This semester I am interning at the public relations firm VMS Communications. The purpose of this blog post is to highlight what I have learned so far and how my education at Arcadia has aided me.

VMS Communications is a Houston-based public relations firm run by Michelle Stephenson. My role in this internship is as her assistant where I aid her with clients and assist with projects. The firm is currently going through a rebrand where she wants to become more focused on catering to black-owned and women-owned businesses. Due to her being based in Houston my internship has been entirely online. I prefer this method of work because it lessens (in my opinion) the stress of having to physically be present.

As far as the actual work I’ve done so far with her company, it has varied in importance and quantity depending on the client. Throughout the semester I have aided Michelle in drafting press releases, curating a list of celebrities to pitch to, researching possible clients, and more. The format of our relationship typically goes that Michelle will email my assignment for the week (or two weeks), and then when I finish I submit it to her for review, she gives me notes, and then another assignment follows within the next few days. I love this style of work because the weekly/biweekly assignments never feel too rushed or overwhelming.

An unexpectedly helpful thing that has occurred, is that I have been able to utilize some of the assignments I have had over the course of my Communications classes to use in this professional setting. I took the PR courses ‘Crisis Communication’ and ‘Intro to Public Relations’ last semester and they have been extremely useful in working on real-life assignments with my internship. For example, last semester we were tasked in creating fake press releases but in the exact format that would be expected of us if they were real. I’ve been able to take that past assignment and use the formatting to help curate a press release that I drafted for Michelle. She was impressed my knowledge of how to do so, and the accuracy in formatting.

 It feels good to know that what I am learning at Arcadia will be able to help once I start a career in the communications field.