Day 1 to 1,000 – My Path to Prosek

Abby McAleney  Follow

Foreword: I recently came across a blog post I wrote almost three years, summarizing my excitement after my first day as a post-grad intern at Prosek Partners (officially known as Prosek Apprentices today). First thought? How embarrassing! I was so eager to work that I put pen to paper and gushed about the best parts of my first day in hopes of submitting it to Prosek’s Unboxed Thoughts blog. Luckily, the draft remained in a folder for the last 1,000 days.

Now that I have a few more days under my belt, I wanted to reflect on my path to Prosek. I revisited some of the things that were so appealing to me on day one, and thought about what keeps me motivated today.

Growth

Day 1: “The sun shining through the windows today, Day 2, makes it easy for me to close my eyes (basically this awkward squinty kind of thing) and reflect on Day 1. I want to write a blog about my first day at Prosek Partners as a post-grad intern not only for me to keep, but also for future interns. I know when I was preparing for my interview I scoured Unboxed Thoughts for an “intern blog” that would somehow tell me what train to take, what to wear on my first day, and how not to be nervous. Now on Day 2, I know it’s the 6:51 train, business casual, and lots of coffee.”

Day 1,000: While I now have a 10-minute walk to work and no longer have to worry about catching trains, there are other things that still make my heart skip a beat from time to time: When a reporter calls demanding a statement from me on my client’s behalf; when I walk into a new business pitch and see a conference room full of stern faced executives; or when a client looks to me for strategic counsel in a bind. I still get butterfly’s when presenting to a client, or even an internal team. The nervousness remains, it has just evolved. P.S. The squinting problem has improved now that I no longer sit near a window :)

Pro-Perks

Day 1: “After having completed countless “unpaid” internships in college, often lacking in structure, walking into Prosek and seeing my own desk, computer and where the free bananas reside was thrilling. For the first time I was walking into a position that didn’t feel “skimpy” and it’s not just because Prosek’s internship is paid. It’s feeling like you are an asset to the company. I was introduced to everyone and anyone I missed came up to me, shook my hand and said “welcome aboard!” It felt genuine.”

Day 1,000: Almost three years later and the “Pro-Perks” are even further from what you could call “skimpy.” Now I have amazing benefits, like health and dental insurance, work from home summer Fridays, a 401(k) with a company match and a health and fitness reimbursement program that keeps me happy at work. Not only do I feel like an asset to Prosek, but I feel like a valued part of a larger community that’s led by people who genuinely want me to be motivated every day.  

Guidance

Day 1: Another indicator that I was in the right spot was the “Orange Pages” I received, outlining everything from how to access Outlook from your phone to what time coffee is made to Prosek’s PR mantras. Let’s be honest, a binder full of tips, tricks and guidelines is every Type A personality’s dream. I could tell this company was a well-oiled machine, which further fueled that hungry-for-work feeling.”

Day 1,000: The difference on day 1,000 is that I’ve not only become part of the well-oiled machine that is Prosek, I’ve had to learn to become a well-oiled machine myself. Managing multiple accounts, outside projects, team dynamics, client needs and the desire to always learn more has taught me the importance of prioritization and efficiency. Like the Orange Pages, I have to keep my own master to do list with reminders of the how-to’s, go-to’s and to-do’s in order to stay on track.

Culture

Day 1: The undeniable camaraderie from employee to employee sparked a little bit of first day of school-like jitters. I want to make friends! I felt great after meeting Sophia, Jessica and Emily for lunch and learned more about the account I was going to be working on with them. What really lit the fire under my you-know-what was how that camaraderie seemed to fuel drive. Despite being surrounded by friends, everyone exuded professionalism. These were bona fide PR pros, who love their work. I could feel their enthusiasm as I saw a group head to the Fishbowl for a meeting. This kind of work ethic echoed throughout the office, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it.”

Day 1,000: This was my favorite part of Day 1, and is still my favorite part of working at Prosek today; the people. At the start of my career at Prosek I could sense I was settling in with smart, yet fun colleagues. Over the past few years I’ve watched the company culture evolve and mature. An incredible culture is, and always will be, a crucial part of Prosek’s DNA. I can spend hours grinding out work with a group of Prosekians, and then find those same people front and center at Karaoke Night or racking up the score for the company’s kickball team. Now, 1,000 days later, it’s exciting for me to take new colleagues out to lunch on their first day and participate in onboarding sessions. I always get excited for new Prosekians who don’t yet realize what a great company culture they’re walking into.

The Bigger Picture

Having the opportunity to reflect back on my first day at Prosek Partners made me realize that my initial excitement was about more than just free bananas and getting my own conference line. It was about being part of something bigger than myself. I distinctly remember relishing in the feelings of responsibility and accountability on day one, and that feeling has only grown over the last 1,000 days. At Prosek, we work hard to deliver the best and smartest solutions to our clients. We work to continue to cultivate our unique company culture. We work to maintain our growth. We are continuously challenged and rewarded, making us feel like we’re part of the bigger picture. 

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