Just as the snow is rolling in, Isabel is rolling out of her internship at NSC. Joining us from Wheaton College, she brought a love of all things camp, enthusiasm for visual communication, and deep interest in PR. With her own personal ties to healthcare, Isabel recently reflected on her time at Next Step, and some of the key lessons she will take with her into a future career in the industry…
Why Healthcare PR?
When looking at my future, I feared never finding my purpose or feeling fulfilled by a career in media, and craved something authentic that would still utilize my degree and experience.
My sister and I both suffer from auto-immune diseases and – having spent my fair share of time in doctors’ offices and on the phone with insurance providers – healthcare seemed like a natural next step. Combining all of my professional experiences and passion for client-focused care is now a dream come true!
What did you learn during your time at Next Step?
While I learned a lot of interesting strategy about the technical and business-oriented side of public relations and had the opportunity to contribute to the work, I also learned about the tremendous compassion and partnership here at Next Step. I was welcomed with open arms and felt comfortable asking any questions, no matter how small – but the real magic was watching the team work with the clients.
Healthcare is highly personalized, and each client I worked with is committed to helping people who may be struggling through their own unique journey. When an OvuSense user found out they were pregnant or a Kindergarten teacher regained their mobility with Bioness’ device, it wasn’t just a win for the press it created, it was a win for the teams trying to improve lives through their innovation.
What surprised you the most?
I was surprised at the variety of disciplines and skill sets needed to excel in public relations. From personality and work ethic to writing and creativity, my time at Next Step really opened my eyes to how multi-talented PR agencies are. While earned media and journalist relationships are important, consumer and client needs are ever-evolving and the PR industry is changing along with them.
What was the biggest overall challenge you faced during your internship?
Coming into this experience, I struggled to differentiate between the academic writing I use in college and the more personal, conversational tone fit for blogs and social posts. Working through this obstacle with the team made me an even better, faster writer than I could have hoped for.
What are you most proud of?
This is definitely a tie between eventually being able to answer Nigel’s ‘big picture’ questions and my work on specialized assignments whether it be clip books, award research, or any other project that came my way.
During my first few weeks here, I felt completely out of my depth when conversing about the broad view of healthcare, but as I listened in on client calls and read extensively about the industry and news, I felt confident in my contributions. Diving into this completely unknown territory challenged me in a way that none of my previous experiences have, and with the support of the NSC team I had more success in the projects than I thought possible.
What is your #NextStep?
I’ll be finishing up my senior year at Wheaton College and graduate in May! I plan to move to New York and pursue a career in public relations or social media management.
- Beverage: Iced Coffee, even in the winter
- Book: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson
- Movie: Wet Hot American Summer
- Activity: Boxing
- Type of cheese: Daiya Cheddar Style Slices (Shoutout to my fellow lactose-intolerant people)