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Q & A with Van Eperen’s Summer Interns

September 1, 2017
byVan Eperen Marketing Team inHigher Education, Public Relations
2017 Interns Nikki and Katie

Nikki Kavounis

Hometown: Germantown, Maryland

Education: University of Maryland, College Park, B.A. Communications

Favorite cartoon character: Spongebob

Q:  Why did you choose to major in public relations?

A:  After testing out journalism as a major, I knew I wanted to do more, especially with digital and social media at my fingertips. I enjoy the integrated nature of public relations that requires you to wear many hats to produce work for a client. Public relations keeps me on my toes so that I will never stop learning.

Q:  What surprised you the most during your time with Van Eperen?

A:  I am not so much surprised, as I am grateful for how much I’ve learned during my time in Van Eperen’s Baltimore office.  The team has included me every step of the way on projects, brainstorms, meetings, and more. I have gotten a real taste for what working at a PR agency is like, and I have this internship to thank for that.

Q: What was the most challenging part of your internship experience?

A:  Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy, but you become a better person and professional for doing so (even if you are dreading it at the time). Media relations is an area where I wanted to gain more experience. When I was asked to follow up with media about an event announcement, I was very nervous. However, after the first few calls, I gained more confidence and definitely feel better prepared to do work like this in the future!

Katie Girard

Hometown: West Chester, Pennsylvania

Education: Virginia Tech, B.A. Public Relations

Favorite city you’ve visited: Paris

Q:  Why did you choose to major in public relations?

A:  It took me a long time to settle upon public relations once arriving at Virginia Tech.  Originally, I was finance major (despite the fact I’m terrible with numbers) and, although I wasn’t failing my classes, my heart wasn’t in it. Late fall in my sophomore year, I went to my advisor stating, “I need to switch my major,” and, because writing has always been a passion of mine, she recommended public relations. She was right; I love it!

Q:  How did you know Van Eperen was the right place for you to join this summer?

A:  The day I first interviewed with Van Eperen I also had two other interviews at public relations firms in the area. Although my other interviews went well, Van Eperen was by far the most impressive, and I knew I would get valuable experience if they chose to hire me. After walking away from the interview, I called my mom saying, “I have to work there!”

Q:  What has been the most memorable part of your internship experience?

A:  While I enjoyed working on my assigned projects, my most memorable moments at Van Eperen centered around the weekly staff meetings. It was during these times that I got to appreciate all of the projects Van Eperen was working on, the issues certain teams were facing, and the strategic decision-making going forward. These meetings were invaluable to me as I broaden my understanding of public relations.

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