My Summer Job Shadow Experience
Photo by Vergil Perry

My Virtual Summer Job Shadow Experience

June 30, 2021 Written by Rachel Ornstein | Photo by Vergil Perry

UDCC Social Media and Marketing Intern Rachel Ornstein ('22) shares her experience conducting three informational interviews with industry experts in her desired area of communications as part of the 2021 Virtual Summer Job Shadow Program.

I am a huge believer in the benefits of informational interviews, and have conducted many in the past. As a rising senior, I know that they are essential now more than ever as I look forward to my post-graduation life. I am interested in the communication industry, specifically in the discipline of public relations. I participated in the UD Career Center’s Virtual Summer Job Shadow Program this month where I participated in three informational interviews with professionals in the industry.

My first job shadowing experience was with Emily Smith, vice president of Double Forte, an independent strategic communications and digital media agency. We discussed various topics such as the effect of COVID-19 on the PR industry, my experience as a college student and the evolution of the communication major here at UD. The conversation that resonated with me in this discussion was on the topic of integrated communications; Emily shared how this concept shaped her past experiences, which made me understand the importance of it, as well as how it is beneficial to campaigns and the work PR practitioners use.

The next job shadow experience I had was with Danielle Burbick, the senior vice president and NY health media lead at Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications network. Early on in our discussion, I found out that Danielle once held the position as the president of UD’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which I am entering in my second term of holding this year. We had an in-depth conversation about our leadership styles, as well as what it means exactly to be an effective leader. I found this quite beneficial, as I hope to hold more leadership positions in the future. We also discussed her experience in healthcare PR, and how it is not as “boring” as what meets the eye. Danielle told me that she loves working with clients that have such an impact on humanity.

My final job shadow experience was with Lee Edelstein, senior vice president at The Brandman Agency, a global communications agency that works with prestigious travel and lifestyle brands. We had a really valuable conversation about the field of travel PR. Some of these included the process of what an opening or reopening of a hotel looks like, how his agency works with influencers and the concept of brand development. We also talked about where paid media fits into the travel landscape as consumers are much more aware now than they were a few years ago, and how the idea of authenticity is held to a high standard.

I really enjoyed participating in the UD Career Center’s Job Shadow Program as I was given the chance to engage in three beneficial and educational conversations with professionals in the field that I aspire to pursue. Now I have three new contacts in my network, something that is invaluable for a college student.

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