My name is Madalyn Etzel and I’m a senior public relations major at Kent State University.
This is my first semester working at Flash. It’s safe to say I’ve learned a lot so far, but it hasn’t always been easy – especially answering to so many different departments. Though I’m managed by the Flash Coordinator, I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with some traditional Flash clients, including Kent’s HR Department, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Kent State Magazine and other internal publications. Writing for these different platforms on- and offline and answering directly to different “bosses” has taught me some important lessons:
Manage your time – It’s important not to spend an entire day in the office working on one story, unless the deadline is the same day. My newswriting professor always told me to take a step back from a story to “let your brain breathe.” Doing this also makes it easier to catch grammar errors and gain a fresh perspective.
Stay organized – All these different publications mean multiple deadlines to meet, so organization is crucial. This is crucial because along with hitting deadlines, stories need to be edited before the actual deadline hits. Staying organized means sticking post-it notes all over your computer, highlighting dates in your planner or setting reminders in your phone to make sure you’re constantly staying on track. My planner is attached to my hip, so I keep all of my deadlines written in there. Staying organized will keep you sane and make your bosses happy.
Prioritize your stories – While every story is important, every story also has a different priority. Don’t get caught up writing a story that isn’t due until the next week when there’s an unfinished story due the next day. This task ties perfectly into properly managing your time and staying organized. Know when your deadlines are, and make sure the majority of your time is spent on the most important stories.
After my time interning here, I plan to apply for an agency internship. I think Flash is a great stepping-stone in that direction. I’ve heard an agency is a fast-paced environment where every day is different. Here at Flash my tasks do change day-to-day. Even if you don’t manage all the publication deadlines and styles like me, these lessons are critical to remember at the workplace – now and throughout your career.