Cara Silverman is a third year business student at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship. She completed a 10-week internship at Weber Shandwick Singapore, as part of a mandatory overseas school programme. Cara recounts her experience at Weber Shandwick Singapore.
When I was told that I had landed an internship at Weber Shandwick, I was not sure what to expect. Although, I had zero knowledge of the public relations industry, I’d heard that Weber was one of the best in the world. Hearing the names of their notable and impressive clients, I could not help but become nervous.
Over the last 10 weeks, I have dipped my toes in three different practices – Sports, Consumer, and Technology. Although each team is headed by a different lead with varying managerial styles, they all have common traits that guided and helped me learn new skill sets. These are the five qualities of my bosses that helped me integrate smoothly into the workplace and understand the elements of successful project management:
#1. Regular check-ins by supervisors
Each of my three supervisors have a different way of checking in with their team. Whether they are constantly walking around the office, reaching out to their team with a loud voice or approaching each member individually, they do so habitually to make sure everyone is making good progress and coping well with their workload.
#2. Developing rapport from a personal level
Outside of work matters, effective communication is just as vital. Rapport is built on personal levels and through meaningful conversations, that can be easily achieved over time. These informal chats can emerge in a cab ride while returning from an event, casually in the pantry, or even as you are on your way out of the office. They make all the difference, especially when you are new to the workplace and country. An increased rapport helps you work effortlessly with your bosses and teams.
#3. Importance of holistic learning
Due to my five-day work week, I had seemingly little time to explore the sunny island. So when I asked for some days off to familiarise myself with the little Red Dot, I was pleasantly surprised that my supervisors were obliging; they wanted me to learn about the APAC region not only in the office, but also through my own eyes outdoors.
#4. Encouragement for feedback
My bosses have created a safe environment to share ideas. They foster a culture of creativity and have forced me to think in ways I never would have considered otherwise. Great bosses know all the right prompting questions, and make you feel like your ideas matter. Receiving feedback was never embarrassing. Instead, it inspired me to come up with something better.
#5. Frequent appreciation
A good boss will pat you on the back after you have done something well, but a great boss will also show constant appreciation before and even during your assignment. In this regard, all three of my bosses are certified great, precisely because they know the importance of regular and meaningful encouragement.
Now as my time at Weber Shandwick comes to a close, it is important to give three cheers (one for each boss) and celebrate the incredible experience I have had during my time in Singapore.
The Internship is a series that follows the experiences of students interning at Weber Shandwick Singapore. Read their accounts first-hand as they immerse themselves in work and play at one of the country’s most collaborative and integrated PR agencies.
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