New Perspectives

As I crossed over the Burnside Bridge on the number 12 TriMet bus early last Tuesday morning, the thought that this was my final term as an Oregon SOJC student finally hit me. What was even scarier was the fact that I wasn’t even about to walk into a classroom. Instead, I was beginning my final ten-week period as a marketing intern at a real life, textbook-free, public relations agency. Gasp!

Just six offices and two desks big, the Portland-based PR agency that has taken me under their wing knows what it means to be strategic, especially in world of philanthropies, non-profits, and public agencies. Although I have previously interned at two non-profit organizations, where I dabbled in a variety of in-house communications practices, this is the first time that I have gotten to see how things operate from an agency perspective.

Right away I was able to see some major differences between in-house communications departments and agency structures:

  • Working in-house allows you to focus on the overall communications strategy, usually running a particular campaign or event from beginning to end.
  • Working at an agency means working with several clients, each with their own projects and communications goals. Each day’s set of tasks differs from the previous day’s, and you never do the same thing twice.

I believe that it is a wonderful learning opportunity to see and experience these differences as an intern, and I am looking forward to uncovering more secrets of the young professional’s world.

Shannon Kluss

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to New Perspectives

  1. pdxsx says:

    Good post, Shannon and you are absolutely right about the wide world of PR. Corporate is vastly different than agency and those are both different than non-profit and government. Ah, the god old TriMet #12 – you haven’t seen anything until you’ve managed to ride the #9 at night. 🙂


  2. Allyson Will says:

    I think it is great that you have had a few internships so that you can do some comparing. It is always difficult trying to decide what you want to do with your future when you really only have one good internship to relate to. This is how I felt before I started my PDXSX internship. The fact that you now have more knowledge of your industry and the different types of career paths you could take really puts you ahead of the game.
    Congrats on your internship!

  3. asharonson says:

    Great post, Shannon!

    One of the best things about our industry is that you never have the exact same day. There are always new tasks to take on that sometimes require a different way of thinking. It always keeps our minds fresh and creative. That is one of the things that I love most about our industry and it sounds like your internship is providing that for you!

    Good luck at your internship.

  4. Interesting post! You really accurately described the contrasting styles and enviornements of in-house communications departments and agency structures. I’ve never worked in an agency before but I can see how exciting and refreshing it can be to have a variety of clients and get to work on many differnt types of tasks. I’ve always been pretty sure that I wanted to work in a in-house department but agency work sounds very tempting.
    Great job breaking down the differences and explaining your experiences in the two different enviornments!

  5. Awesome post, Shannon!
    I’ve struggled with understanding the differences between In-House and Agency structures, and it’s really great that you were able to differentiate the two so quickly. Your post has kinda cleared up some of the confusion, hopefully I can keep them straight! It’s crazy to think that we’re only 8-9 weeks away from graduation and we’re basically doing what we love to wrap up our senior year, lucky us!

    Keep up the good work!

  6. rkaapu says:

    Great post, Shannon!
    One thing that you stated that I would like to highlight is that, in public relations, each day is unique. That is one feature that really drew me to this career field; I like write, meet people, and do different things every day.
    On a different note, public transportation has been interesting to figure out here in the Portland area. Sometimes I get more worried taking the MAX than I did when I was living in New York City taking the subway. Perhaps it’s because there’s not a day that goes by without seeing something weird going on in the public transportation. For instance, two days ago I saw approximately 30 police officers arresting and ticketing people at my train stop, or when a nice homeless man brought on, what seemed to be a dead animal, possibly a ferret.
    I hope you enjoy uncovering those secrets and good luck at your internship!

Comments are closed.