My FPRA Internship with the DBPR

| Written by: Kelly Schwantes

Being a member of the FPRA Student Chapter has opened up so many doors for me. Between the professional development trips, networking meetings and mentor/mentee social, I have met many amazingly successful professionals across the state and have learned so much about the world of public relations. One of the biggest doors FPRA has opened for me was the opportunity to intern with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Communications Office.

Within my first few days of work, I gained insight on the inner workings of a state government regulating agency and how a communications department is vital to the agency’s daily routine.

My daily tasks consisted of tracking media requests, writing social media content, sitting in on meetings and assisting with the logistical planning and promotion of their third Food Truck Fair. My favorite aspect of working at the DBPR has been learning how to implement public relations and communications techniques to do our best to control the outcome of a potential crisis.  This surprised me because I had never given much thought to crisis communications before this internship, and I am fascinated with it.

Not only have I learned so much about the DBPR and public relations, but I have also learned so much about myself.  Working with the DBPR opened my eyes to new aspects of public relations that I hadn’t had much experience with – government relations and crisis communications. I realized that being dead set on a specific sector of public relations wasn’t going to give me the experience I needed to succeed.

A word of advice I’d like to give to students looking for new internships in the spring is to be open to anything.  Look for an internship with an agency/company whose specialty or area of interest is one in which you may not have had experience with before. Although it may be challenging at first, the experience will be invaluable to your resume, portfolio and personal development.

I am thrilled to be continuing this internship with the DBPR Communications Office in the spring semester. My supervisors always ask for my input and regularly use my suggestions in our campaigns and events. They continue to push me to create my best work, which in turn, pushes me to be the best public relations professional I can be. I am very thankful for this opportunity FPRA has offered to me.