Today, I’m excited to share with you a guest blog from our newest team member, Lindsay Renner Wood. Lindsay is joining us in one of the Communications Specialists roles, and she brings a wealth of experience in journalism. One of her first assignments was to interview our two new interns, Jillian and Jacki, and create this guest blog! Here’s Lindsay…
Hi, I’m Lindsay, and I’m thrilled to join the PPR Strategies team as a Communications Specialist!
For me, the new year came with a new job. Just after New Year’s Day, I signed my letter to come on board at PPR Strategies after spending the last four years working in local journalism. Marketing interns Jacki Obendorfer and Jillian Bergholtz also recently joined the team. While we’re at different points in our journeys, I feel comfortable saying that the three of us are on similar career paths for similar reasons.
I’m about a decade along in my career — I graduated from Saint Leo University in Florida in winter 2011, and within a few weeks started my first job as a reporter in my hometown of Waldorf, Maryland. Since then, I’ve worked in both organizational communications and journalism.
Jacki and Jillian are both currently college students. Jillian hails from Boston, and is currently living and studying in Richmond at the University of Richmond. She’s a junior marketing major, with a minor in psychology. Jacki is in her final semester as a senior, studying at Towson University. She is a business major with a concentration in marketing.
Jillian started college with her marketing major already in mind. Taking college courses reaffirmed her interest. In her intro to marketing class, Jillian worked on a project centered around marketing Corona Hard Seltzer. She enjoyed the challenge of figuring out the best ways to make the product resonate with the brand’s intended audience.
Jacki started her college career as an education major, but decided to make the switch to business. It was important to her, however, to find a hands-on role where she’d feel engaged.
“Marketing seemed the most intriguing to me, because you’re able to use creativity and work with people,” Jacki says. “That was one of the main reasons that I thought I wanted to be a teacher – to work with people and make a difference in people’s lives, which you can also do in marketing.”
Jacki and Jillian – PPR Strategies Spring 2023 Marketing Interns
We were each drawn to our respective roles for similar reasons, too. I feel strongly about using my platform as a writer to help build up others, and it was important to me to land somewhere with a culture that holds similar values. I was also really attracted to the idea of working to support tourism and economic development initiatives. In a few weeks with the team, I’ve found that I was successful in my search.
When searching for their respective internships, Jacki and Jillian said it was important to them to land somewhere where they’d feel included in the work, and have the opportunity to really sharpen their skills.
A fully remote intern, Jillian found out about the opportunity at PPR through Handshake, a job platform for college students.
“We were learning a lot about marketing, and I just wanted to find real-world experience,” Jillian recalls. “PPR really just clicked with me because it’s a small, woman-owned business, which I love. The uniqueness of it just being about places instead of just companies was really intriguing to me as well.”
Jacki wanted to find an internship where she could spend time at the office, learning the business of working in that sort of environment. Proximity to PPR Strategies’s Frederick office allowed Jacki to work in the office as well as from home in her hybrid internship role. “After interviewing with Sophie, I just felt really excited about it,” Jacki says. “I feel like I am aligned with their values. I liked the idea of a small marketing firm, where everyone works together.”
Jacki and Jillian both say they’ve enjoyed the small, collaborative environment at PPR Strategies. There are frequent opportunities to talk with the rest of the team, both said, and questions are both welcome and encouraged. In the coming months, Jillian says she’s looking forward to embarking on bigger projects, and Jacki said she’s “excited to grow and learn in a business setting.” Both feel that the variety of their experience in just a month has served them well for their future careers.
As for me, I have just as much to anticipate. While I admit I was a little nervous about shifting to a different style of writing, it seems my fears were misplaced. Since starting in late January, I’ve spent the last few weeks getting to know more about our clients, how they enhance their communities, and how we work together as a team to support them – and each other.
I can safely say that I feel I’ve landed somewhere where I can see myself staying for quite a while, and learning a little more every day. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m excited to be a part of this team and share our clients’ stories for a long time to come.
Reimagining Places With You,
Lindsay and the PPR Strategies Team