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Student Spotlights

Whitney: Public Relations

Whitney Tibbets sitting on rocks facing the camera with a laptop.

Whitney Tibbets is a Communications major with a Public Relations emphasis who interned with Bennett Events (pinnersconference.com) as a Public Relations Representative. Click here to learn more about her experience getting news coverage for the events she helped execute.

What were you doing for your internship?

I started my internship with Bennett Events in August and helped with the Pinners Conferences for Dallas, Phoenix and Salt Lake. I reached out to women's organizations to offer promotional tickets, made schedules for TV news segments, drafted press release and reached out to multiple print news organizations to get coverage for Pinners Conference, and contacted our Pinners Conference presenters to help them with their social media marketing. I attended Pinners Conference in Salt Lake and helped with set up, ticketing, classroom registration, and cleanup. We had great success in Dallas and Phoenix even though it was Pinners Conference's first year in those locations. Our Salt Lake Pinners Conference was our most successful yet in terms of attendance and news coverage. I don't have any photos of my working my internship, but I spent a lot of time on my laptop emailing and coordinating things prior to our Pinners shows in Dallas, Phoenix and Salt Lake.

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

I learned to be aggressive and self-motivated to in order to be productive and get tasks accomplished. It was disheartening after contacting 20 news organizations in a day and still not hearing back from any of them after a week. I had to be persistent and willing to reach out to any contact that I could find in order to have my message received.

Would you recommend this internship to other students? Why?

My communications courses taught me to be a creative problem solver and a strategic thinker. I learned how to work hard and establish connections with my classmates and professors in a friendly and professional way. These skills helped me make connections with people over phone calls and emails to be able to earn news coverage for Pinners Conference and to establish credibility and lasting relationships with our Pinners Conference presenters.

What professional skills did you develop?

I got a lot of practice pitching reporters and journalists while trying to earn news coverage. I became a more efficient communicator in my phone calls and emails to be able to accomplish more within a workday. I became more willing to solve problems on my own (especially during the event) because all of my managers and co-workers were busy with their own tasks. Events are exciting and very fast-paced, but a willing attitude and level-headed thinking are essential to being successful and efficient.

How did this internship move you forward in your planned career?

After I finished my internship, Bennett Events offered me a job as a sales representative selling booth spaces for Pinners Conference. I also work for a boutique corporate PR firm located in Orange County California. I am grateful to be able to work both part-time jobs from home so that I can do my favorite job: being a mom to my cute 16-month old boy and another baby boy on the way!

Would you recommend this internship to other students?

Yes! Kendall and Roxanne who own Bennett Events are fabulous. They were such good examples to me of how to be a successful communicator and how to run a large-scale event. They were also good examples to me of how to establish a good work-life balance.