Tracey Mendrek, Executive Vice President

May and June are the months of new interns, when college students adjust their internal clocks to the time the sun rises instead of sets, and employers learn how to talk to the next generation of students and future employees.

At Culloton Strategies we have aggressively committed to our interns, through several two-week programs digging deeper into public relations and colleague relations.  Not only are we asking our interns to better understand what we do here, we are asking ourselves to get to know our interns in ways other than friending them on Facebook or following them on Twitter.

We recently developed core values that are shared by our entire team.  We identified them as:  dedication to clients, support for each other, and development of the firm and the people.  We spent thoughtful, reflective time identifying what attracted us to the firm and why we work as hard as we do everyday.  We went back to being interns, looking at our own firm with eyes wide open and fresh expectations.

A natural offshoot of this process was renewing our commitment to the PR experts of the future.  What do we want our interns to know that will give them a leg up on the job search someday?  Our short list:  strengthen writing skills, work on attention to detail, grow and develop interpersonal skills, expand social media skills beyond personal accounts, cultivate a better understanding of PR strategy and development, and most importantly, receive feedback on what we can do to better improve their experience.

We want our interns to feel empowered to ask questions and speak up, but we must be approachable and open to feedback.  So as May begins, we are all going back to being interns, with different outcomes and motivation, but interns all the same.