Five Things I Learned as a Summer Intern at TPG

5 Things I Learned as an Intern at TPG
By Victoria Vessella, Summer 2014

If I had to summarize my four months as an intern in a word, I would describe myself as a “sponge”—I spent my days at The Perry Group constantly absorbing any new bit of information that came my way. With time and practice, I turned this information into skills that I plan to utilize in future endeavors. Although I gathered numerous skills, tips, and connections during my time as an intern, I was able to condense my summer of absorption into five areas.

First and foremost, I discovered the importance of having excellent written and oral communications skills. This point may seem obvious, but after observing how other members of the TPG team carefully choose everything they write and say, I came to understand that strong relationships and successful strategies are a result of thoughtful and purposeful communication.

Another skill that I cultivated during my internship was research. I learned that preliminary research is often required by the agency before implementing a tactic for a client. As the summer progressed, I became increasingly efficient at finding what I was searching for on the seemingly endless library of information that is the Internet.

After spending nearly four months at TPG, I observed the wide range of industries that PR agencies collaborate with. I found myself becoming an “instant expert” in several fields including technology, insurance, and fashion, just to name a few.

Although I have always had strong time management skills, working at TPG made me aware of the significance of planning ahead. I often found that tactics implemented by the agency are a springboard to another upcoming event, interview, etc. for the client. I also saw the value in following up with clients to see what tactics worked and what did not.

Lastly, I appreciated the opportunities I had this summer to expand my network. Whether it was in the office, on-site, or over the phone, I interacted with professionals from a variety of fields that I most likely would never have connected with had it not been for this internship.

Victoria Vessella is a Junior at Suffolk University in Boston, majoring in Communications. She is studying abroad in Europe for the Fall semester.10559902_10152648435801995_8516427633543790992_n[1]

Marking 5 years in business with 5 lessons learned

Marking 5 years in business with 5 lessons learned

Milestones on the path of life mark a good opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, how we got here and where we are going. This year, The Perry Group is celebrating our fifth anniversary in business! It’s a milestone I had never really expected as part of my life’s bucket list. In fact, I never expected nor planned to run my own business. After nearly 20-years of working for others, many had urged me to hang out my own shingle, but the thought was terrifying! What if no one wanted to hire me? How would I pay the bills? Feed my family, and put a roof over their heads.

Turns out, life has a funny way of throwing things at you, and yet somehow everything you’ve experienced up to that point, has prepared you to navigate into the future. As I look back to January 2, 2009 – the day we opened for business, the world was a much different place. It was not a good time to start a new business. As you remember, just months before, the financial markets had crashed kicking off the beginning of worst recession since the Great Depression. It was that crash that created the circumstances that led to me to start The Perry Group.

People asked, ‘are you nuts, starting a business in this economy?’ Probably, I thought at the time, but what alternative did I have? No one was hiring full-time employees. But I figured if I could string together a few hours here, and a few hours there for a couple of different clients who might find some value in my experience it would be a start.

Fortunately for me, a Fortune 1000 company needed some media relations help– a strong point for me – and The Perry Group was off and running with a real client. Today that company remains our oldest client and has grown into our biggest client and they will always hold a special place.

So what have I learned in the five plus years since I opened The Perry Group?

First, believe in yourself and your ability. If you don’t, how can you expect anyone else will?

Second, hire the right people who are smart and that you get along well with to work with you. Siobhan and I have literally been working side by side together for more than five years. If we didn’t respect each other’s strengths and genuinely enjoy working together, we might not have survived some of the challenging days and weeks.

Third, always be there for your clients. This is a fine line, but clients that know they can depend upon you, will rely upon you.

Fourth, don’t overextend your business financially. During the economy of the last five years, being fiscally conservative was a prerequisite for our success.

And fifth, love what you do, it makes going to work so much easier, everyday!

We’ll have more “lists of five” in recognition of our five years in business from the rest of the team in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.