School of Communication & Journalism

Ashlyn Payne: Comcast

PR Major Ashlyn Payne Interned with Comcast in Atlanta

 

Describe your internship. Where were you and what did you do?

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at Comcast Cable Corporation in Atlanta, GA. A seemingly simple cable and internet provider turned out to be so much more. I was excited to learn all that Comcast owns and does. With NBC under their belt, the horizon of work was widened, which was a positive for my internship. I served as a Government Affairs Intern. In this department, I worked with lawyers, lobbyists, communication specialists and their team to promote and advocate on behalf of the company to legislators and law makers to influence policy that benefits the company, and most importantly, the customers. I was able to attend events, luncheons, visit the capitol, meet with lobbying firms and listen in on important calls with my bosses to learn more about Georgia legislation and how cable, internet and broadband service play into that. I helped prepare for these meetings, create campaign contribution vouchers and help plan community service events to play into the bigger role of Government Affairs. 

How did you develop this internship? What advice do you have for others?

My classes at Auburn helped me prepare for this internship well. The organization, planning skills and general knowledge of PR helped me jump into this role swiftly. My knowledge with Microsoft programs and the Adobe Cloud were more helpful than I would’ve ever believed. My skills learned from on-campus involvement such as crisis-management, prioritizing, leadership, communication and teamwork helped me to be the best I could be. 

I learned that although you can bring a lot to an internship, you will always walk away with more. It’s a learning experience so be open. Know when to speak and when to listen. Take every piece of advice seriously and use it to become better. The senior vice president of my team told me on my first day that even if I hated my internship, I would learn something. Although I loved it, this advice set the tone for my internship because I appreciated every task, lesson and presentation more than expected. 

What are the most important things you learned during the internship—both inside the office and out?

I learned a lot about myself and what I would like and would not like to do with my future. That was most impactful for me because I was able to grow closer to what I see myself doing under influential bosses who truly want to see me flourish. They encouraged me and took me outside of my comfort zone. Here, I learned to network better and how to market myself to future employers. 

Inside the office, I learned what Government Affairs is and what all it entails. After my internship on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., I wasn’t completely sold on working for the government. But at Comcast, I got to work with the government – a huge difference. A fortune 500 company like Comcast really relies on legislation and what lawmakers are doing. Learning about this and how I could play a role in that was very inspiring to me. It is encouraging knowing that large companies and the government need each other to flourish – that means I’ll have a job! 

What advice do you have for interns during the internship experience?

Keep an open mind, see everything as a lesson (not a loss) and don’t be afraid to ask questions. These three simple things will help you do better work, develop positive relationships with your bosses and walk away from the job with a boat load of information and life-long lessons. No matter if I end up at Comcast or not, I will take the lessons I learned from this company and use them for the rest of my life. I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn in a safe space with positive leaders. Look for that in your interviews – don’t settle for something you are not excited about. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and find people that you would be proud to say you work for. 

Is there anything else you want to add?

Don’t settle for just any internship – find one you are excited about and work hard at it. Interview them as much as they interview you and find the value in everything. Just like my boss said: even if you hate it, you’ll learn something. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information

Ric Smith

Prof. Ric Smith

School of Communication & Journalism
232 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2757
smithrw@auburn.edu

Last Updated: August 06, 2019