This week marks the close of my three-month internship at Agent99. I feel that it was at once short and long: time flies when you’re busy, yet each day was packed with so many learnings.  I went from feeling overwhelmed and uncertain on my first day to feeling like a capable (albeit inexperienced) member of the team on my last day. I am incredibly grateful to the career and life lessons I have learned from Agent99’s dynamic and talented team. Through observing, doing, and asking, I learned:

Emails Come at an Astonishing Rate: Stay Calm and Fast

I have never been one to respond to emails within 24 hours. I usually succumb to inbox intimidation and resort to apologizing for my delayed response days later. Agent99 sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. Emails are responded to within 15 minutes, at most. On my first day, I started off with a full inbox, tasked with catching up on the emails received since the last intern’s departure. I scrolled down the 70ish emails and slowly began adding their corresponding entries to Excel sheets. To my surprise, after my first few, the number of unread emails didn’t go down. It went up. Unfortunately, the simple tasks of answering an internal communication email on top of the inbox took just as long as performing the spreadsheet tasks for the emails on the bottom. So either way, flipping up and down the inbox, my progress was buried. After only an hour, I had a neck cramp and way too much stress-sweat from second guessing every email read-through, unaccustomed to speed proofreading. Although I am still not at the level of Agent99’s abilities of responding to emails faster than a text while multitasking on their other work, I can officially say my pulse no longer spikes at the sight of an email notification.

PR Merges Creativity and Strategy: Channel Both

Unlike marketing and advertising agencies that force a choice between a creative content role and a strategy role, in PR, you can do both. In fact, you are required to do both. This makes teams very collaborative, and everyone takes on different complementary roles depending on the situation. The dynamic role made my internship much more interesting, as I wasn’t always just creating graphics, writing drafts, or doing research exclusively. The wide-spread exposure allowed me to grow in all these areas, and I progressively grew more comfortable writing, analysing, and creating —one internship, many skills practiced. It’s a good deal all around.

The Job Description is Eclectic: Hello Hampers

Not only is the role interdisciplinary, but it’s also pretty random. Taking a taxi to a storage unit and packing media hampers, booking couriers, buying gift boxes at a dollar store, researching hand-writing interpreters, finding New Zealand family Instagram influencers, and interpreting a range of heavy Australian accents over the phone to determine who to pass on messages to—all things I did. I can’t say I expected any of them, but I now have many handy fun-facts and odd skills to add to my repertoire.

All these internship findings came on top of reinforcing and living the importance of teamwork, communication, and flexibility, mainly by observing how the team embodies these skills. Thank you for a great 12 weeks, and good luck with the inbox to the next intern.

Agent Intern Sofia