By Will Gregory
Penn State Abington, Class of 2023
If you would have told me a year ago, that I’d have an unforgettable internship experience during my final semester of college, I would have let out a much-needed sigh of relief. The process of finding an internship was an extremely stressful obligation for me. Relevant experience is a currency that never depreciates in value. For that reason, it’s difficult to obtain at the beginning of your professional journey. I had over thirty noes and just one yes. That one yes came from the Communication Solutions Group, and for that, I owe a great debt of gratitude.
From the very first day, I knew this internship was going to be special. On that day, I was tasked with designing social media posts via Canva for Bristol Township School District. I finished the designs rather quickly and then learned how to schedule posts on Meta Business Suite. CSG’s founder and President, Leza Raffel, then approached me with a video project that day. When she did this, she threw out terms like “b-roll” and “digital art files” and I felt a sense of professionalism that in turn, bled into my work. This would be the first of many video projects I’d complete for CSG this semester.
Something I will never forget is when I was given the opportunity to direct a video project from scratch. Leza and I showed up at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit to interview male student nurses about their experiences and how the “male nurse stereotype” is something that does not apply anymore, as anyone can be a nurse. As we fumbled through the doorway with camera equipment and pizza boxes, we found a great location to film the interviews. Leza asked the students the questions, and I monitored the video and audio output. I could not wait to get back to the office and edit the final video. The project went great and the finished product was eventually posted on DCIU’s website to encourage more men to sign up for the Practical Nursing Program.
I never saw myself as much of a technically sound writer. I was fortunate enough to have the support of our Public Relations and Marketing Manager Kellie Dietrich. She would always encourage me and my projects while also providing me with clear explanations for her notes. She was always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that I understood the big picture behind writing assignments. This made things much easier for me and truly developed my writing skills.
The Communication Solutions team did a great job of welcoming me and keeping me up to date on everything throughout my internship. Leza, Kellie, Jess, Linda, Mike, and Cassie were all consummate professionals in their own regard. They would not hesitate to help this sometimes lost and confused intern. I know for a fact that I will miss the Monday morning meetings, sitting in on Zoom calls with clients, and collaborating with the team.
This spring with the Communication Solutions team has been an enriching experience. Prior to this internship, no one had given me a chance to work in a professional communications environment like this one. Each day I learned something that reformed my vision of what a public relations professional is/does. These past few months have honestly held some of the best working experiences that I have had in my life. I am extremely thankful to have visited new places, learn about different industries, and use my skills in a professional format that I always aspired to, but never knew I could reach. Thank you CSG!