Intern Spotlight: Ariel Hanelius

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The team at Eclipse Media Group was lucky to begin the year with a new intern from the University of Southern Maine (USM) to help us prepare for a busy events season. However, like so many other agencies and interns, after a few weeks of in-office experience, our new intern found herself working from her family home in Connecticut – learning the ins and outs of public relations. Here is a little Q&A we did with her, before she graduated in her school’s first ever virtual commencement ceremony.

What’s your degree from USM/What interested you about it?
My degree is in Communications with a minor in Public Relations. I chose this degree because it offered a versatile job field and isn’t as specific as a career such as nursing or engineering, for example. With my degree, I have the freedom to try different avenues of work – whether it be in marketing, advertising or social media. It also offers me the opportunity to work in different industries. I chose to supplement my major with a minor in public relations because I’ve always been interested in content creation whether it’s blogging, press release development and campaign strategy. 

Why did you choose to intern in PR and what interested you in Eclipse?
During my junior year at the University of Southern Maine, I chose to take an elective class in public relations. While attending classes and learning more about the public relations field, I found myself more and more interested. Although I found my classes in media writing and media relations to be beneficial, I realized it was vital for me to see how I actually liked the day-to-day operations of a PR agency like Eclipse Media Group.

I was interested in working at Eclipse, in particular, as it’s a women-owned and operated agency. As I hope to own my own business one day, I was interested in learning from principals, Chelsie Woods and Andrea Gural.

Half of your internship took place remotely. What were some of the challenges you encountered? Any unexpected positives or negatives?
There are definitely pros and cons to working remotely, and missing out on the in-office experience was difficult. While I’m lucky the women at Eclipse are always available to answer questions, or assist with projects, it’s difficult to not be able to walk into their offices for a quick check-in. One positive to the experience was it gave me some extra time to really focus on each project that was given me – allowing me to take time on each individual project more fully.

What did your internship entail/what did you learn?
Interning at Eclipse, I had the opportunity to write press releases, interview our clients on upcoming news and write blog posts. With this, I have gained insight into what it’s really like to work one-on-one with colleagues/clients. No two days in PR are ever alike.

What are your plans after graduation?
Through my coursework and internship at Eclipse Media Group, I’ve found a career path that will always challenge me and allow me to think on my feet. This internship is giving me the insight I was previously lacking into what it takes to work in a PR agency – through first-hand experiences. The internship experience I’m gaining will carry over into future jobs, where I’ll be able to apply these skills, with the goal of one day potentially owning my own business. After graduation, I’m hoping to find a job in PR or communications. As I had to move back home to Connecticut, due to COVID-19, post-grad life has been a little different than I expected. However, I’m ready to see what the next few months and the future hold!

What do you do for fun?
Before COVID-19, I enjoyed working out, including skiing in Newry, Maine at Sunday River, walking around downtown Portland checking out the shops or the Eastern Promenade. Since quarantining with my family, I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time with them, enjoying long walks outside and just enjoying the time out of the classroom!