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What I learned in a week at the Auto Show

Posted by: Rose Mayo

As the week is coming to a close, the other interns and I are really starting to realize the scope of what we have taken part in and the valuable experience we have received. Not only have we learned how the media center operates, but we also sat in on press conferences as though we were working members of the press and wrote capsules to post on the Chicago Auto Show website. Several events took place where we had a break from working and the opportunity to meet automotive and public relations professionals, giving us the chance to further our connections and find out what their jobs entail on a day to day basis.

In the weeks leading up to this internship, I was somewhat nervous about covering a press conference. I’d never been to a one and had only written press releases and coverage for a few musicians outside of classes and school projects. We were in pairs this week for each event we covered, and my partner and I made sure to arrive over 20 minutes early for our first conference with Ford. Much of the media had arrived that morning due to plane delays and cancellations from severe winter storms around the nation and were shooting photos and video footage everywhere. Though we sat with the rest of the media for each conference, I’m sure everyone wondered what media outlet had young women our age covering for them!

During our many trips around the show floor in the days before and while it was open to the media, I met people in marketing and public relations for several car companies and had the chance to interview the Product and Technology Public Relations specialist for Mercedes-Benz. Getting the chance to attend the First Look for Charity may be a once in a lifetime thing for me, but by the time we made it to Thursday night we felt as though we owned the place, having seen all the cars, presentations and people several times since we arrived Monday.

It has been the chance of a lifetime, and I have to say none of us are really looking forward to returning to school next week and are ready to head out into the real world instead.

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