Florida Girl Takes on DC, Y’all! – Part 1

This post is part of a series written by zcomm interns. Be sure to check back each week for their take on the latest in the public relations industry. This week, Claire discusses her experience at zcomm, DC and working on the hill.

It’s been a month and a half since I graduated from Florida State University and moved up to Washington DC for a summer chock- full of communication, politics and adventure.

I love that Tallahassee is a place where small-town Southern charm intersects with higher-profile state politics, but when it came time to apply for summer internships, I knew that I wanted to experience the excitement of living in a bigger city.

So, I did what most PR students do: turned to O’Dwyers list of top public relations firms by location. Since I’ve always been interested in politics, I paid special attention to opportunities in Tallahassee’s national counterpart – Washington, DC.

When I stumbled upon zcomm, a top-15 agency in the Washington DC area, I was immediately interested for two main reasons: First, zcomm is a smaller agency. This would allow for more meaningful, hands-on work with clients and leadership within the firm. Second, zcomm is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Certified Women-Owned Small Business. In an industry dominated by women (70%), most agency heads are men…as a die-hard Girl Scout, Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan and a very ambitious twenty-something, this is a huge disconnect for me.

After several rounds of interviews, I was offered a position as one of zcomm’s summer interns and was thrilled! Things only got more exciting when I got a call from Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s office saying that they also received my intern application and were very interested in having me work with their team.

Flash forward a few months and here I am – living in the city, taking the Metro to and from my work at zcomm, volunteering with Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz’s office, and loving (almost) every minute of it.

My time at zcomm has been full of new experiences and learning opportunities. zcomm is a media services agency that specializes in broadcast and digital media, so I have said goodbye to traditional press releases, press conferences and media advisories and hello to the world of SMTs, RNRs, syndicated and customized radio promotions and more.

In addition to the insight I am gaining from my communications work at zcomm, I am also popping over to Capitol Hill to volunteer for Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz. A representative from Florida, Chairperson of the National Democratic Committee, strong advocate for women, children and families, co-leader of Girl Scout Troop Capitol Hill, and fellow curly-haired blonde who hasn’t given in to the traditional Capitol Hill blow-out, I think Debbie is the absolute coolest.

I am beyond excited to join her staff to help with this year’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game, an event that will pit female members of Congress against members of the Capitol press corps. Not only will this be a very neat experience for someone interested in women, politics and communication, but the proceeds will benefit young people battling cancer – as a cancer survivor, this definitely hits close to home and I am very much looking forward to being a part of it.

So far, it’s been a pretty incredible summer. Stay tuned…

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