The Public Relations Experience
by Jonathan Lee
Lynette who majors in public relations is currently doing her internship at Ogilvy & Mather. Here's what she had to say about her experience so far,
Q: How has your experience at Ogilvy & Mather been so far?
A: I would say interning at Ogilvy is like PR baptism by fire. The learning curve is extra steep, hours are super long and you're expected to deliver the highest quality of work in the shortest turnaround time. But to learn what it takes to be a true PR professional those are the bare minimum prerequisites and I am thankful Ogilvy has equipped me with such a strong foundation. I've learnt more than I've hoped for from basic media monitoring to writing briefs and fleshing out full campaign proposals and global toolkits. I've also found myself much more confident and able to articulate myself well, using the correct PR jargon and explaining why I did something in a certain way to my superiors.
Before internship I felt very directionless and was not really able to explain why I wanted to do PR. But having spent a few months at Ogilvy, I now know how PR works in the grand communications scheme and the skills I've learnt here will definitely be transferable to other aspects of life. So my internship has been largely fulfilling, and I think I'll come back to WKW a much more confident and assured PR major.
Q: How has your time in WKW prepared you for your internship?
A: WKW has a lot of project based work and like your teachers always say, you can't choose who you work with at work. And it's true, so I think that working with different people for schoolwork has taught me how to adapt my work styles to different people. The courses at WKW also involve a lot of presentation and public speaking, and without it I would not have the confidence at work to be able to articulate my thoughts clearly in front of a lot of people or in moments of pressure.
But ultimately, internship is for you to learn what you can't in school, like survival skills in the workplace, seeing how all the disciplines in WKW work in tandem in the real world etc, so while WKW has prepared me for internship in some ways, I think it's also interesting to use the work I've done in WKW as a benchmark of my true potential. For example, a campaign presentation for IMC took my group more than a few weeks to conceptualise, but at Ogilvy, I took 2 full days to churn a pitch deck out. So it's very cool to see how timeefficient and fast you can actually be when you're under pressure at work, as compared to how long you took for assignments in WKW. So don't complain about the short turnover times WKW profs give, in the real world they give you hours not days!