You know you're in Annenberg when you are flown to Silicon Valley for the day.
Four Annenberg Public Relations students experienced the trip of a lifetime last week at the eBay campus in Silicon Valley. Proud team leaders of their senior capstone PR450 class, Azadeh Rongere, Christina Galanopoulos, Hollie Bowers and Jennifer Chang represented their fellow classmates while visiting the eBay campus last Thursday.
The day began with a quick brief from Daniel Tarman, eBay’s Chief Communications Officer and member of the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations Board of Advisors. The day continued with a tour of eBay’s newest campus attraction, Main Street, as well as meals, meetings and brainstorm sessions throughout the day with various members of the eBay communications department at its headquarters.
The team gained crucial insights into the company’s internal and external communications procedures, product development, global impact efforts and company culture.
One phrase made its way into every meeting, brief and brainstorm: be bold. These two words will forever be engrained into the minds of this dynamic quad of future female leaders.
The team reflected on their time at eBay, understanding the enormity of information received and the obligation they now have to be an energizing force in the world for the better.
Azadeh, Christina, Hollie and Jennifer complied four tips for success for any PR student meeting really important people at a multi-billion dollar company:
- Ask questions. People love talking about themselves so if you get the opportunity to meet with a bunch of employees over bagels and lox flown in from New York (yes…this happened to us), ask them questions that tease them into talking about their work experience. This will give you incredible insight into their world and it’s great for networking!
- Do your research and understand the brand. Be aware of who the company is as a brand; this includes staff, company values, product, etc. Understanding the founding or history of a company is important to the executive staff and can earn you some brownie points if you know it. A lot of Silicon Valley companies really value their inception stories.
- Have a good attitude, be positive and be aware of your body language. If you have the opportunity to meet any employees at a company you may be interested in, how you look and act are crucial. Look presentable, look approachable and make a lot of eye contact. Carry yourself with confidence and humility. Compliment their facilities, be a thankful guest and try to be excited when you go into a two hour meeting with executives even if you only got three hours of sleep the night before.
- Be bold and be creative. Don’t be afraid to say the wrong thing and don’t be afraid of sharing any ideas that pop into your head. If the Chief Communications Officer or any other executive asks for your opinion on their product or communications plan, say words! Do not sit in silence or say, “I’m not sure.” Offer constructive feedback and be a part of the conversation.