As I enter into the second half of the PDXSX experience, I think it is safe to say there is no way I could summarize all that I’ve learned into one blog post. But being a writer, I am going to try! Just kidding, but I would like to dedicate my last post to the top three things I have taken away from this experience.

  1. Wording is everything. As journalists, the written word is our most powerful tool. It is the basis of how we make a living and something we study throughout school and for the rest of our lives. Whether you are in PR, ad, or print journalism, the way you craft a message means everything and can dictate success. As we learned at our agency tour yesterday, simply rewording a phrase like “I think” can make a client happier and in turn put you ahead.
  1. Ask questions. You might feel as an intern that asking too many questions is annoying or bothersome, but in reality, its better to ask and make sure you know what is going on than to mess up and have to fix a mistake. Taking the two minutes to ask a question upfront could save you (and other employees) hours down the road. So rather than being shy and risking failure, pipe up and find out how to do something the right way.
  1. Smile! I know this sounds corny, but body language matters with first impressions,

    How could anyone not like you if you smile?!

    interviews and much more. Simply smiling can instantly make you seem warmer and more approachable, which is something that can only benefit us in every aspect of our life!

Overall, this experience has been one that I have benefited from. I learned even more than what I could fit into this post, and expect to keep learning in the remaining four weeks of my journey.

-Katherine Cook

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8 Responses to Takeaways

  1. I agree that the advice we got at the agency about replacing phrases like “I think” with “I recommend” in order to validate the client was very useful. It does seem silly though, because why would they hire you if they didn’t trust your judgement and want you to tell them what you think they should do?

  2. I, too, ask what could be considered entirely too many questions – and I, too, think that it’s not actually a bad thing. Though the body language and wording is, as you say, very important. It can turn your interaction from pestering to engaging, and that’s an important distinction.

  3. pdxsx says:

    Nice work, Katherine. Can’t believe that was your very last PDXSX blog post! Great advice, all around.

  4. madelinestone says:

    Katherine I really like your insight about smiling. Even though it is completely common sense it is such an easy thing to overlook. We don’t have to look at ourselves everyday (thank god!) but just imagine if you observed yourself for a day. What would your body language say about you? This is something I have to remind myself because I tend to have a face that tells all for better or for worse. This also serves as a reminder to be positive. Smiling even if you are in a bad mood can help trick yourself into a good one. If you are not approachable then you are much more difficult to work with in a team environment. A good attitude has helped me greatly during my internship especially in times of stress.

  5. pcriscola says:

    This is all great advice! As an intern I didn’t want to bother those in the office with all my questions, but my work will be so much more valuable if I get it right the first time because I asked questions rather than guessed and turned in something they didn’t want. Asking questions if probably the most beneficial things you can do, it shows you are interested and dedicated to your work and you want to do your best! Thanks for this, its good to think about these things!

  6. Those are all great tips for any employee! I especially liked what you said about wording things. In a profession that calls for so much writing, it’s easy to think communication stops there. Yet we need to positively interact coworkers, clients, or sources just as much. Really thinking about what we say and how we say it can make all the difference in interactions with people. Asking questions and smiling are also so important and can help you communicate to the best of your ability. I think our internships have given us great opportunities to get better at all these things!

  7. All very valuable things to think about, I totally agree. Do you find that its hard to ever approach people with questions? It is incredibly important to smile and have a positive attitude. I think thats something that everyone especially employers wants around them. So true about the wording. Even with small things. It can really change the way someone perceives you or the situation. Thanks for your thoughts here!

  8. I love this! I think the three takeaways you pointed out are the key to success. As we begin our careers we must remember these three takeaways, especially in interviews. Personally, I have learned so many lessons from the PDXSX program that I will continue throughout my personal life and work life. These lessons are lifelong and put us a step up in the game. We are so lucky to have participated in the PDXSX program and to have learned such valuable skills!

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