Student’s open-minded approach, persistence lead to big-time opportunity

June 27, 2016

(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of stories about College of Communications students completing summer internships.)

An open-mined and persistent approach can benefit communications professionals as they build their careers, and one College of Communications student has already started putting those traits into practice — with an eventual career still to be determined.

First, Shannon Deuel kept an open mind as she considered her higher education options.

“Penn State wasn’t my first choice. I originally wanted to go somewhere else for photography,” Deuel said. “The more I thought about it, though, I realized I could do anything and go exploring at Penn State because the school is great at all they do. Now that I’m here, I’ve had so many opportunities and it feels like home.”

Deuel, a rising junior from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has started working toward a double major in advertising/public relations and integrative arts. She envisions it as a powerful combination of writing, photography and graphic design skills — something that would position her well for a career in a variety of fields.

This summer Deuel is completing an internship with Greyhealth Group in New York City. She moved to the city and found an apartment that allows a 20-minute walk to the office where she works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. After some initial stress adapting to the city, she said the position is going well.

“I feel lucky to be here. The company culture is something I really love,” she said. “There are a lot of individual opportunities and we get to work as a team on some things as well. It’s a great chance to grow and learn.”

Deuel focuses largely on copy writing for the company’s work with pharmaceuticals. As it markets drugs to doctors and pharmaceutical representatives, Deuel has gained a stronger understanding of how all aspects of an agency’s work fits together. Along with her interest in graphic design and photography, the position has re-ignited her interest in another important skill for a communications professional.

“I think I’m falling in love with writing all over again. I think I was in a rut before,” she said. “Plus, it’s really nice that we’re getting real-world experiences.”

In addition, the company has challenged its 20 interns to participate in a “pitch project.” With the interns split in two teams, they have to compete to see who can make the best pitch.

Still, Deuel proved her persistence by just landing the internship.

“I applied for several places, and some were not taking me seriously because I was a sophomore. I just kept applying, though,” Deuel said. “Finally, I got a call from a recruiter the Wednesday before finals and had an interview that Friday.”

Deuel has completed just four semesters of academic work at Penn State. This summer’s internship is her fourth as well. She said that combination of experiences and her classroom work — especially a public relations class with senior lecturer Steve Manuel — have boosted her confidence that Penn State is the right place for her.

“It’s hard to imagine being anywhere else,” she said. For her, Penn State means family and opportunity. “I feel like this internship is complementing all I’ve done here. I’m gaining a lot of extra skills and becoming more well-rounded.”

Last Updated June 27, 2016