Confessions from an Intern: From College to Agency

Claire English graduation picture

By Claire English, Intern

If you were to ask me as a college senior what working at a public relations agency looked like, I would probably say crisis communications and an endless number of campaigns. After three months as an intern at The Hoffman Agency, my answer has changed quite a bit.

When I started my internship with Hoffman, everything was daunting — every task, email and Zoom call. I will never forget the first time I was asked to draft something for a client and the instant rush of fear that I experienced when I finally clicked send. Even the smallest request from an account manager felt like a beast. Stepping out of my role as a student for the past 12 years and entering the professional world was a huge transition for me.

As an intern at Hoffman, you’re provided with hands-on experience and client-facing work. Hoffman treats its interns as an essential part of the team, and they put a lot of faith in your ability to grow into your role.

I was eager to learn everything there is to know about a PR agency and get my hands dirty in all sorts of client work. However, I struggled to stray away from the habits I had accrued while I was a student. For example, after finishing a college assignment you’re usually done with it; you don’t reference back to it much. In an agency, once you’ve finished a task you need to be able to soak up all the feedback you’re given. Believe me, it won’t be the last time you’re working on that task. Knowing what you did right and what you did wrong will be your saving grace.

One of my greatest learning moments surfaced when I developed an organizational system tailored for me to succeed. I had noticed my major challenge had to do with being able to soak up feedback. I began marking feedback emails and saving them in a specific folder. I began tracking all the feedback on things moving forward and used it as the backbone for future tasks.

When I finally implemented this tactic into every project, to no surprise, I felt like I was getting the hang of things. It became easier to tackle items and new assignments as I knew what my teams were looking for.

My experience at Hoffman was a healthy transition from college to a PR agency. I knew I would learn an endless amount, but the cherry on top of a great internship was learning something about myself and how I can truly succeed.

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