The following is a blog post written by one of CURA’s Spring-Summer 2022 interns.
As a public relations major, my professors consistently told me to work at a public relations agency during the last semester of my college education. As my classmates searched for internships and entry-level careers, the agency positions were the most coveted and sought after. “If you start at an agency, you can go anywhere” resonated in the heads of my graduating class.
My search for an internship was very different from my peers. While working at any agency would likely benefit me, I was most passionate about finding a position that involved fulfilling work and helping people through my communications skills.
I came across CURA Strategies. Not only did CURA tick the agency box, but their focus on health care also satisfied my desire to do something meaningful. CURA helps get critical health information out to people that can change their lives.
I was invited to join the CURA team in a thoughtful and welcoming manner. The team was small enough to know the names of my co-workers by the end of the first day and I felt comfortable as soon as I settled into my very own desk. I assimilated into the CURA work ethic and learned that management was passionate about giving employees projects they were interested in. When we finished the onboarding process, I was shocked to hear the supervisor ask the interns, “What projects would you like to work on?”
I wanted to focus on earned media and writing, so I spent my first few weeks at CURA drafting and sending pitches, building media lists and media monitoring. As I progressed, I eased into drafting press releases, attending meetings with clients, and taking a proactive approach to anticipating clients’ needs.
Learning how to navigate conversations with clients is my greatest takeaway from CURA. School can only give us the tools we expect to use to succeed with clients, but internships allow us to apply those tools in real client-facing work. Not only does CURA encourage interns to be present in client meetings, but they also advise interns on proper etiquette and how to form conversations based on action items and talking points.
Many of my peers from school experienced the zoom fatigue and burnout from working remotely, but I was one of only a handful of people in my class who was able to go into the office. I enjoyed separating my work life from my school life. I liked how I could leave my work life at the office and transition into my school life when I sat down at my dining room table at home. Being in the office allowed me to grow relationships with my coworkers and receive mentorship from leaders I doubt I would have acquired had my position been virtual. Another benefit of working in the office was the quick impromptu chats with people. Even Anne, the CEO, would occasionally stop by and chat with the interns and offer advice on projects and career insights.
CURA provides a welcoming environment for interns. I felt fully integrated into the team after meeting my colleagues and getting to know their work preferences: some people were up for a chat in the afternoon but prefer to have a quiet and productive morning, others would rather you come to talk to them in their office rather than communicate via Slack. I also appreciated the afternoon walks to Starbucks with teammates and being able to bounce questions off and inspire thoughtful conversations with other team members who worked out in the open space with me.
While public relations agencies excel at communicating to and on behalf of their clients, sometimes they fall short when communicating internally. CURA does not. I was surprised by the quality and consistency of internal communication at CURA. CURA’s rule of thumb is to over-communicate rather than under-communicate. This made the office easy to navigate by knowing the status of people’s working location, whether they needed the next hour or two to focus on a project, or if they needed an extra set of eyes to review copy.
My time at CURA informed me of what I am looking for next in my career. I found out I work better under pressure, that I prefer working in person, that I enjoy writing over graphic design, and I prefer to be heavily involved in a few projects rather than lightly involved in many projects. The CURA team lets you grow from these experiences.
I am pleased with my experience as an intern at CURA Strategies. Everything that I have learned here will apply to my career in the future and I am excited to start putting the skills I have acquired into practice.
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