Every summer, Next Step Communications looks forward to welcoming an undergraduate intern to learn more about working in public relations. Due to Covid-19, this summer was a bit different as the program had to be held remotely, but our intern was still able to get involved with all different kinds of work at Next Step and take the plunge into the world of healthcare PR.
This summer, we had the opportunity to work with Boston College senior, Ashley Vincent! Ashley studies communications and international relations at the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at BC. We recently sat down with her to hear about her experience interning at NSC – from why she’s interested in healthcare PR to her favorite movie. Continue reading to get to know Ashley and learn her biggest takeaways from her summer internship.
Why healthcare PR?
While studying communications at Boston College, I have always had a unique interest in public relations and all that it entails. I love working with others, communicating effectively, and writing, so the communications-related aspects of this job fit all of my interests. In terms of healthcare, I found it really intriguing that, while working in PR, I could still help people and connect with clients who help others deal with their medical conditions. The opportunity to work with patients and hear their stories was a huge draw for me, leading me to feel that doing this work has a purpose.
What have you learned during your time at Next Step?
During my time at Next Step, I was introduced to all things public relations. From learning how to write briefing sheets to pitching reporters, I gained a lot of valuable experience in the PR field. Prior to this internship, I hadn’t worked in public relations, so I really got to strengthen my skill set surrounding the tools used in the industry. Additionally, I learned how to work in a professional environment, in uncertain circumstances. With COVID-19, the workforce has changed immensely and learning to work independently and remotely, while still collaborating with a team, was very helpful for my future career.
What surprised you the most as you dove into PR?
As I dove into PR, what surprised me the most was how far in advance things were planned. I was amazed to find that things like social media could be drafted up to months in advance and how long the review process for various types of content takes. I now know how meticulous both public relations firms and their clients are with the work they publish and how much attention to detail is put into everything!
What was the biggest overall challenge you faced during your internship?
The biggest overall challenge that I faced during my internship was using time management skills and understanding how to prioritize my work. Once I adjusted to my schedule, I could decide what tasks I wanted to complete in the order I felt would be most efficient. Understanding how to work in a timely fashion and meet deadlines for many of the requirements for clients was a challenge that I faced, however, I feel like I was able to adapt to it very quickly.
What are you most proud of so far?
So far, I am most proud of the blogs I have written for clients and patients, as well as the Next Step blog. I really enjoyed my work with our clients Bioness and OvuSense, and getting to write blogs to be featured on their websites made me feel as though I was truly helping the people who use their products. Additionally, getting to hear patient stories – whether it was a journey to becoming parents or a recovery from a neuromuscular disease – and having the opportunity to share how our client helped them was very inspiring and emotional.
What is your (planned) #NextStep after this summer?
As I enter my senior year at Boston College, I plan to continue to expand my knowledge in the communications and media relations industries, and figure out my post-grad plans. I would like to have a great senior year, narrow down where I plan to live after college, and continue to get as much hands-on experience as I can in the PR field!
Book: The Girl on the Train
Movie Series: Harry Potter
Activity: Anything outdoors!
Type of cheese: Gouda