Wagging Tails at Animal Planet

Sedwick, Hannah -- selfie at AnPlanetBy Dean’s Intern Hannah Sedgwick at Animal Planet

I’m thrilled and honored to be invited back to the Fall 2015 SOC Dean’s Intern cohort. I’m back for another round of interning with Animal Planet’s communications them and a third round of interning at Discovery Communications in Silver Spring, MD.

Like I’ve said in my previous posts, interning at Discovery has been such an incredible experience. Working at Animal Planet has given me an even better view of the PR world. Since June, I’ve been working primarily on local pitches for shows like “Finding Bigfoot,” “Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet” and “Rugged Justice” as well as a few upcoming shows. When I walk into my apartment, my roommates are almost always watching Animal Planet and I take a lot of pride in the fact that I can give a plot synopsis for the episode and recite it verbatim.

What I really wanted to focus on in this post is how what I’m learning at AU is translating to my courses, and vice versa. Over the summer I was still a relative newbie to entertainment PR– I hadn’t really written a full press release since my sophomore year College Writing course. Everything I knew about PR I knew from learning it on the job, which is the opposite of how most people would go about launching a career. With the end of August quickly approaching, I was excited to learn about the actual mechanics, theory and research that goes into the PR that I did every day.

After six weeks of classes, I can confidently say that what I have learned at my internship has definitely given me an advantage in the classroom. Instead of wondering how anything I learn from a lecture will translate into the so-call “real world,” I can easily recall an example from my internship where I saw the PR tactic in action. I can ask meaningful questions in class that maybe I hadn’t considered when I see it all panning out in front of me.

On the flip side, my courses have definitely improved my work at my internship. I have already found that my writing has improved and I am more mindful of my word choice and audience. I feel like since I’m in the classroom and at my internship, I am getting a more complete picture of this complicated PR world.