Expect exceptions

As part of his internship, Keaton Mohr had a professional headshot taken by Corporate Communications at EMC.

By Keaton Mohr

Year In School: Senior

Major: Public Relations

Internship: Risk Improvement Communications Intern, EMC Insurance Companies

You can’t always know what to expect. That’s like trying to guess what number the dice you rolled is going to land on: you may get it right but you are more likely to get it wrong. It’s the same for everything, whether it be trying to expect what a new movie is going to be like or how a baseball game is going to go.

For me, I didn’t really know what to expect going into my internship. An internship can really entail anything, regardless of the job title or the responsibilities listed on the announcement. With a broad major like public relations, anything goes. As I searched around for an internship, my search became wider and wider.

This is when I stumbled upon the position at EMC. Though it is a communications internship, what intrigued me about it was that it was within a specific department, not just communications overall. This was interesting because the concepts we talked about in class were about organization and agency public relations and communications, like how to implement a campaign or write different publicity pieces for the company. This was different because it was geared towards a specific audience and about a niche subject, something we never quite discussed in class.

After accepting the internship, wild thoughts came into my mind about what the internship was going to be about. I learned more about the internship in my interview but you can never really know until you experience. The next month and a half I awaited in half-patience and half-anxiety. It was almost worse than waiting to hear if I got the internship.

As my first day approached, I got ready as much as I could. But how does one get ready to be thrust into the corporate world? The first day passed by in a blur of nervousness and information, getting through paper after paper about the company’s benefits and history, its values and missions. Name exchanges and handshakes were abundant, each name morphing in with the next. Throughout the day, I kept having to review what I’d learned already, whom I met and what I’d be doing, before I could go onto the next thing.

The first week went by the same. Meeting new people in the company, attending meetings after meetings to get a feel of the department, and doing the obligatory compliance training. It wasn’t until the second week that I really got a feel of what the internship was going to entail. Though I expected to be writing, I didn’t expect to have to be researching a variety of different safety topics, as well as writing a variety of different kinds of pieces. From online training scripts to meta descriptions to newsletter articles, I got to taste a little bit of everything that the Risk Improvement Department does, getting experience not just in writing, but in insurance and loss control, too.

Though the internship wasn’t what I expected, I have learned a lot about communications and what it looks like in a company. In a short amount of time, I have grown already as a communicator and am looking forward to finishing out the internship better than when I started.