Internship Spotlight: Lindsay Nissinoff

As a U2 student majoring in Industrial Relations and minoring in Social Entrepreneurship, I have been exposed to a variety of McGill academic experiences. My innate interest in business paved the way for my summer internship at Makovsky Integrated Communications and Public Relations Firm in New York City. This internship enabled me to bridge the gap between my academic and real-world experiences.

When initially searching for internship opportunities, I sought a challenging position in which I would be able to apply strategies learned from my McGill academics. After exploring a variety of companies, I narrowed down my search to public relations and communications. While my learning objectives were open-ended, I aimed to put fourth my best effort in daily tasks to collaborate effectively and create lasting impressions with colleagues and supervisors.

As a medium-sized firm, Makovsky seemed like the perfect fit, with room for growth and indispensable guidance from employees. Makovsky’s mission is to deliver “integrated, multichannel programs and campaigns for clients all over the world,” and is known for its specialization, integration, and quality commitment program. There are six practices, including: Health; Financial & Professional Services; Energy; Technology; Digital; and Consumer. Employees are encouraged to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to foster success while creating a collaborative culture.

Members of the firm ensured that interns were integrated in tasks that directly impacted the clients. As an intern, I was responsible for fulfilling a variety of requests, such as: overseeing media relations, research, updating media lists, compiling materials, and participating in internal account team and brainstorming meetings. I discovered my passion for digital media after composing posts for Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In addition, I was presented with the opportunity to run a Twitter advertisement campaign for The Wall Street Journal. I also collaborated with the firm’s five other interns to complete the final internship project, which was a practical PR case solution for a pre-determined client, where I engaged in program development, strategic thinking, and extensive research.

There were many internship highlights. More specifically, founder Ken Makovsky was a true mentor, as he treated interns like valued team members. For example, Makovsky hosted Lars Petersson, the long-time president of IKEA U.S., and ensured that interns were a major part of the conference. It was fascinating to hear Petersson’s inspiring story of how he began as a forklift employee and worked his way up to become president. Another major highlight was participating in PRISM (Public Relations Summer in Manhattan), a program featuring lunch and learn sessions with other New York City internships. Each week interns traveled to different locations, such as the LinkedIn HQ, Bloomberg HQ, NY Accounting & Finance Show, and Interior Design Magazine. At these companies, we networked with industry experts and toured the headquarters. As a conclusion to the program, interns attended InternFest, where we met with the PR council to further our knowledge in the field. These trips allowed me to experience firsthand the industry’s services.

A challenge I faced was overcoming the learning curve in areas with which I was less familiar, such as the Energy and Sustainability sector. However, I overcame these projects by reaching out to supervisors for support. For example, I learned to be persistent by constantly tracking client requests and reporting back to departments to ensure that I had the proper materials. Upon completing these tasks, I felt accomplished knowing that I fulfilled a holistic range of public relations projects.

Prior to the start, I met with Sociology Professor Michael Smith to discuss a research paper for academic credit. After proposing a list of functions that I planned to explore, I became even more eager to apply the concepts in a real-world setting. The topic of my research paper analyzes public relations evaluation practices, including performance appraisal and measurement methods.

My internship experience was so positive, largely due to my rigorous McGill background. Not only was I able to apply academic concepts that I learned in the classroom, I also utilized knowledge from extracurricular and executive positions.

I am so appreciative to be an Arts Undergraduate Improvement Fund recipient because the funding has enabled me to participate in meaningful internship activities. As New York is extremely costly, the funding covered much of my daily expenses, such as food and commutation.

The ongoing support of the McGill Arts Internship Program means so much to me because it has shaped my overall internship experience. I am truly looking forward to applying my newfound knowledge to future endeavors.

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