Published On: September 25, 2023By

At UpHouse, we love getting the opportunity to mentor interns who are working towards becoming communications professionals. Christina Klysh is one of our most recent interns, and while she may have been skeptical of her own skills when she started, we could see that she had nothing to worry about. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what she had to say about her time with us!

For the past four months I’ve worked at UpHouse as one of their junior public relations coordinators, which was, at first, a scary and challenging role for me. As a current communications student, I had never worked in communications or been an intern before, so during the first month – while sitting in on meetings with clients, helping prepare for events or calling up the media to pitch stories – I often thought to myself, “Why is anyone allowing me to do this, I have NO idea what I’m doing.” At first, I constantly checked my notes from class before writing a draft, or proofread every email 10 times before sending it, but after a couple weeks in I finally felt settled into my summer job.

While at UpHouse I got to work on lots of projects with many interesting clients.

However, the first big project I worked on was for the ZacPac Project, an initiative where volunteers pack bags with essentials to hand out to people experiencing homelessness. Originally started in Vancouver, the ZacPac Project wanted to launch its initiative in Winnipeg, which is where the UpHouse PR team came in. For this project, I helped draft the news release, contacted and invited VIPs, volunteers, and the media to the launch event, and coordinated pick up times for distributors to pick up their ZacPacs.

Volunteers moving ZacPacs for transport
Volunteers filling ZacPac bags in a warehouse space

When the day of the launch event arrived, it was a light and breezy 37 degrees outside. After running up seven flights of stairs to drop off my stuff (the office elevator had chosen to break down that day), I ran over to the event, where I helped with sign-in and handed out t-shirts. Even though it was unbearably hot outside, the ZacPac event had a great turnout, with 70–80 people coming to help pack bags, including the Premier and the Mayor. Not only was it exciting to see the launch event covered in the local media the next day, but it was also rewarding to work on a project based on helping others. This is one of the many examples I witnessed at UpHouse of using advertising and public relations to help others and raise awareness of important issues.

While this was the largest project I got to work on from start to finish, I got to help on many other fun projects as well. I tagged along with my PR team, Stephanie and Lily, to the media event for Back Downtown’s Spirit Week, which encouraged Winnipeggers to return to post-pandemic downtown and engage with the community through different events and activities. During the media event day, I got to witness Stephanie and Lily solve issues on the fly, whether it was signs flying away in the wind or having to jump in to play Connect Four in the background of a news segment (I did, in fact, send all my family and friends the clip of me on the news).

Another highlight was attending media training sessions taught by Adam, where I watched and learned how to craft messages and speak to the media.

Two people playing a giant connect four game in downtown Winnipeg

Now, as I reflect on the past four months, I can’t believe how much I have learned working at UpHouse and how much my skills and confidence have grown.

While working here, I focused solely on public relations, which allowed me to practice and learn skills I will use in the upcoming school year – and hopefully in future jobs once I graduate next spring!

I’m also grateful for the people I got to work with at UpHouse, especially the PR team. I couldn’t have asked to work with better people. They were patient with me while I was learning, always free to answer questions or provide advice and made it fun to come to work every day.

UpHouse is truly an awesome place to work, where any day in the office will have jokes and laughter, furry friends to pet, and Taylor Swift on the aux. I would highly recommend UpHouse to anyone else looking for an internship, not only for the welcoming and inspiring work environment and the great people, but also for all the amazing experiences you will get to have while working here.

Thanks UpHouse, for having me this summer!

 – Christina Klysh

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