How Being a Summer Fellow Kick-started My Communications Career

It’s that time of year: Internship Season. From obsessing over likes on your Instagram to patrolling LinkedIn for new Internship postings, congratsyou’re officially becoming an adult! You’ve written your thesis paper, done your SWOT analyses and had your advisors review your resume. Now it’s time to decide: What company is the right fit for you? 

I found myself in a similar situation my senior year. Luckily, whilst eating lunch on campus in between classes I came across Ketchum’s Summer Fellows Program on LinkedIn. I read the description on Ketchum’s website, explored the testimonials, and was instantly hooked. Past Fellows preached that this wasn’t a “typical” internship and I thought, “Sure, sure, sure.” But the conviction and the passion of the past Fellows and current Ketchumites convinced me to take the plunge and apply for the Fellowship. And boy, were they right. 

When I arrived at NYC HQ for my first day, it was like we Fellows were celebrities. Everyone at the company wanted to meet us and help us get the most out of our experience. We were given constant opportunities to further our careers. We had meetings with different account teams, we learned the creative process, we even got to pitch a program to the entire company! If we wanted to meet anyone in the company, all we had to do was “throw time on their calendar,” get a coffee with them downstairs and hear about their own career path.  

The moment that makes me cherish my Fellows experience the most was, ironically, the one most full of calamityThough as a Digital Fellow I spent most of my time curating content calendars for major brands, I was given an exciting outofoffice opportunity when a client was looking to deliver special surpriseanddelight packages to major networks across the city. The surprise was the delicious and refreshing frozen beverages, and the delight was my smiling face delivering them.  

I won’t bore you with all the details, but it ended with a delivery truck running over my productcrushing the cups and completely derailing my efforts. But thankfully, there were no crushed dreams—what I took away most from the experience was the amazingly supportive account team, who took it in stride, helped me figure it out and made me feel so much better about the accident 

As part of my Fellowship, I was even interviewed about my experience by CBS!

And the story had a happy ending: After my Fellowship, I was hired by Ketchum full-time! Looking back now as an Account Executive on the Influencer team, I owe so much to my Fellows experience. It gave me a 10-week crash course of how a real communications consultancy operates. This entire experience taught me what Ketchum is all about: learning. There’s never a question you can’t ask, because everyone else has been in the same situation, and they’re happy to share their experience! And so, I didn’t stop learning at the 10-week markI continue to learn from my inspiring and intelligent colleagues every day.  

If you’re looking for a Summer Fellow experience of your own—or know someone who is—I can’t recommend Ketchum highly enough. Applications are due on January 20, so apply today. I hope my story inspires you, and I’m excited to learn about yours. 

Riis is an Account Executive on the New York Ketchum Influencer Team. She is passionate about influencer marketing and funnels this passion into influencer strategy, campaign management, social media strategy and content creation. Her innate love of pop culture and digital landscape helps her lead effective and meaningful programs for her clients across the CPG, food and beverage, retail services and technology spaces.