An Intern's Perspective

The 104 West team had the opportunity to work with Amber Mckibben, our recent intern, over the last few months. Amber was an incredible asset to the team and really set the bar high for our next intern. Unafraid to ask questions and always eager to learn something new, Amber fit right in. Before she left us we sat down for a quick Q&A session. Interested in learning more about her experience at 104 West? Keep reading! Interested in interning here? Check out more details here.   

About Amber Mckibben: 

Pursuing a Management degree and an Ethics and Legal Studies minor at the University of Denver, I hadn’t the slightest inkling of the day-to-day operations, industry terminology and strategies at a public relations company. I had this realization during my first week at 104 West. What was a media list? What was a press release? How do you pitch media? When I first started, these concepts were foreign to me. Now, I find them simple commonplace. I am grateful for the knowledge and skills I’ve gained as I enter my last year of college.

Describe your internship in five words

Innovative. Collaborative. Customized. Motivational. Driven.

How long did you intern at 104 West?

Four months.

Did you have any expectations for your internship at 104 West?

I did not have many specific expectations before interning at 104 West because I had no experience in public relations. I anticipated a strong learning curve with comprehensive knowledge in return, which is what I received. I came in expecting to gain more insight about marketing, but what I learned is that 104 West tells stories. It is not a typical public relations agency. I love this concept.

What did you learn during your internship? (anything you will take on to your next job/internship)

I learned more than I imagined. I learned hard skills, in addition to skills more difficult to quantify. From the get go, I contributed to client projects. I can efficiently perform media research, create media lists and pitch media. I have a comprehensive understanding of how to conduct research through different media outlets and sources. Creating media lists and being able to personally reach out to individual sources was a challenging experience, yet intriguing and full of ongoing anticipation. 

I also learned information relatable to my management degree. I was able to closely see and experience the management of a small agency. I gained knowledge on how to create positive client relationships and the numerous benefits of employee satisfaction and commitment. Completing my internship, I feel confident in communicating with clients and team members. I feel confident in writing and generating creative ideas for social media. I feel confident in actively participating in business meetings. I plan to take these skills and apply them in my future school work and career. The opportunity to learn is invaluable. I was fortunate to learn about an industry that was unknown to me and gain skills that apply to all facets.

What was your favorite part of the internship?

It would be inadequate to claim that my favorite part was eating cookies and hearing about our CEO, Patrick's, birthday adventures with his daughter. Yet, it is moments such as these which make 104 West special. I highly valued the intimate and hands on experience I received at this agency. The small team created a supportive, engaging and inspiring environment. I favored the camaraderie, the ability for value creation and sense of achievement I felt when completing an assignment. I was able to work on diverse projects with every individual in the office. Close interaction and collaboration are concepts I may not have experienced at an internship for a larger organization. The sense of community and appreciation was at the forefront of my experience here and clearly represent the values of the company. I believe that meaningful relationships and experiences are higher purposes of business. Being appreciated and included in day-to-day activities at every level makes 104 West exceptional.

What advice would you give to an incoming intern?

My recommendations to future interns are to ask questions and value opportunities. As you’ll learn, the more you clarify and inquire about a client, project or media outlet, the more you can contribute ideas and take away knowledge. Each project and interaction produces an opportunity to learn. Notice and value these opportunities for they will develop you as a person and your career.