N6A’s Erin Pugh reflects on her experience taking on multiple internships during college
This month, to help celebrate National Intern Day on July 30, we’ve highlighted some of our former interns who are now part of our N6-fAmily in a three-part blog series.
As a junior at Iona College in 2016, Erin Pugh was a public relations star in the making. She decided to take on an internship program at N6A to hone her skills in an agency environment. The experience drove Erin to continue on a path of internships, studies and a master’s degree in public relations in 2018.
Today, Erin is a year in at N6A as a full-time account coordinator. Her achievements have garnered countless accolades, including recently earning the reward for highest-producing N6A team member. Erin spoke to us about the importance of guidance, direction and mentorship during an internship program.
What were your career goals in college?
Erin Pugh: I entered college with an undecided major, unsure about what specific career I wanted after graduation. After taking different courses on a variety of different subjects, and talking to career coaches on campus, I decided to major in public relations. After completing internships and talking to other students with the same major about their experiences, I decided that I wanted to work at a firm, as opposed to an in-house department.
What do you think makes a good internship program?
Several aspects contribute to a good internship program, but a critical component is having proper orientation and direction. It’s important to equip each intern with consistent work assignments and a direct manager to address questions.
We need to remember that this experience, aside from possible other internships, is most likely this individual's first time in this sort of business setting, so we don’t want them to feel lost. Offering this guidance will help them thrive. Also providing them with work that entry-level employees at the organization see is helpful as well, so they know they aren’t there just to fetch coffee for the team.
Knowing the value of your intern and acknowledging their potential goes a really long way.
Why did you choose N6A for your internship?
When I was gearing up to start interning in college, an advisor in my network recommended reaching out to N6A for an internship opportunity. He spoke very highly of CEO Matt Rizzetta, particularly highlighting his passion, and N6A in general. After securing an interview for the position, and meeting N6A employees, I realized it was the type of environment I wanted to work in and the people I wanted to work alongside.
What internship skill-building assignments helped you with your career today?
Something that I worked on a lot in graduate school, and was tasked with a lot throughout my internships, was research.
If you’re in the public relations field, research is at the core of most tasks you’ll be doing day-to-day, even if it's brief. Having the time during my internships to bring what I learned in school to my profession and finetune it has really helped me in my career today.
Also, one skill that is probably oversaid but highly important is organization. Interns are often tasked with completing administrative duties which includes a lot of organization. I was grateful for this as I was prepared for the fast-paced environment once I fully entered the field as an employee.
Why did you decide to return to N6A once your intern program was over?
In between my internship and coming back to N6A full-time, I interned and worked at several other organizations. I had great experiences at all of them but I decided to return to N6A because none of them had quite the atmosphere that N6A did. I think that has a lot to do with both pride and recognition. I’m in awe pretty much every day at how much pride people take in their work, and it really makes me strive to do better in my own work.
It’s great to see how proud everyone is of each other when our colleagues do well. The sense of team and comradery is extraordinary here. The recognition at N6A is also absolutely unmatched. You are continuously recognized through both large and small gestures and this truly makes you feel appreciated.
Check out Compete and Care to learn more about our company culture and what it's like working at N6A.
Posted by Nina Velasquez