From the Intern’s Desk: What is it like to work for a socially responsible agency?
At the beginning of July, with immense excitement and hope, I began work as public relations intern at Grady Britton. The months leading up to my new position and college graduation were spent scouring every corner of the internet for any and all PR agencies in Portland. I was determined to find an agency that fit my ungodly love for food (if you ever see me without food in my mouth or within easy reach, something is definitely wrong) and my desire to make the world a better place.
I had a hard time finding an agency that did both until I found Grady Britton.
I poured through the company’s website until I came across something that made my jaw drop (and caused the cookie I was eating to fall out of my mouth). Grady Britton is a certified B Corporation that works with food and lifestyle brands who aim to do good in the world. Basically, this means that Grady Britton uses business as a tool to make the world better, through high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
It was hard to imagine a place that would be a better fit. I would get the chance to work with brands I love, at an agency that values social change as much as I do. This sounded like a match made in heaven.
So what is it like to be an intern at a socially responsible agency?
I get to help the good guys.
As a Millennial, I have a grown up in a social media world where bad news and “fake news” lie behind almost every social media post, online article and story. Today, my newsfeeds and social media timelines are drowning in a sea of people and companies doing bad things–companies greedy for profit and fame with little to no regard for the well being of the consumers and communities they serve. As a PR undergrad at the University of Oregon, I dreaded the (what I thought was inevitable) day that I would be the one having to promote these companies filling up my feed. Once I accepted an internship at Grady Britton, I knew that day wouldn’t come *phew.*
Working for a socially responsibly agency means that I get to work with the good guys, the heroes, the change-makers. Our clients–like Travel Portland, Bob’s Red Mill and Women’s Health Care Associates–share our same mission: to leave the world better than we found it. So, every day when I come to work I get a chance to change those newsfeeds drowning in negativity and help the brands that want to do good in the world stand in the spotlight.
I am surrounded by people who want to make a difference as much as I do.
There is nothing more motivating, inspiring and exciting than getting to come to work every day to an office full of creative people who want to make our community better. Everyone at Grady Britton truly believes in our values, they aren’t just for show on the website. Our ethics and goals truly play a role in every single thing we do. It’s incredible what can happen when you get a room full of people dedicated to being better.
I am supported (even when I mess up).
As an intern, sometimes you are going to make mistakes. Sometimes you are going to have typos. Sometimes you are going to drop a bagel and cream cheese into your hair and then onto the floor in your boss’s office during a client meeting (yes, that really happened). And that’s okay, as long as you’re trying.
I was terrified to enter the workforce after hearing countless horror stories about interns being fired for making minor typos in an email, but that is far from the case at Grady Britton. Being a B Corp not only extends to our client work, but it is also an internal promise to be supportive and transparent within the agency. If I make a mistake, it’s a learning opportunity. My colleagues and supervisors walk me through the problems and give me countless tips and tricks for finding a solution. Sometimes I am given very challenging tasks, but they are never tests to see what I can do and I can always ask for help. Growth and success are so much easier when you aren’t afraid to ask for help.
So, has working for a socially responsible agency met my expectations?
It has wildly exceeded them. I get to do good in the world every day with incredible people and an amazing support system. Plus, we have a snack drawer. That isn’t B Corp related, but it does make me happy.
Check back on the blog next month for Part 2 of From the Intern’s Desk!