Olivia Kimmel

Student Internship Spotlight: Olivia Kimmel

Communications major Olivia Kimmel interns with the Parent Teacher Association

Communications Major
National PTA internship, Alexandria, VA

I was involved with a program called the Washington Center which sets you up with an internship that matches what you want to do for a career. I knew that I wanted to do something in the public relations department of a larger, non-profit organization. I hadn’t really thought about the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) before they called me, but after looking into it, I thought it would be a good experience, so I decided to intern there.

Everyone was really welcoming and nice to me. A typical day involved tracking metrics for a couple of different blogs and online magazines for the PTA. I used Google Analytics for that to see what hits we got on what posts. I did a monthly trend report, too, that tracked educational trends in the field. I was also able to do some writing, mostly on the PTA One-Voice blog, which is for internal members. I would write about upcoming events, and I also did a piece on what to wear to the big PTA convention gala. The coolest thing I got to do was a ghost-write piece for the president of the entire PTA about why people should join. I was surprised that they gave me that responsibility, but I was glad. I worked on that throughout the internship. I did a lot of drafting and scheduling of Tweets and things for Pinterest, and I made graphics for all of the PTA social media pages.

My supervisors were really good about giving me a variety of things to do, and they allowed me to work on my own and grow at my own pace. I was always working with something new, like Google Analytics which I'd never used before. So I was building on skills from college, but also learning new ones.

I think my internship was a really good experience that introduced me to the public relations field. I got to do more traditional things like press releases and media advisories, but then I was able to do the social media aspect of public relations, too. It was very involved. I definitely got a sense of what my day to day activities would be in the field and all of the ways I could grow there. Interning at the PTA helped give me some direction for my future.

I really believe that all students should do an internship. It brings the college experience and everything you've worked on into practice. I'm more confident now because I've had my internship, and I feel like I have set myself apart by doing one. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

To learn more about internships, please contact Tom Shaffer, academic internship coordinator, at [email protected] or 814-949-5789.