Student completes summer PR internship

Jonathan Williams, News editor

A Linfield student completed an exciting internship this summer at one of the United States top public relations agencies.

Senior mass communication major Alyssa Townsend was one of sixteen applicants to get an internship at Waggener Edstrom Communications in Portland, Ore., this summer.

Townsend was the only undergraduate student at her internship.

She credits working for the Office of Communications at Linfield as well as doing social media for the Nicholson Library as the main reasons she was able to get the internship because she demonstrated that she could do communication for a wide range of audiences.

Attending a small college where students can get hands on experience while in college has paid off for Townsend.

Townsend worked in the Citizenship department in the Portland office for Waggener Edstrom Communications.

The department handles corporate and social responsibility both internally and externally.

The internship was paid and Townsend worked forty hours a week five days a week.

She was also responsible for doing public relations for Waggener Edstrom Comunications, creating communication plans and collaborating with other interns.

Townsend said that she has always wanted to make a difference in the world and that this internship helped her see the ways in which she can help create change.

She learned that she wants to use public relations to help make a difference in the world. Townsend wants to get an internship in Waggener Edstrom Communications social innovation department next summer.

Her dream is to work permanently for Waggener Edstrom Communications because she said she has always known that she wanted to make a difference but public relations has shown her what is truly possible, and how she can help create change.

Other responsibilities that Townsend had were the monthly citizenship newsletter that was sent out worldwide, blogging, taking pictures and creating communication plans.

Her favorite project during the internship was doing pro bono work for the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue, WA., by creating a social media communication plan for them.

During the internship Townsend commuted from Sherwood Ore., to Portland.

She said, “It was great having a manager and mentor during my internship because they both had completed an internship with Waggener Edstrom Communications.”

Townsend said she also enjoyed working with the other interns and creating professional connections she plans to keep for future jobs and opportunities.

Townsend has also done research with assistant professor of mass communication Susan Currie Sivek at Linfield.

Townsend said “the internship has been great and it has taught me so much more about public relations than what I had known going into the internship.”

Townsend also said, “Linfield and the faculty of the mass communication department have helped me a lot in getting this internship.”

Waggener Edstrom Communications summer internship is highly competitive because it’s their busiest time of the year.

Townsend will leave Linfield with a bounty of experiences and opportunities as she plans on entering the professional field after graduating in June 2015.