I spent my last Spring Break at Mitchell Communications Group in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Along with six other Big Break interns from around the country, I learned all the inner workings of a full-service PR agency. Throughout the week, I sat in various sessions with representatives from each department and learned about what they do, and by the end of the week, I was able to see how all the pieces of the agency puzzle come together.

Coming into Mitchell, I thought I would learn about agency life and how it was applicable to PR, but I was shown much more than that. Big Break allowed me to dive into agency culture, learn about the industry and network with agency professionals.

One of my favorite sessions was about defining personal brand. I’ve been in classes throughout college that discuss the importance of branding yourself, but I never understood how it worked or what it really meant. Big Break helped me condense it down and think more clearly about my strengths, weaknesses, passions and goals. From there, I was able to see a common theme: drive.

Defining your personal brand is more than one word, however. It’s everything about you as an individual, from others’ perceptions of you to your work. It’s thinking of yourself as a company and representing yourself in a way that reflects the brand you want to embody. Your brand can also be portrayed in a quick power statement, an elevator pitch and even your resume and cover letters. Being immersed in Mitchell was a great way to see and understand its brand and the brand of its employees, and therefore use it as an example to continue to build my own.

There were so many great takeaways from that week, but my biggest one was confidence. I went in not knowing what to expect, but came out certain that my JMC department has prepared me well. I learned early in the week that I was the only Big Breaker with experience like Morris+Mitchell, and after spending a week in the agency, I realized how prepared I was to go out into a real agency life. Of course there will always be new things to learn, but I’m so excited to dive in and feel confident in what I’ve learned. I’m proud that a part of my personal brand will always come from being an ACU Wildcat and member of Morris+Mitchell.