Icon recently had the pleasure of hosting Katherine Melitsis for a six-week internship program. Kath is a final year student undertaking an Advance Diploma of Business in Public Relations at RMIT and she shares her learnings about internships and agency-life below. 

There is something about the word ‘intern’ that invites a world of negative assumptions, which many university students hold. However, in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth - and my time at icon.pr confirmed this.

Personally, I think people my age have watched one too many TV shows or movies where an ‘internship’ is a prolonged period of meaningless, boring tasks. I’ve decided to write a blog about my time at Icon to dispel this myth, and reveal the important and exciting work that happens in a PR internship…

“You’re just there to do the tasks no one wants to do.”

I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. During my six-week internship I worked on major clients such as the Satterley Property Group, Choice Hotels and SkyBus. I helped to organise an event by researching, contacting and booking local suppliers; created social media plans to support launch events and announcements; drafted letters to stakeholders to inform them of client news; and attended meetings and staff brainstorming sessions to creatively launch new products and services. I wasn’t just doing the tasks that no one wanted to do; I was doing work that meant something and added value to Icon’s clients. I always had support on the work I was doing and was able to ask questions and give input. 

“You’re just an intern which means you’re not part of the team.”

This is another false stereotype. Everyone at Icon was warm, welcoming and made me feel like an insider rather than an outsider. I may have been an intern, but I learnt that all of my colleagues started in the same position as me once upon a time, so there was no ‘you can’t sit with us’ scenario. Personally, I was surprised at my colleague’s eagerness for me to sit down with them and get to know their experiences in PR and essentially pick their brains - this was something I never expected busy PR professionals to do. To have people offer to take time out of their day to speak with you was really welcoming.

During my six-week internship with Icon I was fortunate enough to work with a team that welcomed me from my first day. I never felt like I was ‘just an intern’, and was never treated like one with important tasks I was trusted to complete.

As my six-week internship comes to an end I couldn’t fault this internship if I tried. I will be walking away with a greater skill set than that of what I started with. I have developed my writing skills; organised a successful event for a major client; and have been given an insight to the world of PR. All of which without a doubt will enhance my career in the future.

My advice to my peers and friends is simple: internships aren’t scary or meaningless, but in fact fun, rewarding and an important way to develop your PR skills and knowledge.

For further details on the icon.pr internship program, please contact Joanne Painter on 03 9642 4107 or via [email protected]