By Katie Steil, UWO alumna, ’10 (@ksteil2)
This summer, I not only had the chance to hone my public relations skills and learn a great deal about media relations, communication strategies, and event planning, but I did it all in the city I love; Chicago. I had one of the most amazing summers that I’ll never forget.
Every morning the alarm clock would ring around 6:30 a.m. and I couldn’t wait to get out the door to face the bustling streets of the Windy City. To get to work, I would take the #3 or #4 bus north two miles from South Michigan Avenue (where I lived) to North Michigan Avenue (where I worked). When I arrived at my office building, I took the elevator to the 21st floor and began the workday. I worked as a public relations intern at the American Health Information Management Association. I know, it has a long name, but it’s basically an association for health information management professionals and my job was to assist the public relations team with media relations, national convention planning and member communications.
Throughout the summer I worked on a variety of projects. I wrote press releases and media pitches, executed a media plan promoting a conference, contacted and followed up with reporters about the conference, tracked AHIMA’s media coverage, managed the AHIMA Careers Facebook page, posted content to two of AHIMA’s websites (HIcareers.com and myPHR.com), edited and wrote website copy, and helped plan/promote AHIMA’s National Convention in Orlando. As you can tell, my days were busy and I gained more experience in PR than I ever imagined I could in one summer.
Some of you might be wondering how I discovered an internship in Chicago. I learned about the position through Big Shoes Network last April. If you are not familiar with this resource, I strongly suggest clicking on the link. It’s a great job seeking tool for anyone who is looking for a PR, advertising, graphic design, copywriting, website design or marketing position in Minnesota, Illinois or Wisconsin.
Not only did I enjoy my job in Chicago this summer, but I also enjoyed the entertainment, shopping and the scenery. There was so much to see and do, and working on Michigan Avenue allowed me to be right in the middle of all the action. When the Blackhawks won the Stanley cup, the parade went right by my office and I got to see the Stanley Cup. A few scenes of “Transformers 3” were filmed by my work and I even got to see Shia Labeouf on set one day.
Overall, my summer internship in Chicago turned out to be an extremely fulfilling experience that enabled me to learn a lot about public relations in the city I love. Watch out Chicago, I may just move back someday.