Welcome to my guest series! I recently started a public relations internship at Publicis Consultants USA. Throughout the next 12 weeks, I will be sharing my experiences with you in the form of roller coaster analogies in the hopes that you will follow my journey and learn a few tips from my “ride.”
The Beginning: The Drop Tower
One minute up. One minute of anticipation. A few hundred feet of free fall. Nearly every theme park has one: The Drop Tower.
The Drop Tower is the ultimate combination of extreme terror and excitement bundled into a two-minute experience–it’s over before you even know what happened to you. These feelings mirror what I experienced the first day of my internship.
The night before my start day I made sure to “buckle up” before the craziness of the ride I knew was before me. I studied up on the company and the clients and I picked out a professional yet stylish first-day-of-work outfit. Seventy-five percent excited and 25 percent nervous, I went to bed knowing I set had three alarms and had three back-up bus plans just in case.
The 75:25 excitement/nervous ratio didn’t change until I walked up to the building. Faced with the logo and a monstrous steel exterior, I quickly became horribly nervous. I wasn’t sure if I was ready – this was my fourth internship, but what if I couldn’t remember anything I had learned? What if my new bosses didn’t like me? What if they made me do something I didn’t know how to do?
After meeting up with my mentor, I was given a tour of the office and met everyone on the teams I would be working with. It was just like going up The Drop Tower – I was getting less and less nervous and more and more excited. As I became more excited, I started imagining my future: all of the amazing things I would learn throughout my internship, how my new co-workers and I would become best friends and how my fabulous mentors would lead me to greatness.
Before I knew it, my excitement was released and I fell right back down to earth. Zero percent nervous, 0 percent excited, 100 percent shocked–day 1 was over. I can barely remember what I did that day besides constantly absorb information and hope I didn’t screw up.
The first day of any internship is going to be just like The Drop Tower: you will be nervous, you will be extremely excited and it will be a whirlwind and so packed with information you will be left not knowing what exactly happened yet shocked that it’s over.
All you can do it prepare yourself as much as possible for the wave of emotions. Research the company, the clients and your bosses – know as much as you can about what to expect. Then just close your eyes and prepare for the ride! The first day is always a doozy.
Guest writer Nicole Raisch is a public relations professional from Seattle, WA. She is a recent Gonzaga University alumni with a diverse background including sports, nonprofit, lifestyle, hospitality and commodities PR. Nicole is adept at digital engagement and telling stories. She is hoping to land a full-time PR position in Washington D.C. in January. Follow Nicole on twitter @nicoleraisch and check out her blog.