What an Internship in New York City is Really Like

Rebecca Aguilera | Former Arkansas DECA President

Doors will open when you are courageous enough to walk through them. That has been my motto since I joined DECA back when I was a freshman in high school. From the day I paid my membership fee, got my nickname “DECA Becca” and went to my first meeting, I have been exposed to amazing opportunities. You never know when you wake up in the morning what great chances will come your way until you walk out your front door and make them happen!

During a Senator Meet & Greet in May 2017, a group of fellow Berkeley College students, representatives and myself were given the chance to speak about each of our Berkeley College journeys and experiences. That day, I simply thought I was going to meet a few new people and go back to class. I ended up meeting a lovely woman named Andra Horsch.

Andra felt a strong connection to my Berkeley story and wanted me to be a part of the company she worked for. I was shocked and surprised when she handed me her business card after the meeting and said, “I am going to reach out to our internship coordinator, because I want you!”

Fast forward to September 2017 when I became the Public Relations Intern for Nicholas & Lence Communications in New York, NY. While interviewing for the position, I was able to really focus on what I learned through DECA in high school. I spoke about my Arkansas DECA President position, how DECA prepares leaders for their careers, and so much more.

This opportunity came to me at the perfect time in my college career and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the NLC family. From my first day walking through the office doors, I knew I was going to learn so much and be a part of a company that truly cares about their clients. I have always had the DECA love for marketing communications, but I never knew just how much I would love public relations.

I am always excited to see what the day will hold when I get into work. The first task is always a “Daily Roundup.” Everyone in the office is assigned a newspaper or magazine for the week to look for stories to send to the team regarding our over 40 clients, competitors or information that you feel everyone in the office should be aware of. As a student from Arkansas, I find this very interesting.

Although I love to follow politics, I never really have time to watch the news, so reading for my Daily Roundup has helped me gain useful knowledge of what is happening in New York every day.

One of my favorite duties that I perform as an intern at NLC is gathering clips from online sources and making them look perfect to send to our clients. If any of our clients have been featured online, it is passed to me to pull off the outlet and put into a PowerPoint presentation to send out to them.

Another one of my favorite tasks is doing research on reporters and editors that the staff sends out pitches and press releases to. Among my many other responsibilities, I am asked throughout the week to do such things as post calendar listings, scan newspapers and attend press releases or client events.

I have been able to work on various clients in the food & beverage, hospitality, travel & tourism and political realms, providing me with a glimpse into what really happens behind the scenes of forming a cohesive message to send to the public.

Public relations is all about forming that bond between the company, client and the people you are trying to reach with the client’s story. Although PR is such a big and competitive field to be a part of, at Nicholas & Lence, I get the chance to work with some of the most dedicated PR professionals in New York City. It is very evident that this team wants the best for their clients, and this experience so far has given me a great outlook on the field. Thanks to my internship, I recently decided that I want to continue to pursue a future in public relations after college.

From the CEO and President both saying good morning to me at my desk, to fellow office buddies asking me how my weekend was, it has truly been an amazing experience working for Nicholas & Lence Communications! I was so honored when they asked me to stay for another semester. I have to credit my college, Berkeley College, as well as DECA for preparing me as a student to enter into this internship with strong professionalism and dedicated work ethic. There are so many students out there looking for an opportunity like this, and I am so grateful that this opportunity opened up for me.

This article was written by former Alma DECA member and Arkansas DECA President, Rebecca Aguilera. Rebecca is currently studying at Berkeley College in New York City. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter @Itsdecabecca and follow Berkeley College @BerkeleyCollege.

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