Revisiting my theory: not all agencies are the right fit for everyone. There are many differences between small, mid-side and full-size agencies, differences that determine what sorts of clients the agency works with, the office environment, and most important for us IQ readers: what are the internship programs like and how do they differ from agency to agency? For this blog series, I am going to speak to PR pros from different agencies and share their insight about agency size.
First, we heard from two PR pros from Edelman and Ketchem, two of the largest agencies in the world. For this post, let’s focus on mid-size agencies and what sets them apart from the rest. To do this, I spoke with Caitlin Koch, an Account Executive at Peppercom Strategic Communications in New York. I have blogged about Peppercom before because I interned there (read more here), but wanted to share Caitlin’s story because of her experience in both a small agency and a mid-size agency setting. Here’s what she had to say:
EJ: What made you want to move to New York after graduation and work in PR?
CK: I graduated from The University of South Carolina in May 2010. I was a journalism major and really wanted to do broadcast journalism but there weren’t many job opportunities. I knew I wanted to move to New York. I had a friend who heard about an internship opportunity at a boutique firm. So I applied and got hired as an unpaid intern. I was an intern July and August and then got hired in September.
EJ: What was the agency like?
CK: It was a health and beauty firm. It was exciting clients. I had always been interested in health and beauty so I was happy to get the job.
EJ: What made you apply for a job at Peppercom?
CK: Since I didn’t know much about PR out of college, it was a little harder in a smaller agency to learn how to do things. An advantage of mid-size agency such as Peppercom is that there are more opportunities to learn. I thought I loved health and beauty but now that I do corporate communications, I’ve realized I like it more.
EJ: What do you like about the workplace environment at Peppercom?
CK: It’s such a great environment here. It’s big enough where you have opportunities to try different things, but it’s not too big that your voice can’t be heard. The agency is really fun, too. We have a kickball team, happy hours, and other good ways to get to know your co-workers.
EJ: What is your advice to college students looking for internships or jobs?
CK: There is no entry-level job anymore; you have to be willing to be an intern. You don’t hear of many people getting a job right out of college anymore. The best mentality you can have is that nothing is too low or entry level, you have to be willing to do anything. Keeping an open mind will help you. Show a lot of enthusiasm about what you do, too.
This blog is written by Ellie Jesse, our Campus Ambassador from UNC-Chapel Hill. Ellie is a junior transfer student studying public relations at the School of Journalism. Ellie was an intern at Peppercom Strategic Communications in New York and is currently a Marketing intern for the Forté Foundation and UNC Kenan Flagler Business School in MBA Admissions.