Public Relations Student Contributes to WKAR During Summer Internship

Jesse Rayer, a public relations senior, spent her summer as a corporate support intern at WKAR. She learned that meaningful opportunities and internships aren’t exclusive to large corporations and that her ideal future career shares a lot of the same company culture values as her summer internship. 

“I needed an internship and WKAR sounded like an interesting place and something very different from anything I’d experienced before,” Rayer said. “I figured it would be a good place to learn things. With it being on MSU’s campus, I could also work my other job at the same time.” 

Throughout her internship, Rayer gained valuable skills in underwriting, editing and more. 

“Some days I focused almost entirely on underwriting,” Rayer said. “Like what you hear on the radio. I would write those quite often or I would draft those for my supervisor to approve or edit as they saw necessary. Some days I would be editing things like impact reports for song sponsorship packages. It really just depended on what the task was that day.” 

In addition to a hefty list of hard skills, Rayer also learned how to conquer her perfectionism. 

“It sounds strange, but I overcame the idea that I can do everything perfectly,” she said. “At some point, you just have to accept that it’s going to come out as well as you can do it and try to prioritize that instead of prioritizing what you want out of the project. There’s an instinct to want to do everything perfectly, but when you have 400 pieces of underwriting to write, at some point you have to just do the job instead of focusing on perfection.” 

As for navigating an internship, Rayer advises others to soak up the experience of those around them. 

“I think the most important part is to remember that you’re there to learn,” she said. “Even if you’re pressured to do busy work, remember that they are providing a service of teaching you, in addition to any monetary compensation. Don’t forget that you’re supposed to be getting something out of the experience as well.” 

The Career Center internship award helped facilitate this learning experience for Rayer, and she believes it’s been helpful in allowing her to center her professional goals at WKAR. 

“It helped me massively,” she said. “As much as I love working an internship, it pays you intern money. It helped me secure housing for the summer, allowed me to not worry as much and focus on work instead of making rent.” 

After graduation, Rayer aspires to work for a company in the digital humanities area where she can do her job, be proud of her work and the company and write on the weekends—all for a more tight-knit organization, not unlike WKAR. 

“I believe it’s honestly the environment for me,” she said. “I’ve worked for a couple of smaller companies and there’s a level of transparency and communication that happens that cannot physically take place at bigger companies. At a smaller company, you get to learn so much about every area. I would like to be part of something that I can know really well and have a passion for, as that really improves the quality of my work.”   

By Stella Govitz