What company are you interning for?
I am working the 500 Festival in Indianapolis. The 500 Festival is a non-profit organization that celebrates the Indianapolis 500. It is recognized for hosting the nation’s largest half-marathon that has more than 35,000 participants from all over the world. The 500 Festival also hosts the third largest parade in the nation, next to the Macy’s Day Parade and Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.
For clarification purposes – The Indianapolis 500 is the most important race of IndyCar racing. (IndyCar and Nascar have no relation. It’s easy to confuse the two.)
What is your internship title?
Public Relations Intern
What are some of your responsibilities during this internship?
Oh boy, there’s a lot! I write press releases and newsletters, build media lists and track media hits, and manage the 500 Festival Facebook and Twitter accounts. My biggest project is writing the script for the 500 Festival Parade which will be read in front of 300,000 spectator and televised locally and nationally.
What does an average day on the job look like for you?
I usually arrive to work 30 minutes early each day. I check emails and social media. After that, I search Google for media hits related to the 500 Festival. I also use Cision to track broadcast media hits and I record media clippings. I usually spend about an hour doing that and then the rest of my day is spent doing a project my supervisor assigns. She will usually give me a press release or newsletter to write. In addition to that, I work on ongoing projects like the Parade script or Month of May Guide.
How did you get the internship?
I discovered this internship through your typical Google search. I was looking for PR internships related to running and discovered that the 500 Festival hosts the nation’s largest half-marathon. I thought that was really cool and though I’d apply. I sent in my resume and cover letter and a week later called my (now) supervisor to see if she received my application. In the mean time, I reached out to her previous inters through LinkedIn (I did my research, haha) and asked them questions about the internship. A few days went by and Megan asked me to interview. I was hired a week later. She mentioned during my interview that she was impressed that I reached out to her past interns and she liked my passion for PR.
Name one thing you have learned from Bishop that you took with you to the internship.
The writing skills he teaches are PRICELESS. Seriously.
I was able to feel confident when it was time to write my first press release for the 500 Festival. Writing truly is the most important skill to have in public relations and Dr. Bishop teaches it very well.
Any final thoughts?
Be passionate. Be professional. And be thankful for Dr. Bishop’s 8 a.m. classes and curriculum. I have learned that by bringing your passion into your job will take you far. Dr. Bishop isn’t just teaching his students how to be prepared for the future, but he is giving the skills we need to be successful.