blog Content Contributor, and having expertise lecturing students on strategic visual communication, design principles, basic color theory, and typography choices by being a student assistant (SA) for graphic design courses at Rowan University, I aspired to build my resume and develop my experience geared toward public relations. 

Author Natalie DePersia

One of the most effective processes of my internship and job searches over the past few months was simply utilizing LinkedIn. In March, I was not actively seeking a public relations internship for the summer or fall term. I was actually temporarily taking a break from searching for positions because I was unsuccessful in finding a job that was thoroughly intriguing to me. 

This was when an opportunity was presented to me that I will forever be grateful for.

I was contacted [by a distant friend of mine] inquiring about being a Social Media and PR Intern at a public relations firm where she works: Segel Associates, located in Haddonfield, NJ. 

This opportunity filled all the boxes for me. Close to home, it allowed me to immerse myself in the public relations world field and includes many friendly and knowledgeable colleagues on staff who will be great mentors for me to work side-by-side. 

This was just the start of a fantastic opportunity.

Working for Segel Associates Public Relations Firm has equipped me with ample opportunities to continuously grow. Ever since my first day at the end of April, I have been able to fully immerse myself in the public relations industry by assisting my colleagues in PR writing, organizational work, event planning, social media marketing, photography and more.

The opportunities and learning experiences have genuinely been constant. 

Natalie DePersia at a work event, shooting content for Segel Associates PR Firm.
Shooting social media content for Segel Associates PR Firm

For as long as I can remember, I have always been highly passionate about education and expanding my knowledge. Furthermore, putting a significant amount of time and effort into my studies is very important to me. However, most learning stems from hands-on experiences and practicing what you’ve learned in real-life scenarios. This internship experience has allowed me to utilize what I have learned as a Public Relations student at Rowan University and apply it to building mutually beneficial relationships with clientele in the company I work for. 

When I first started working as a Social Media and PR Intern, I was doing a lot of busy work. I went through my boss’s emails, organized my boss’s office space, and took notes during company meetings. However, after a little over a month of working for Segel Associates, my role has transitioned. I am not only one of the leading individuals who drafts and develops press releases, media advisories, and all public relations writing, but I am now the account manager for one of our company’s clients, Jersey Java and Tea. Through this, I am in charge of all content creation and marketing for this local business. 

From my experience so far, what has most surprised me is how much fun I have doing my job. I have friends who dislike their current positions or do not find joy in what they do, and I cannot relate. I love the people I work with, I love the busy work, I love the tedious tasks, I love the good days, and I love the stressful days.

From working here for a month, I have developed stronger skill sets in public relations writing, taking social content, networking and general business practices. I have not only learned how to write a press release, but I have also learned how to write an eye-catching and appealing one. I have not only learned how to take social media content, but I have also learned how to take certain content to engage specific audiences and bring in more outreach. I have not only learned how to network, but I have also learned to get out of my comfort zone and build my confidence. 

This position has allowed me to learn so many different things that would not have been possible to learn as just a student studying the field of public relations. 

The opportunities have been endless, and I am so excited to see what is in store for myself and this company in the future. 

Through writing this piece, my most significant advice to students would be to always keep job and internship opportunities open and take risks. The best way to learn and continue to grow is by continuously surrounding yourself with people who are more knowledgeable than you are and pushing you to thrive to your fullest potential. I am more than grateful to work for a company that not only challenges me every day with new tasks and projects but trusts me in contributing my ideas and proposals. 

Natalie DePersia and colleague Erin Castellano shooting social media content for a work event.
Natalie captures Erin Castellano shooting social media content at Auburn Road Vineyard and Winery.

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Story and photos provided by:
Natalie DePersia, senior public relations major

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