July 25, 2011
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By: Rebecca Reif
Co-Account Executive, Express, Inc.
Dressed for success in my black pencil skirt and khaki blazer, I tried to ignore the lump in my throat as I walked into my first day of work. Entering the corporate world as an intern for The Cincinnati Insurance Company was both intimidating and exhilarating. I was eager to be interning in Cincinnati’s Corporate Communications department, but nervous that my savvy journalism skills wouldn’t be enough to hide the dearth of my insurance knowledge.
I quickly learned, as most interns do, that you don’t have to be an expert in your field to be a great intern. My department accepted me with open arms, ready to teach me about their company and eager to add a new personality to their team. As the summer progressed, I found myself worrying less and less about my lack of insurance knowledge; I began to focus more on asking the right questions and forming meaningful relationships. I found this to be the best way to acquire an understanding of a field that I had previously been unacquainted with.
Six weeks into my internship, I have found that Corporate Communications has measured up to my expectations and also left me with some surprises. The corporate approval process is something that I was unfamiliar with until my internship began. When writing a story for ImPRessions or another school publication, I usually need one or two approvals before my work gets published. In the corporate world, I need 10. I am responsible for publishing the company’s weekly newsletter and supplements, and putting the publication together can be a pretty tedious process when you are faced with opinions from 10 different editors. Nevertheless, writing the newsletter has really helped strengthen my grasp on AP style, something that I still felt uncomfortable with prior to the start of my internship.
What I love about public relations is that it opens the door for many different career paths. Six months ago I would have turned up my nose at the thought of working at an insurance company, but now I am glad that I gave it a chance. My internship has helped me realize that a strong journalism and public relations background will help me in whatever career path I choose. I can’t wait to explore the rest of the opportunities that the public relations field has in store for me.