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COMMunity News

Journalism Major Tries Her Hand at PR in Summer Internship

Junior Maddie Crocenzi has developed a strong communication track record as the editor-in-chief for Messiah’s Swinging Bridge Magazine. Like many students, Crocenzi also took advantage of the summer months to hone skills with practical, resume-relevant experience. In an internship with La Torre Communications, a PR firm in Harrisburg, Pa., Crocenzi learned to transfer her journalism skills to the realm of public relations.

During this internship, Crocenzi applied her already-strong writing skills into typical public relations practices such as social media management and press release composition. She also researched social media and websites to construct a communications audit for one of La Torre’s clients. With all of these projects and more, Crocenzi describes her internship as “very writing intensive.”

Fortunately, Messiah’s communication program, with its “transferable skills emphasis,” prepared her for this kind of vigorous program. She says, “Toward the end of my internship, my supervisors asked me to come up with an idea for a social media internship campaign to help them find a new fall and spring intern. I had already done something similar for a class at Messiah, and that helped me draft and design a campaign before I left.” She also notes that thanks to her communication classes and professors at Messiah, she was prepared to write social media posts and other communication documents. She even knew how to write everything in AP style, an essential format of communication professionals.

An increasingly common trend for COMMunity student interns, Crocenzi was able to continue her work with the same company this fall. She says, “The most rewarding part came after my internship. I’m now doing some consulting work for La Torre. It’s nice because I can do the work from my apartment. I’m earning money to help with school and gaining real-life experience.”

Crocenzi encourages students considering internships to try their hand at everything—even practices they know little about or aren’t sure if they have interest in. She says, “Before this internship, I didn’t have too much experience in public relations. I feel like I have a greater understanding of what I want to do after my internship instead of graduating and starting a job that might not have been for me.” She also encourages students to take initiative, asking themselves, “What could I be doing at any given time to make the most of my opportunities to gain experience? How can I avoid wasting time?”

Stepping out of her comfort zone helped Crocenzi shape the vision she had for herself as a future communication professional. She would like to work with a non-profit organization to combine journalism, public relations and general communication. She concludes with a piece of advice for any student that plans to work in Harrisburg: “Always go to Little Amps and get a cold jar. It’ll make your day 1,000 times better.”

- Stephanie Bricker ‘18