5 Key Takeaways of Going from Intern to Full-Time Employee

maxresdefault-2By Heather Ebert
Internships serve various purposes for college students, including the opportunity to explore different career paths and network. The “holy grail” is to land a full-time job after graduation. This doesn’t always happen though, and for different reasons. Over the course of my college career at community college and then UNC Chapel Hill, I worked several internships to gain experience and network. But when I came to RLF Communications in the summer of 2015, things were different. I realized that I found a great company and a great place to launch my career in public relations. I spent the next year working diligently to become better at my craft and create a place for myself on the RLF team.
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Summer Intern Spotlight: Jasmine Forte

The communications industry is constantly in flux and there is always room to learn. Even after attending comprehensive classes at a college or university, students should strive to supplement knowledge with real world experience.
At RLF, our interns work alongside seasoned industry professionals to learn the ins and outs of public relations, marketing and advertising.
Our final summer intern spotlight is on Jasmine Forte.
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Summer Intern Spotlight: Julia Lescarbeau

At RLF, interns are an integral part of the agency and actively contribute to the communications process. They learn best practices of the industry, work closely with account teams and participate in a wide range of strategic and tactical work. Our interns not only walk away with real-world experience, but a comprehensive portfolio and business connections to boot.
Learn more about Julia in our second summer intern spotlight.
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New Team Member Spotlight: Carolyn Kuzmin

carolynOur second recent hire is Carolyn Kuzmin, who has joined RLF as a communications manager, supporting a variety of clients through media relations and research.

Tell us a little about your work experience and what attracted you to RLF.

I graduated from Elon University this past May with a degree in marketing and a concentration in communications. Last summer, I interned for fashion designer Elie Tahari in the marketing department. During my junior and senior years in college, I was also involved in Live Oak Communications, Elon’s student run agency where I got the opportunity to work with clients and become exposed to agency life. This spring, I interned with RLF and was immediately attracted to the people, size and culture of the office as well as the work. It turned out to be the perfect fit post-grad as well, so here I am!
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New Team Member Spotlight: Marissa Pierre

IMG_0176Marissa Pierre recently joined RLF Communications as a communications manager, supporting a variety of clients through social media and media relations efforts.

Tell us a little about your work experience and what attracted you to RLF.

I recently graduated from High Point University with a degree in strategic communication. While in college I held several internships where I honed my PR and marketing skills, and by senior year I knew I was prepared to pursue a full-time career in communications. During my job search I spoke with a classmate who told me about her rewarding experience as an intern at RLF. I was immediately interested, so she connected me with the agency, and everything fell into place. Company culture was a big factor for me when deciding on a workplace, and when I visited RLF, I was immediately drawn to its welcoming, professional and enthusiastic atmosphere. I couldn’t ask for a more fitting place to work.
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New Team Member Spotlight: Kent Chilton

We recently added to the RLF creative team with the addition of Kent Chilton as a graphic designer. Kent has already brought his deep experience and a keen eye to a variety of client projects and we are excited to have him on board. 

Tell us a little about your work experience and what attracted you to RLF.

Years ago I was lucky to land a job in photography. I was already considering a design career and that creative environment helped push me to pursue an industry like advertising. I’ve been in creative positions for many years, both at agencies and in-house design departments.
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New Team Member Spotlight: Alice Lee

Alice Lee recently joined RLF Communications as a communications manager. In this role, Lee supports the public relations and marketing efforts for our consumer and lifestyle brands with media relations, social media and research.

Tell us a little about your work experience and what attracted you to RLF. 

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Fall Intern Spotlight: Amanda Limoges

From drafting press releases to crafting social media posts, working in the communications field requires plenty of writing. And it’s especially important for students to develop and improve skills during their internships.
At RLF, we urge our interns to brush up on their AP Style, proof their work and build a portfolio of samples to show future employers.  The ability to write a clear, concise media advisory or draft a fresh, versatile marketing plan is a must-have quality in the PR field.
Our final fall intern spotlight is on Amanda.

Amanda Limoges

I grew up in Philadelphia, but now I spend my time between North Carolina, Florida and the Jersey Shore. I am a senior at Elon University studying strategic communications with minors in professional writing and professional sales. I love to write, travel and I am always trying something new, whether it is training for a half marathon or learning to cook a new recipe.

How did you spend your summer?

I spent my summer interning at a boutique public relations firm in NYC, Sarah Hall Productions. During my weekends off, I split my time between exploring the limitless things New York has to offer, visiting my family and spending time at the beach, and jetting all over the East Coast to visit friends!

What is your dream job?

I plan to move to Washington, D.C. when I graduate and work at a top integrated marketing communications agency. My dream job down the road, however, would be to own my own communications firm!

Do you have any hidden talents?

I have an abnormally good memory and incredible face recognition. I could run into someone 60 years down the road and just see their eyes, and know who it is in an instant!

What food could you eat every day and never get sick of?

Sticky. Bread. Pudding. I’m just obsessed with bread pudding and sweets to begin with. I used to work at a bakery at the beach!

What advice would you give to college students looking for internships?

While RLF’s internship was posted online, many are not. If you want to work somewhere, you have to make it happen. Call the company and use all the contacts you have to get your foot in the door. Then you need to “wow” them in the interview. Show your personality, but also remain professional, and people will instantly like you.
Follow Amanda online at amandaklimoges.wordpress.com.
To apply for an internship at RLF, please send cover letters, resumes and writing samples to interns@rlfcommunications.com.

Fall Intern Spotlight: Taylor Smith

While internships can help recent graduates get their foot in the corporate door, they are a necessity for PR hopefuls. According to PR Daily, 66 percent of employers say that relevant work experience is the most important factor in their hiring decision. And we agree.
At RLF we strive to give our interns valuable work experience to help their transition into the workforce. By giving them the opportunity to draft press releases, help manage social media accounts and be active participants in meetings and brainstorming sessions, we hope to lead them down the path to post-grad success.
This fall, we are excited to welcome back summer intern Alex Rossetti, as well as introduce two new interns to the team: Taylor Smith and Amanda Limoges. Our first spotlight is on Taylor.

Taylor Smith

I am originally from Pittsburgh, but I have been spending a lot of time in North Carolina and plan to move here after graduation. I am a senior at High Point University studying strategic communications and event management. I am an active member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, Lambda Pi Eta-Communications Honor Society and the Public Relations Student Society of America. When I have free time, I like to read biographies and memoirs, write and attend yoga classes.

How did you spend your summer?

During the summer I traveled abroad to London, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Venice, Florence and Rome! I studied European art and architecture, and really enjoyed the amazing food and beautiful sites. When I wasn’t traveling around Europe, I spent time with my family and our new puppy, and attended several country concerts with friends. I also worked at Hallmark where I have worked for almost six years!

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to either work for a large PR agency that deals with clients in the fashion industry, or be a publicist for celebrities because I love all things pop culture.

Do you have any hidden talents?

From first grade until 10th grade I was a competitive figure skater, and after that I taught children the basics of ice skating. I haven’t been on the ice in awhile, but I’m sure I could still do some jumps and spins!

What food could you eat every day and never get sick of?

Not food per se, but I love tea and coffee. My Keurig is the best investment I’ve made since starting college.

What advice would you give to college students looking for internships?

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and make connections. Networking is a great tool that can take you the extra mile. A simple way to network is to keep in contact with past employers or professors. Many college professors still have connections in the industry, and are usually more than willing to help students succeed.
Follow Taylor online at @Tay_Smithfc.
To apply for an internship at RLF, please send cover letters, resumes and writing samples to interns@rlfcommunications.com.

New Team Member Spotlight: Adam Bowers

RLF welcomes Adam Bowers back to the team as a communications manager. Adam joins RLF from Bliss Integrated Communication, a New York City-based public relations agency specializing in business-to-business communications. Prior to joining Bliss, Adam worked as an intern and a communications specialist here at RLF. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication, with an emphasis in public relations.

Tell us a little about your work experience and what attracted you to RLF.

After I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013, my soon-to-be wife wanted to move to New York City to try our hand at life in the big city. While we were there, we lived in the Upper East Side, and I worked at a B2B PR firm where I got quite a bit of media relations experience working on accounts in the financial and professional services spaces.
When a change in my wife’s job brought us back to NC, I reached out to RLF to see if there were any openings. Having worked here before, I knew what I was getting myself into – a fast-paced work environment with some of the best and brightest marketing professionals in the Triad. How could I not come back? (Especially with the well-stocked fridge full of Coca-Cola products!)

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?

My wife and I recently got a soft-coated wheaten terrier puppy named Baloo, so he has started to consume most of my free time (beginning at 6:00 every morning when he starts whining to go outside). But he’s great!
When I’m not chasing Baloo around, I love playing disc golf, going to the movies and reading.

What was the last book you read?

I recently finished Half Magic by Edward Eager. It’s a children’s book that I read way back in fifth grade about four kids who find a magic coin that grants half of what they wish for. During the summer, I try to revisit a book or two from childhood to allow myself to feel like a kid on summer vacation with nothing to do again. My nostalgia levels always seem to run high in the summer months.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Given how much time I’ve been spending lately chasing my dog around the house, I’d have to go with “Who Let the Dogs Out?” by the Baha Men. In addition to being relevant to my life right now, I’m also a huge fan of late 90s and early 2000s pop music, so this has got to be the perfect fit. (Honorable mention: Gettin’ Jiggy With It).

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

C.S. Lewis. Hands down. I read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time when I was ten, and I’ve re-read every book in the Chronicles of Narnia probably fifteen times since then. I’d love to pick his brain and try to understand how he managed to craft a series of books that kids love, but that also get better the older the reader gets.