“Inter(n)view” with Hunter PR’s Barbara Hunter Fellow

August 21, 2015 // By: // No Comments

Marketing Communications     

As part of Hunter PR’s 25th anniversary celebration, we announced the Barbara Hunter Fellow program to honor the agency’s founder. This summer, we welcomed our first Fellow, Victoria Dellacava a junior at the University of Delaware, to the Hunter halls. She joined the health and social media teams during her internship. To describe her experience, she answers a series of questions in the following “Inter(n)view.”

What has been the most valuable experience of your internship so far?
Considering this is my first official PR internship, having the opportunity to get acclimated into the industry at an award winning PR agency has been a remarkable learning experience. Getting to put the skills that I have acquired over the years to the test and seeing how much farther I still have to go has proven to be much more challenging and rewarding than I ever expected. I knew that I would love the PR industry from the minute I was exposed to it, and now I am even more convinced that it’s where I belong.

Do you feel that you have found a mentor?
Being the Barbara Hunter Fellow at Hunter Public Relations, I was provided many different mentors and supervisors on my first day to assist me throughout my time at Hunter. In addition to the amazing assistance and guidance they have provided me over the past weeks, I have found that everyone I have worked with has been both welcoming and willing to assist me, whether it be with helping me complete my assignments or providing insight on the industry in general. It’s amazing to be able to work in such a welcoming and inviting environment.

What has been a surprising thing that you learned?
It was surprising to see the number of skills that a PR professional needs to have at their disposal on a daily basis that cannot be taught in a classroom. I thought I had a decent number of the basic skills necessary to get myself started, but from day one I was already being tasked with things that I had to learn how to complete from the ground up. While frustrating at times, that is what I love about this industry. I have the opportunity to learn something new or acquire a new skill every day as well as share what I know with others. At the end of the day, all of the employees at Hunter are working together to find the most efficient and innovative way to get our jobs done. In a way, Hunter has been the most productive and informative classroom I have ever been in.

What other campus activities, courses and/or work experience do you think help you with this internship?
Last semester, I interned at a local nonprofit where I was tasked with assisting in the development of their various social media channels. Though I never considered this facet of Public Relations to be my forte, I had the opportunity to work with the Social & Digital Team and found that dynamic aspect of the industry extremely intriguing and something I would love to further explore.

What advice would you give future interns about communicating with their supervisor, both before and during the internship?
Communicate with your supervisors and other employees as much as possible! They are your single greatest resource when you’re just starting out in the industry. All of them were once in your shoes and know what they wish someone had told them when they were just starting out. Not to mention, the more they teach you, the more of an asset you can be during your time at the company. It’s a win-win for everyone!

What has been the most difficult?
Assimilating into a new, fast-paced environment was definitely challenging. I have seen even the most thought-out plan change at a moment’s notice and adjusting and moving forward quickly is imperative to getting anything accomplished. Though these daily challenges can be overwhelming at times, I have found the constant opportunities to challenge myself to think more creatively extremely stimulating.

In what ways has this internship contributed to your professional development?
Over the past two months, I have developed more confidence in my professional abilities than I ever thought I would have by the age of 20. Coming into this experience, I was extremely intimidated by the responsibility of representing UD and PRSSA-UD as the first recipient of the Barbara Hunter Fellowship. With so much at stake, I knew that the only way I was going to be able to perform up to these standards was by developing confidence in my ability to get the job done. There’s still a lot I have to learn, and some days are definitely more challenging than others, but I know that if I come away from this experience making a positive contribution to Hunter, I can overcome any other professional challenges presented to me in the future.

What was the most helpful thing your supervisor did to make you feel comfortable as a temporary staff member?
From day one, everyone at Hunter treated me like an employee. Everyone has been more than willing to assist me in any way that they can, but at the same time I know that my work is held to the same standard as the work done by every other employee. In my first few weeks at Hunter, I was asked to pitch top-tier media, be a part of client calls and brainstorms where my ideas played a part in developing an overarching project, and present research on ways to more effectively utilize our client’s social channels. That sense of responsibility put on me by my supervisors proves that they trust in my abilities to successfully get the job done, and that I should as well. I have found a great deal of comfort in being trusted enough to be considered a member of the team.

What is the best advice you would give to future interns/the best advice you’ve received?
At the workshop that Hunter gave to our chapter in April, we were encouraged to never be afraid of voicing those crazy “get fired ideas,” because they often foster the most innovative and creative solutions. Over my time at Hunter, I have found that this applies to me in more ways than just encouraging me to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind during a brainstorm. I have learned to not be afraid to ask questions and take the risk of doing something that intimidates me without fearing what will happen if it does not go as planned. Changing my mindset from, “this is beyond my abilities,” to, “this is just something I haven’t yet had the opportunity to figure out,” has not only tremendously enhanced my confidence but also given me the chance to perform at a level that I didn’t think I was capable of. By not being afraid of getting fired, I have found that I have developed a new sense of confidence in my ability to get the job done that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my professional career (and will hopefully, in turn, enhance my job security).

**This Internview is shared with permission from the PRSSA website at the University of Delaware.

About the Author