By Rohan Mehta, Intern
I can’t believe that my internship at The Hoffman Agency has come to an end! It feels like just yesterday that I had my first day stuffed with welcome sessions and onboarding meetings. I entered the internship program at Hoffman as someone who had spent four years studying public relations (PR) without ever truly living it. Now, I finish the program as someone that has spent the last three months living and breathing PR.
My favorite part of the internship program was the teams that I worked with. As someone with zero agency experience, I had no idea what I was doing when I first started. But the manner in which my teammates answered every question I asked, no matter how trivial or silly, accompanied by patience, ensured that I was able to grow in a very wholesome and forgiving environment. I would like to take the time out to thank Rachel, Roshin and Kristopher for always guiding me through my tasks and helping me grow as a PR professional.
As someone who graduated with a degree in PR, I really felt like I would be hard-pressed to be surprised by anything when I joined the industry. However, it’s one thing to look at a picture of a sunset over a beach and a completely different thing to experience it in person. I’ve always heard about the breathtaking pace at which agencies work, but to see it in action all around me was insane; it forced me to adapt to a high speed environment while ensuring high-quality work.
The project that I enjoyed the most was the webinar I attended with Kristopher for OpenLight. I learned to better understand the client, its intended audience and the need to be able to find technical information even if I didn’t fully understand what it was that I was being exposed to.
While the webinar itself was an immense learning experience, what was even more enjoyable was distilling everything I had heard, seen and absorbed into proactive media relations efforts. Not only did I learn a lot about the semiconductor industry from the webinar, I could also better understand the mindset of a working PR professional.
The best advice I received during my internship was very early on. Trying to get familiar with my accounts, I felt overwhelmed by my inability to grasp the clients’ technical side and understand what exactly it is that they did. My teammates advised me that it would take time to understand what my clients were doing and would eventually come naturally. What was important was understanding how I can help my clients, my team and myself.
That advice calmed me down and helped me put my best foot forward. It also made me more attentive in client meetings so I could develop a better understanding of their products, behavior, likes and dislikes. It was truly some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
My advice to anyone starting off in tech PR would be to stop overthinking and enjoy the moment. From media scans to coverage reports to making media lists, you won’t know everything when you start off – give yourself grace. PR is a wonderful industry because no matter what you think you know, there’s always so much to learn that it feels like you always know nothing – and that is the best mindset to have because it is only with an empty mind that you can learn the most.