National Intern Day Celebrations Continue: A Fellow’s Testimonial
by Shea Lawless
by Shea Lawless
Earlier today, we shared short testimonials from our current and former Clyde Group Fellows. Now, we’d like to spend some time with Account Coordinator Shea Lawless as she does a deep dive into her experience starting as a Fellow and what it was like to eventually move on to become a full-time employee here at Clyde Group.
This National Intern Day, I wanted to take some time to share my experience as a fellow at Clyde Group and explain how Clyde Group was the perfect place to kickstart my PR career.
When the pandemic hit back in March of 2020, I was working as a press intern on Capitol Hill. With the future being so uncertain, I decided to take time to focus on my academic career. I had just started in the Public Relations and Corporate Communications program at Georgetown University in January, and I absolutely loved the classes I was taking. In November, with a few semesters under my belt, I wanted to pursue an internship to gain more hands-on experience.
After talking with my professors, I decided to apply for internships and fellowships in the DC area. My professors suggested that I look into some smaller PR agencies, noting that these smaller agencies can provide a really great opportunity to do meaningful work right away, even as a fellow. In my search, I came across the Fellowship opportunity at Clyde Group. Looking at the company culture, clients, and job description, I knew that was where I wanted to work. I applied, interviewed, and to my excitement, was offered the position.
Right away, I felt like I was part of the team. When I accepted the offer, my inbox was immediately flooded with notes from my new colleagues, welcoming me and asking to set up times to chat and get to know each other (virtually, of course).
Throughout the Fellowship, I was consistently challenged with new projects and tasks that allowed me to grow and develop my PR skills. My managers helped me learn the voice and expectations for each client, and always took time to answer any questions that I had. When I turned in my work, I had several team members give comprehensive feedback so that I could learn how to improve.
Not only did the Fellowship program allow me to grow my PR skills, but I also had incredible mentors who helped me with career advice and leadership. I was asked what type of work interested me, and I was given the opportunity to work on projects across several industries in order to figure out what areas of PR I was passionate about.
One of the most meaningful parts of my fellowship experience was that I felt like my voice and input mattered and that people genuinely cared about what I had to say. Team members would ask my opinion on calls, and I provided suggestions for new activations for clients. Fellows were regularly asked to provide feedback on the program and contribute ideas for how to make the program even better for the next round of Fellows. At Clyde Group, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Fellow or a Vice President, you matter to your team.
About two months into my Fellowship, the leadership team announced that we would be hiring for several positions, including entry-level Account Coordinators. I already knew that I wanted to stay at Clyde Group full time, so I talked to my manager, and even though I had not completed my Fellowship, she was completely supportive. In March I got the news I had been waiting for— I was going to be an Account Coordinator.
My fellowship at Clyde Group could not have been more impactful in my career. I gained incredible PR experience, was trained by the best people in the industry, was given the tools to succeed, and found my PR passions. Now, I get to do meaningful work with the best teammates and the best clients.
There are so many wonderful things I could say about my Fellowship experience because Clyde Group truly invests in you and sets you up for success. I think all of us who started as Fellows would agree that if you’re considering applying for a fellowship at Clyde Group: DO IT.
Find out more about our current Fellowship opportunities.
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