A Guest Post By Rhys Schueren, Student, Loyola University Maryland
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern for Cheray Keyes-Shima, APR, CPRC, at KSC, a marketing, advertising and public relations agency in Sarasota, Florida. As a public relations intern for KSC, I gained a variety of hands on experience and had the chance to build my professional portfolio by working on projects ranging from postcard mailers to article and blog posts for clients’ websites. I never thought that I would find writing articles about window film both challenging and enjoyable.
In addition to being president of KSC, Cheray is executive director of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), the oldest public relations association in the country. Her position within FPRA meant that I had the opportunity to help coordinate FPRA’s 80th Annual Conference. In addition to gaining hands-on experience with general PR practices, I also gained some experience in corporate event management, assisting in everything from creating copy for event programs to arranging seating charts and keeping track of speaker audio visual requests.
For me, one of the greatest parts about the internship culminated with attending the conference and the role I had in coordinating the event. Coming from a student perspective, it was amazing to see all the projects and hours of work play out over the 3-day conference. Instead of simply executing the projects and tasks, which you might do in a classroom setting for an assignment, seeing everything come together and actually happen was an incredible and rewarding experience that a classroom cannot provide.
With the conference being the culmination of my internship, I had the opportunity to be exposed to people within the public relations field throughout Florida. I always hear other students talk about how their internship showed them either exactly what they want to do after graduation, or what they do not want to do. But, my experience was different. I had the opportunity to be exposed to public relations professionals from a variety of positions in a number of different places in their careers.
Headed into my senior year, this summer showed me various experiences and positions that are available in public relations. It gave me the real-world experience to fall in love with the actual professional industry that I have spent studying for the past three years and which I’ll become a part of one day. Even though, right now, I don’t know the exact position or job I want to apply for, I do know that I am exactly where I want to be. I’m about to join an industry that I know I will never find boring and where I will constantly be challenged.
Rhys Schueren is a student at Loyola University in Maryland. She is a Communication Major, with an Advertising & Public Relations and Digital Media Double Specialization and a Computer Science Minor. Rhys, who is member of the Varsity Women’s Rowing team and the Athletic Leadership Academy, is graduating with the Class of 2019.