Name: Annebeth Ahrenholz
Year in School: junior
Major: public relations
Position: public relations intern, Bannerton PR
Roughly five months ago I officially decided to spend my summer interning in Dublin through Iowa State’s internship program with EUSA.
I can’t say what led me to this decision, other than pure spontaneity and a desire to get out of Iowa.
I had mixed emotions leading up to the trip, mostly nerves and excitement.
I tried not to have any expectations but remained optimistic.
I knew full well it wouldn’t be all glitz and glam, city lights and night life, or anything like that. I knew I would be faced with challenges.
I have been interning in Dublin a little over a month now and undoubtedly have been challenged, tested and worn down.
The transition was tough, and everything felt upside down for a while.
Day one was a disaster – getting ripped off by my cab driver, locked out of my hotel room and lost in the city-center.
I was frazzled and confused because I had no clue where I was or how to get anywhere, frustrated because I didn’t blend in and scared because I didn’t know who to ask for help.
Feeling unsettled, out of place and lost, this theme continued into my first week – missing busses, attempting (and failing) to navigate the city, receiving judgmental looks and rude remarks from locals.
It was emotionally, physically and mentally draining. Not to mention – STRESSFUL.
My plans continued to fail. It seemed as if life had been swiped completely out of my control, which was really hard for me to accept.
A big piece of this experience is my internship, which I began a week after arriving in Dublin.
I am working at Bannerton PR in Dublin, as a public relations intern. Bannerton is a fast-pace, results-focused PR firm that prides itself on effective communication. My supervisor established the agency in 2010 and has since been incredibly successful.
Working at Bannerton is amazing but challenges me in many ways. I have three coworkers aside from my supervisor. Because it is such a small agency, everything impacts everyone and there isn’t time to make mistakes. My supervisor is incredible but also insanely intimidating.
I am by no means “babied” or treated differently at work because I am young or new. It’s intense.
On my first day, I wasn’t given expectations or directions. This put me on edge, not really knowing what my “role” in the office was supposed to be. I walked in, sat down at my desk and truly didn’t know what to do with myself.
I quickly learned to advocate for myself.
The more I asked to help out, the more responsibility I was given. The more I learned.
I have gotten the opportunity to help out in various areas – drafting press releases, posting on social media for clients, contacting journalists, etc.
My co-workers will compliment my work if they like it, which is a reassuring feeling. I also appreciate criticism because it helps me learn.
Interning at a fast-pace PR agency abroad has made me more self-sufficient, patient and confident than I have ever been.
This whole experience is a giant step out of my comfort zone and is growing me as a person.
I know I am not in control and that humbles me.
Each day is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Vote for this blog post in Round 1 of the 2018 Greenleee Summer Intern Blogging Competition. Voting opens at 12:15 p.m. CST on July 9 and closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on July 16. The author of the post that receives the most votes will receive the $50 Amazon e-gift card.