by Abby Brennan
This summer, Illinois State University PRSSA members kept busy interning for a variety of organizations.
Melissa Fortes spent her summer at WGN-TV in Chicago as a marketing and promotions intern in the Creative Services department. As an intern, she implemented station promotions and events from beginning to end, which could include generating rules, creating entry forms, writing copy for news talent, working with clients and sponsors and anything in between! Some of Melissa’s other duties included clipping news segments for station and client usage, drafting press releases, writing text alerts and preparing for the Back-to-School Kids Fair. Melissa had the opportunity to work directly with Tom Skilling, Robin Baumgarten, Pat Tomasulo and Dean Richards. She met comedian and actor Arsenio Hall and baseball hall of famer Cal Ripkin, Jr. Her favorite memory, however, is the Backstreet Boys and Jesse McCartney in-studio performance, which Melissa called the “BEST. DAY. EVER.”
Phil Kawabata was a full-time intern at COUNTRY Financial, where he has been working since January. During his internship, he has participated in a community outreach day, served on a college panel for high school interns, participated in a company-wide case study and worked with the campaign lead on a marketing campaign. Phil called the campaign “the highlight of his entire internship” and is looking forward to its launch before he graduates in December.
Maggie McLinden was a full-time intern at State Farm this summer in the Sales Communications department. While there, she worked on three different projects with two different departments.
Sarah McSheffrey worked at Clearbrook, a non-profit organization in Arlington Heights, Ill., that specializes in creating opportunities for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sarah worked for the Marketing and Development team and helped to plan three gold outings, a fundraising dinner, a fun fest and Clearbrook’s first 5k Colorblast run.
Cassidy Obis had not one, but two internships this summer, at both the Normal CornBelters baseball team and Special Olympics Illinois. She was a Community, Public and Media Relations intern for the Corn Belters, where she processed donation requests, escorted the mascot, and edited the media list. As a Communications Intern for Special Olympics Illinois, Cassidy wrote four feature stories that were published both online and in the monthly newsletter and assisted Director of Communications & Publications Michele Henson.
Shelby Ray spent her summer interning for Great Plains Media, which manages the radio stations 107.7 The Bull, Cities 92.9 and 99.5 The Ticket. She worked in the promotions and marketing department. As an intern, Shelby was able to hone her Photoshop and graphic design skills by creating posters, flyers, signs, scrapbooks and more, as well as working on some of the company’s social networks. When not at the office, Shelby worked events such as the Darius Rucker, Rodney Atkins and Jana Kramer concert at the Corn Crib in Normal, where she dressed as the bull mascot and got onstage with the DJs to announce the show. Shelby recommends everyone consider an internship like this “for the unique aspect of PR and because it’s going to be a really fun experience.”
Cody Walker interned at React Presents, an entertainment company specializing in music festivals. As an intern, Cody not only conducted media research and wrote press releases and blog posts, but was able to work the Summer Set festival … with a backstage, all-access pass to boot. He will also be working at the upcoming North Coast music festival. He’ll continue to help the company remotely over the school year and return next summer, too.
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.