A Firmani + Associates internship is #MoreThanMakingCoffee

by Caroline Emde

May 20, 2016

They say that when one door closes, another opens. Well, as I close my internship at F+A and prepare to walk through the garage door of opportunity that has opened in my professional life, I’d like to take a moment and reflect on my time here at Fairview Avenue North.

This has been my third communications industry internship – the first in an agency setting – and I can honestly say that I’ve learned more from my time at F+A than the two others combined.

The learning is magnified and the experience is unique.  Yes, you are an ‘intern,’ but one who gets real, hands on, account coordinator-level experience.  From the first week, I was editing press releases, sitting in on meetings, collaborating on strategy and drafting content – all efforts essential to the collective team and agency’s operations.

After four months, I’ve fine-tuned my communication skills, gained valuable industry knowledge and am proud to be walking away with:

  • Strong writing samples – From press releases, media alerts and corresponding coverage reports to comprehensive research whitepapers, I am now armed with an arsenal of proud writing samples that involve notable clients from across the Puget Sound region.
  • Experience pitching and communicating with journalists – Building relationships with influencers and enticing journalists to read and run with the material is half the battle. Whether communicating via email or over the phone, I feel more confident in my ability to pitch a story, garner feedback and see it through to print.
  • Familiarity with media and outreach monitoring – Optimizing platforms like Metro Monitor, Sysomos and Hootsuite put you on the pulse of information. I’ve learned that monitoring coverage not only provides valuable earned media metrics, but attentively listening to industry trends and avidly monitoring news paves the way for timely and creative content.
  • Exposure to crisis situations and strategy – F+A has a wide range of clients, from tech to healthcare, to organizations weathering a communications crisis. The agency is home to crisis experts; they know how to successfully navigate, advise and guide organizations through what may seem like a disaster. I’ll venture to say it’s been fascinating and enlightening to watch strategies unfold and see clients back on their feet and back in business once again.
  • A newfound appreciation for Google – Google is your friend; use it, abuse it, peruse it, choose it, schmooze it, news it and DON’T lose it (how do you think I found all these great words that rhyme?) But in all seriousness, research is the foundation to any successful strategy and when used strategically, Google can be an optimal research tool resting at your fingertips.

And yes – let’s not forget, a talent for brewing a very strong pot of coffee. Every morning the interns may be responsible for making a fresh pot of coffee and every evening we might clean out the grounds – but in between, nothing resembles your typical intern “grunt work.” Simply put, the F+A internship experience is way #MoreThanMakingCoffee.

Caroline Emde
About Caroline Emde
Caroline Emde, a (former) professional intern at Firmani + Associates, is now a brand content writer for a major online fashion retailer.
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A Firmani + Associates internship is #MoreThanMakingCoffee