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CAMD Student Combines Passions for PR and Equestrian Sports at Unique Co-op Opportunity

Callie interviewing the winners of the US Open Polo Championship.

CAMD student Callie Clement is a Communication Studies major on co-op with Phelps Media Group, a company based in Wellington, Florida, where she has the unique opportunity to combine her interests in public relations and equestrian sports. We recently caught up with her to learn more about her experience. Check it out!

What kind of work are you doing?

Phelps Media Group is public relations company that specializes in international equestrian sports media. In addition, the company also has three news outlet sites that report on different aspects of the equestrian sport: Phelps Sports, PS Polo, and PS Dressage. For the majority of my co-op with Phelps Media, I assisted with creating content for the three news sites, mostly for Phelps Sports and PS Polo. Creating content involves going to various equestrian events like horse shows and polo games to take photographs of the competition and then to interview the winners in order to write a press release that day about the event.

What was the biggest surprise about your co-op?

My biggest surprise is truly how much I have loved this job. I’ve had other internships that have always been great learning experiences, but I wouldn’t say that I’ve loved them. Working for Phelps Media has shown me that if I’m working in an professional environment that suits me the way this experience does, work doesn’t actually feel like work. There hasn’t been one day of my co-op where I’ve not wanted to get up and go into the office to get to work. Every day at work is a little bit different and that’s something I think suits me overall and is a huge reason I have loved all aspects of this experience.

What has been your favorite part of the co-op?

It’s honestly very difficult for me to pick one favorite part of the my co-op because I truly have loved every part of it. I’ve been so lucky to work alongside the most amazing people at Phelps Media, each person I worked alongside everyday made me feel confident in my work, while always taking the opportunity to teach me new things along the way. We always worked in a team setting so that we could support each other and brainstorm together when necessary, which I think is something that is really valuable in the PR industry. Additionally, I have really loved the work that I’ve had the opportunity to do during this co-op. The equestrian industry is something I have been a part of and have loved since I was a little girl so being able to now work in the action of that industry is something I’m so grateful for. The fact that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interview Olympic athletes that I’ve been a fan of since I was 10-years-old is something that I still have a hard time believing is real. Those kind of experiences have definitely been what has made my co-op so amazing.

How did your classes help prepare you for your co-op?

I wouldn’t say that there has been one specific class that has helped succeed in my co-op, but I definitely think that’s is a combination of all the classes I’ve taken over the years. By always being encouraged to improve my writing skills, research skills, and overall communication skills in the classroom, I’ve been able to translate the combination of all of that into my work here at Phelps Media Group. Having the writing skills that I’ve developed in the classroom has really been valuable during this co-op, as I regularly have to write content for one of our various news sites. Research skills have proven to be useful when I’ve been writing a piece for work and I need to find background information on a person, event, or even a horse! Having had to practice those kinds of skills in my classes over the years has translated well into the work I’ve done for Phelps.

Callie interviewing the winners of the US Open Polo Championship

What has been the biggest learning experience of your co-op so far?

One of the biggest learning experiences for me has been understanding how important it is to network, especially in the equestrian sports media industry. Because this industry is on the smaller side compared to something like the entertainment PR industry, I have found it’s important to make connections with everyone that I come into contact with, whether that’s other PR professionals, athletes, or business owners. Networking and making those connections is something I’m not naturally comfortable doing, but I have found it’s really rewarding to push myself outside of my comfort zone. By pushing myself in those ways, I’ve learned a lot, one of which being that the connections I’ve made will be really valuable in the future of my professional career in this industry.

What will you bring back to the classroom from your co-op experience?

I think that going out and working in the “real world” is something that has given me a lot a confidence. It’s been nice to see first hand that the skills I’ve gained in the classroom for the most part can translate into real life experiences in the professional world. So I think that that confidence, along with the experiences I’ve had, are things that I will bring back into the classroom and use in papers, discussions, or anything else that comes onto my plate in the classroom.