By: Michael Clavelli

  My first internship was with the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce. While there, most of my duties included prep work such as putting together folders for meetings, stuffing gift bags, and also contacting the places of business that were represented by the chamber about running low on their menus and brochures or confirmation for events. 

  During my internship, I was able to apply my knowledge of research by helping an aspiring theater group find a grant to help fund their mission. I also helped make the first draft of a brochure that was to be given out exclusively to members of the chamber. And one of my most meaningful experiences working with the chamber was making connections with the professionals who worked at the chamber and receiving a letter of recommendation which I am very grateful for.

  In my second semester, I took what was supposed to be the capstone course of my studies, Campaigns. This course required me to work as part of a team to put together a purposed campaign for real clients presenting it at the end of the semester. Because this course was designed for seasoned PR seniors, there was some concern considering my recent interest in Public Relations and my limited experience in the course work. Although I had only taken one course before hand, all the experience I had gained from my internship at the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce and my involvement with the FGCU chapter of FPRA really helped me persevere in this course. I was confident that with hard work and dedication that I would be able to pull it off.

  Our group’s campaign was for the current members of the Florida Association of Public Health Nurses. Despite my very recent introduction to the PR curriculum, I took the initiative to position myself as the group leader on this campaign. In this position I was in charge of coming up with the strategies and tactics for the campaign and also the proposed budget. I was also in charge of the final editing of the campaign book and presented the majority of the campaign to our clients. In the end I received an A in the course and learned a great deal about putting together a successful campaign. 

  During this summer semester I am enrolled in Public Relations Strategies, where we dissect several different case studies. Currently, I am also working as an intern for the Florida Public Relations Association. I am assisting Phyllis Ershowsky and Kate Walter, at PKE Marketing Solutions with the preliminary work for SWFL’s FPRA Chapter’s Media Breakfast. The theme of the event is communication through the ages and I have been given such duties as putting together a slide show of old and modern communication tools. Much of the time I have spent so far has been dedicated to contacting individuals involved with the event, and also contacting other FPRA members about possible assistance with the event. Phyllis and Kate have been very helpful and I have learned a lot about what it takes to put a professional event together. 

Continue following some of our student members of SWFL’s Chapter of FPRA on our blog!