Internship Take-aways, Reflections & Pro-Tips

Interviews with Castle Employees whose Internships Launched their Careers

Internships are a great way to immerse yourself in your field of study—and gain so much more. My direct supervisor for my internship at Castle was an intern before starting his career. It was great to work with someone who had been in my position before. I was able to gain better insight into how to get the most out of my internship for my own professional development. I decided to interview staff members at Castle who had interned before starting their careers. 

Here’s what I learned from my interviews. 

Eric Donovan (PR) 

What were your takeaways from your internship experiences? 

PR wasn’t on my radar as a possible career. What I knew about PR was what was considered “bad PR,” or PR professionals engaging in negative willful attempts to discredit a rival brand or company, although such practices are not in keeping with the industry’s code of ethics. I was able to learn more about all aspects of PR, especially how to proactively pitch stories that maintain or burnish an organization’s image. 

What is one thing you wish you knew before your internships? 

The people at Castle eventually played a huge role in my career pursuit. Stay connected with them through emails and check-ins every so often. A year after I interned at Castle, I was offered an account coordinator position. I know there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when pursing a job, especially after graduating. It is a pivotal moment in life. By staying in touch, I was offered an excellent career-building experience.  

Any pro-tips for potential interns? 

Be a sponge. It’s important to continue to ask questions, chip in and be proactive because there is always something to do. Understand that your internship time is limited, every minute is valuable. Also, know that an important part of working in PR is to stay informed and updated with the news. 

Paige Laliberte (Events) 

What were your takeaways from your internship experiences? 

My internship at Castle was my first introduction to the corporate events industry. By the end of my first summer here, I knew that I had found the career path I wanted to follow. Additionally, I fell in love with Castle’s team dynamic and decided from that point forward that I wanted to join a small, tight-knit team instead of a larger corporation. 

What is one thing you wish you knew before your internships? 

I wish I knew that when you have an incredibly supportive team around you, it’s okay to say you don’t know how to do something, have someone re-explain a project, or ask for help. I learned this lesson very quickly at Castle! No matter how busy the team is, they want to ensure that you understand what you’re being asked to do so that you’re set up for success. 

Any pro-tips for potential interns? 

Be a sponge! At Castle, you’re surrounded by an entire team of intelligent experts who excel in their field. While you’ll learn a lot from the projects you’re working on, you can also learn just from listening to how they interact with clients or conversations they have about venues or destinations over the water cooler. If you always listen and ask lots of questions, you’ll find that you’ve learned much more about the industry than you may have thought. 

Valerie Eigenrauch (Marketing) 

What were your takeaways from your internship experiences? 

Interning on Castle’s marketing team was incredibly eye-opening, both in better understanding myself and better understanding the marketing field. I got to witness first-hand how dynamic agency life is. I’ve loved the balance between long-term projects that have improved my Excel, Word and other administrative knowledge, and the exciting projects with quick deadlines that challenged me to think on my feet and find my creative side! 

What is one thing you wish you knew before your internships? 

I wish I knew that internships are so much more than just checking off a graduation requirement. My internship with Castle is my second and most rewarding experience. It came at a time where I didn’t have the pressure of any requirements, but just wanted to better understand my major and what I wanted to do after college. My time at Castle provided those answers, helped me to see the value of professional experience and building connections, and more. 

Any pro-tips for potential interns? 

I would tell any prospective intern to base their internship search off personal interests and passions (no matter how small), because you never know where those interests can take you professionally. If you can avoid applying to 50 internships that have no personal connection to you, I think your internship experience will be more valuable than you could imagine.

David Tanklefsky (PR) 

What were your takeaways from your internship experiences? 

I learned how to manage my time, contribute to a team, and anticipate what I could do to help my coworkers, who often were really busy and genuinely appreciative for the help without having to explain every single detail to me. I also developed a general sense of what it felt like to work in my desired field (in my case, media) so that when an entry level position opened up, I already had some sense of what I was getting myself into! 

What is one thing you wish you knew before your internships? 

I always heard about how valuable internships were for career development, but never really understood what a great opportunity they were until after I was in the workforce. Just getting a foot in the door, meeting people in your prospective field and getting a front row seat to what it’s really like in a specific industry gives you so much more confidence and understanding when you get that first job. If you take full advantage of those opportunities, internships can be about so much more than just a bullet point on a resume. 

Any pro-tips for potential interns? 

Look for ways to jump in and help. Most people will be more than willing to give you tasks, but by paying attention and seeing a need, you can anticipate ways to be helpful that will be really appreciated by your colleagues. Initiative and a willingness to jump in goes a long way. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up and share what you’re interested in or how you think you can be most helpful. It’s natural to be a little nervous in a new internship but try not to let your nerves overcome your ability to ask questions, share feedback and express what you most want to get out of your internship. 

Danielle Dickinson (Events) 

What were your takeaways from your internship experiences? 

I had previously interned in the marketing department at a large company where I received broad training and basic understanding of the business and general office tasks. My experience at Castle was vastly different—it was bespoke. Castle’s passionate event professionals made me feel like part of the team, put in the time to train me, and gave me autonomy over real project work so I could get my hands dirty. I fell in love with the industry and enterprise, and my hard work turned in to a job offer. 

What is one thing you wish you knew before your internships? 

Not all companies are created equal. Looking back, I was a bit naïve to the gravity of what I was seeking. An internship is a huge opportunity—not only to gain required credits and real-life experience, but also to better understand what you need and want in a professional environment. You’re making decisions that could affect your understanding of what a career should look like, so it’s important to put in the time to research and seek out companies that align with your values. I didn’t know that going in to my first internship. I went for a high-profile opportunity because it looked good on paper—and quickly discovered the value of place when I interned at Castle. I’m still glad I did both as I may not have learned what I really want out of a career if I didn’t have something to compare to. 

Any pro-tips for potential interns? 

Be yourself, work hard, absorb, ask questions, and have fun. This will ensure that you are seen as someone who is dedicated and wants to learn. Passion and willingness to learn is everything in this industry. It is a once (maybe twice) in a lifetime experience so make the most of it. 

Closing 

The Castle team has most certainly been my favorite part of interning at Castle. Even in a virtual environment (due to the pandemic), I experienced what it’s like to work on a great team that cares about an excellent work culture and giving interns a rewarding experience. Click here to learn more about Castle internships.

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