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Student Spotlights

McKenna: Public Relations

Heard anything from the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences lately? That could have been McKenna Wilson Clement working as a student writer for her internship!

What was your internship experience?

As a student writer for the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, I have been given opportunities to write and edit stories for many different kinds of publications. These publications include website articles, news releases, magazine articles, feature stories, and more. I also have worked with our graphic designers and photographers to ensure that the final project is both visually and verbally appealing to readers. I've been able to work with our marketing team to help plan and execute various social media efforts and strategies, and have been offered a position in the Fall as a social media manager.

What are your future plans?

Full-Time Employment,Part-Time Employment,Graduate School,Continue Internship,Stay-At-Home Parent,OtherI hope to obtain a Master's degree in mass communication in the future while working full time to support my husband and I during his graduate school. After we're done with school we hope to have children, after which I may stay home for a few years. I'm

What was the most useful thing you learned from your internship?

This internship has given me so much practical experience in writing and editing that I can use in my professional portfolio. As a public relations major with a background in more artistic fields, learning to write about math and science has really brought me out of my comfort zone and diversified my portfolio. It's really stretched me to my limits and encouraged me to do more research when writing because the subject matter is something I'm not familiar with.

What professional skills did you develop in your internship?

In prior internships and jobs I've had, it felt like I was either a one-woman-show or the only one on the team with design, writing, and marketing experience. Working on a larger team like this one has allowed me to really hone in on my writing skills while leaving some of the other work to the rest of our team members. We're really blessed with incredible graphic designers, animators and creative directors, and I've learned how to work as part of a team in a real functioning marketing department. I've learned skills of delegation and collaboration, which with my personality can sometimes be difficult. I've also gained a ton of experience with copy editing, something I knew I had the skills for but have never been in an employment situation where it was incredibly relevant. I've really enjoyed getting to explore that more traditional side of public relations instead of only doing social media planning.

How did your courses prep you?

My COMMS 320 and COMMS 313 classes have been instrumental to my success in this internship. The practical writing and design principles I learned in those two courses have proven relevant almost every day at my internship. The strategic planning techniques I learned in COMMS 320 have helped me so much in creating clean, engaging writing for every project I've been assigned. I've particularly felt intention during this internship due to the amount of planning that goes into writing articles. Before starting a project, I've had to ask myself "What am I trying to do with this article? What do I want people to get from it? What story do I want to tell?" The strategic planning techniques I learned in COMMS 320 demonstrate intention very clearly; I never start writing before I know what my explicit purpose is.

Would you recommend this internship to other students?

I absolutely would! The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences offers so many great opportunities for their interns. There is never a shortage of projects for you to work on and the work is always relevant. It offers opportunities to be creative and use a wide array of your talents. The people you work with are incredible. I love this internship and am so excited that I get to continue working part-time for this office!

McKenna Wilson Clement