Words of Advice from a Company President to an Intern

As a first-generation college student, I have struggled to find the resources necessary to help guide my future. Since my parents never went to college, I have had to rely heavily on my professors and advisors for advice, which is how I landed my internship with GRIT. While talking with my advisor about internships, he recommended GRIT because he saw many of my own characteristics fitting their company culture.

Since landing my internship at GRIT, I have found a new group of professionals to rely on for advice and guidance in my field. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with the President of GRIT, Julie (Lando) Cross and ask her anything I wanted. She was an open book of information!

Going into this meeting I had one key question on my mind … the future of public relations. Since public relations is my major, it is important for me to understand what the future of this field is. In the past few months, I have heard rumors that integrated marketing communications (IMC) is taking public relations’ seat at the table. So, I wanted to get Julie’s advice on continuing my education and pursuing a master’s degree in IMC. Unlike a lot of my professors who push their students to further their education without thinking of the financial burden, Julie was more realistic and suggested that I get experience in IMC and make sure I have an interest in the field before spending thousands of dollars on a graduate degree.

Aside from my degree, I wanted to learn more about what characteristics Julie looks for in her interns and employees. When asked what one major weakness was in college interns, Julie stated that many interns come in and give there all for the first month, but then they believe they have received the experience they need, so their quality of work decreases. I was glad that I asked Julie this question because it provided me information on how I can be a better intern while at GRIT.

As for what she looks for in possible employees, it is not their GPA or awards that are listed on a resume, but it is who they are as a person. It is imperative that future employees fit the GRIT culture, which revolves around collaboration and creativity. Julie emphasized that employees can be taught how to write news releases, media alerts and blogs, but if they do not fit the company culture then it just is not going to be beneficial for the employee or employer.

The time I had with Julie was very valuable and will help me in the future. I now know what employers look for and what I can do to be a better intern while at GRIT. I am thankful to have Julie as someone that I can go to for advice as I finish my college career and navigate into the industry.