Elana Ross is our Professional Development Executive Chair and a rising junior at Miami University. She recently returned from her summer abroad, interning in china!
Where did you work: I worked at Edelman in Hong Kong.
What was your position: I was on the Business + Social Purpose team. We work with clients to determine stakeholder expectations. We use those insights to create strategies that align with those expectations. B+SP can range from employee engagement, to corporate social responsibility, to supply chain communication.
What were your typical duties: Being an intern we usually did a wide range of different tasks. There was always new business research to do for people on the team. Interns also did a lot of media monitoring of our clients. I was also able to help plan a client event on Trust and Media in Hong Kong. I worked on a couple of different client projects helping to create a CSR policy, doing employee engagement, and stakeholder engagement.
How did you feel about work life vs. college life: Working makes you very appreciative of college life. Working 9-5, or in most cases 8-6, it's hard to find times to sort other non-work details, like setting a doctor's appointment or going shopping. It really forces you to be conscious of your time both in and out of work.
What was the most important skill you acquired: I don't think there is one particular technical skill I learned. I do think that it improved my ability to be flexible. Starting off as in intern in a very fast paced company was very difficult. People really know their stuff front to back. Even keeping up in conversation is sometimes difficult due to all the acronyms flying around. At first I did not feel completely comfortable with my performance. But I kept asking my line manager for feedback. This helped me learn what to improve and what was already good--sometimes when I didn't get feedback it meant I was already on the right track. At the end of my internship my line manager even said that being flexible and adjusting to feedback was one of my strengths. That's what employers are looking for. They realize that interns won't be 100% perfect right off the bat but they want people that are willing and able to change.
Congratulations on finishing your summer abroad Elana!