Intern Update: June Takeaways

When interviewing for my position as Trocaire’s summer communications intern, I was asked what my goals were in working with the marketing team. I answered “I want to learn something new, be challenged, and given feedback whenever necessary.” My three vague wishes were granted within 2 weeks of working here.

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and I mean that in the most outright way.

I legitimately had no clue what I was going to do first.

After assisting with the college’s summer photo shoot my first week, I was stoked to be working with people that trusted my abilities more than I’d previously trusted my own. I have a blog that I tend to occasionally and I’ve written a few stories for my college newspaper in the past, but I’ve never been challenged to write on a professional level like this; or on behalf of a community this large.

I was assigned my first writing opportunities—three press releases to be completed by the end of the month. Press releases are official, written statements that are sent to newspapers and other media entities with the purpose of announcing newsworthy information.

I didn’t know exactly what the process of writing a press release entailed, and it showed in my first draft. There were tons of edits that needed to be made, but I expected that. Because the accuracy of news is so important, releases need to have a clear, concise, yet detailed explanation of the information being relayed.

I could have been embarrassed about my mistakes, but the feedback I received from Kristy Kibler, Trocaire’s Marketing Communications Specialist made writing the second and third releases much less intimidating. The improvement in my writing was noticeable within a week.

Among the pieces I worked on was a release announcing a family carnival organized by Trocaire and PATH,  and a summary of recent accolades earned by the marketing & communications team.

In just three assignments I learned how to contact my sources professionally, compress my word count, and choose the most effective pieces of information to complete the stories I was assigned.

I’ve already begun working on my next assignments, but I’ll share those takeaways after they’re complete!

By Tierney McGilvray