Tomorrow marks the end of my six week public relations (PR) internship at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) under the Corporate Affairs Unit (CAU) and here are a few things I noted. And don’t expect any bomb shells coz I took an oath
1. There are jobs in PR
So many times I’ve listened to stories of how hard and almost impossible it is to land yourself a public relations job as a journalism student. And most of this gloom is usually fuelled by current and former communication students themselves. Well, with my internship the case was different. Four of the six members of the corporate affairs unit are former Mass Communication Students at UNZA, vibrant and young professionals. Plenty times we traded stories about the Mass Comm department now and then. Of course these guys did not start out at the ACC but they’ve made it there still early on in their careers. That’s one myth already dispelled-a win for me. Wouldn’t mind being back here after graduating
2. Speak your mind
Whether you’re giving the CAU’s position on a matter or sharing your thoughts on a given topic, it’s important you to have an opinion. Not only because it’s good PR but because it helps build your self-image. Half the time, I found myself speaking quite expressively even in informal conversations, I guess that’s PR on a personal level. The idea is that how you project yourself to people will dictate how they perceive you. As my PR lecturer said it over and over: PR is all about image. And besides, if you run outta mints, sparking up a spontaneous conversation in the office is a cool way of ensuring you don’t start harbouring bad breath- just watch the distance lol
3. 9 to 5 in the office is hard work
Okay, so maybe it was 9 to 4.30 and Friday was always half day but still keeping my concentration levels at a 100 percent the whole day was very difficult. An exhibition, a workshop or any other event was very much welcome as it helped with fast forwarding time and rebooting the concentration levels but they didn’t happen to often so I had to learn navigate my way through the day by doing my work, listening to music, sparking up impromptu convos ,making a few calls and constantly reminding myself that I was there for work. I know, not the best way to deal with ADHD but it worked.
4. Having a wingman doesn’t hurt
During my basic reporting internship last year I found out that it was important to have a close buddy or someone you know quite well when you’re an intern at an organisation . Not coz it’s them against you but because you might need someone to cover for you when you’re absent or someone to have a light moment with when you’re bored or exhausted and you’re out of data bundles hehe. I had my wingman Kanekwa beside me the entire time (surprised we didn’t fight) and the experience worked out pretty fine coz us being friends from class helped bring that relaxed classroom environment to the office.
5. The unbeaten path
Before my internship, ACC had always been a mystery to me and I had to feed my curiousity. Once work started, I was delighted to know that Kanekwa and I were the first interns ever (or in over a decade) at the ACC. When being oriented, everyone let us know how lucky we were as the Commission didn’t take interns because of the sensitivity of the job. And so we were pioneers heading into unchartered waters, I would think to myself. That gave me something to brag about every time I remembered that I would not be getting paid kikiki. I must also mention that I found myself at the ACC coz Kanekwa included my name in the application letter she wrote. Quite obvious, I know
Lunch was always a cherished event, a whole hour to break away from the never ending stare down competition with my PC. The interesting thing about lunch was that you wouldn’t know what you would be eating that day till after walking out of the office-talk about budget constraints. But we’re pioneers and always found a way around that. The lunch hour became even more special two weeks ago when my girlfriend (Queen fusa) was visting town for the week. When we realised that lunch was the only time we had to be together besides the weekend, we always made sure we had fun lunches and smiley tummies.
7. Fusas are everywhere
I have a theory and it goes like this: at the core of every human being, there lies a fusa. Every person has a good, goofy nature and when we appeal to that nature, people will display it, quite freely. This theory was proved right during my internship. Behind all the suits, serious faces and what not the ACC people were super friendly, fun and warm. There were so many times I’d be wiping tears off my face coz of laughing so hard. And this did not take weeks to be apparent, it was no holds barred humour right from orientation to the last media monitoring meeting. It was the same with my encounters with colleagues from other departments and I can gladly say there are plenty colourful personalities at the ACC. Had loads of fun and will miss them all