October 2, 2003 - by
How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Orenn Fells

Oct. 2, 2003

Senior Orenn Fells of the Florida State men’s basketball team earned valuable working experience this past summer as he worked at Mark Little’s Public Relations Firm in Jacksonville. He assisted on a number of campaigns including one for the Edward Waters College Football team.

In the second installment of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” by various members of the Florida State men’s basketball team, read how Fells not only earned work experience but had fun while helping himself become more marketable once he earns his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Florida State in 2004.

How long have you been interested in the public relations field?
“The field of marketing and public relations is something I have always thought was interesting and I thought a summer internship at Mark Little’s Public Relations Firm in Jacksonville would be a valuable experience for me. It gave me the chance to learn a great deal about the field while having fun throughout the summer. In addition, there were a lot of aspects of public relations that are relevant to sports management, my major.”

How did you go about getting your summer internship?
“My parents recently moved to the Jacksonville area and I asked them to look into any internships that would help me gain experience in the sports world. They found a number of firms and were able to help me get an interview at Mark Little’s Public Relations. I was fortunately chosen as one of their three interns during the summer.”

Take us through a typical day at your internship.
One of the many great things about my internship was that no one day was exactly like another. My days began with various assignments that were all part of larger projects that were handled by the full-time people in the firm. It was fun to be able to work as a team to get projects completed. Working on an account is similar to being a member of the basketball team – every player has to do his part and play his position well for us to win a game. It was the same thing during my internship – we all had to work together to accomplish tasks and complete projects. I was also asked to complete research assignments on the internet and do phone surveys.

Is Public Relations a field you would like to pursue following your graduation in May?
Public relations is a definitely a field that I will consider pursuing upon my graduation. It is hard work but is also work where you see results when you finish. Being able to see the end result of a project is fun.

What were some of the most enjoyable activities you performed during your internship?
One of the most enjoyable activities I performed during my internship was an internet research project where I was assigned to find sporting events and tournaments in the Jacksonville area to see who their sponsors were and how they went about funding their activities. I did this because the firm puts on an annual basketball tournament and we wanted to find ways of making it a better event. We were interested in finding some different sponsorship opportunities that we might be able to take advantage of. It was a long assignment but it was fun because at the end I turned in a report and was able to draw a number of conclusions that will help the firm.

What was the most exciting aspect of your internship?
The most exciting aspect of my internship probably was learning from the people I worked and interacting with the entire staff. It was a very fun staff to be around and but was also a staff that had fun while working hard. Everyone worked together to get the tasks done and it was a very interesting experience.

Were you able to work on any Public Relations campaigns?
I was lucky enough to be able to work on a public relations campaign for the Edward Waters College football team. The college has an up and coming football team in its third season of NAIA competition. It was interesting to work on all aspects of the campaign while I was there. We began by meeting with the president of the university and generating ideas on the best ways to promote and publicize the football team. We were able to attack the situation and come up with a campaign for the upcoming season. The football team is in a really unique situation because it is bringing football back after not playing for more than 30 years and the program is funded in part by the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a fellow student looking to get into the Public Relations field?
“To say that the public relations field is an exciting one would be an understatement. During the short time I was working at the agency this summer I found it to be a very challenging and rewarding profession. The best advice I would give to any student who wants to get into the field is that they need to be able to get along with many different types of people and personalities. There are many people who you have to interact with on a daily basis and to be successful you have to be able to get along with all of the different kinds of personalities and work styles. You have to be able to conduct yourself professionally and be able to finish the work you have been assigned while getting along with personalities that might not match your own in order to be successful. Overall, the public relations field is fun and you have to treat it like that and not like it’s a job.

How did your experiences this summer compare to other summer experiences you have enjoyed?
The great thing about the internship I served this summer, which was the first in my life, was that it gave me a chance to do something that I had never done before. It was fun and interesting to do something different after having only attended school during the summer in previous years. At the same time working a job that I found to be very interesting and one that gave me experience for my future was a great experience. I got a chance to do all of those things plus gain some valuable experience in the sport management field.

Taking into account your summer experiences, what kind of Public Relations Campaign would you design the Seminole Men’s Basketball Team?
Taking into account my summer experiences and things that I have learned this summer, I would attack our basketball team’s campaign this season because I feel we have a good team and the upcoming season is going to be fresh and exciting. I would try to get the young kids and the community and the Florida State students to rally around our team and become a force at the games in the Civic Center. The students are always interested in the players because we see each other on campus each day. I also believe we are an exciting team to watch and that students have fun watching us play. So, my first course of action would be to start with the kids and students to get them even more interested in the game and in the team. Have them come out and have fun and after the game, maybe have some of the players interact with some of the students because kids look up to a lot of the ball players.

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