For Half Day with a Pro I had the privilege of meeting with David Shank, APR, Fellow PRSA and Marilyn Shank, APR of Shank Public Relations Counselors. The morning started out with meeting David at their office. Another student, from Indiana Wesleyan University, and I got to spend a short part of our time talking to David about the company, what types of clients they have and what a typical day is like in the office. David also allowed for us to ask any questions we had, and shared some tips about getting hired in the real world, as well as, for internships while in school.
After speaking with David, we were able to shadow Marilyn on an offsite meeting at the Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis High School, part of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. Marilyn and an independent photographer were taking pictures for the career center’s new brochure about the different educational programs the school offers. We were also able to sit in on a meeting with the director and assistant principal of the school while Marilyn went over edits that the school had, and what the next steps were to finalizing the brochure to send to print. MSD of Wayne Township is a longtime client of Shank Public Relations Counselors.
After the meeting and photo shoot concluded, we went back to the office, and got to speak to Marilyn about her career, her projects with MSD of Wayne Township and her passion for public schools. Marilyn has worked with a lot of school corporations, including more recently Bartholomew County School Corporation. The Shanks also just finished up a campaign that they started in 2000 with Indianapolis Public Schools. The goal of the campaign was to help the school corporation receive money for renovations. Marilyn said that when she retires and people begin to ask her what her favorite success story of her career is, she would say helping IPS get air conditioning in all of their school buildings, completely rebuilding four schools and renovating nearly all the rest.
My overall experience was so much more than I imagined it to be. I could not have asked to shadow two nicer, more knowledgeable PR professionals. Not only did I get to see what the inside of a true PR agency looks like, but I also really got an understanding about what types of roles I might be doing in the future. I am so grateful that the Shanks allowed me to shadow them during Half Day with a Pro, and gave me a chance to see a real world PR job happening right in front of my eyes.
IUPUI PRSSA National Conference Coordinator