When I think of my first job, I don’t think of the lifeguard or hostess job I got at 16, or even a job I got paid for. I think of Tehama Group Communications.
Tehama Group Communications, or TGC, is a student-managed public relations agency at Chico State. Our agency consists of writers, editors, designers, and photographers. As an agency, we work together to fulfill the requests of clients, which may include publications, strategic planning, logos, videos, websites, and more. The majority of TGC’s clients are based in Chico, but some are located as far away as Sacramento.
Each semester, TGC’s staff is put into teams specifically designed to meet the needs of a client. For example, if a client needs a newsletter produced, the team for that account would have an account executive, writers, a graphic designer, and a photographer. Members are generally on two or more teams, depending on the workload they can handle for the semester.
Although our advisor, Debra Johnson, gives us advice on how to interact with our clients, she does not hold our hands through client meetings. No matter how prepared you are, your first client meeting is always the most difficult. One thing that made me more comfortable as I talked to my client was the realization of “wow, this person is paying for my advice.” No matter how modest you are, that’s a gratifying experience, and it just might give you the confidence you need to be the leader your client expects.
The bottom line for “TGCers” is that we are responsible for ourselves, our teams, and the quality of the work we put out. We are held to high standards and, yes, we can get fired if we don’t meet them.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s not all work and no play at TGC. Our office is not just a room full of students pulling their hair out—it’s more often full of laughter and even some singing.
TGC is not the type of internship that is all making copies or getting coffee for your boss. It’s a portfolio builder, a first real job, and even an eye-opener.