At internships both locally and in the nation’s capital, Meredith Rasnic applied skills learned at the University of Oklahoma and also gained new ones that set her up for professional success.
A May 2020 public relations graduate, Rasnic is from Norman, Oklahoma. The summer before her senior year, Rasnic interned at the National Museum of American History, a Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. Rasnic visited the city during her junior year of high school and fell in love with it, knowing she’d like to go back someday if she could. That interest contributed to her Googling “internships in D.C.,” which is how she learned of opportunities at the museum.
“I’m a huge history nerd and have always loved that museum,” Rasnic said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s literally me in an internship.’”
Rasnic worked as a development, fundraising, and donor relations intern, which allowed her to pair her public relations background with her interest in nonprofit. While about 60% of the Smithsonian is federally funded, the rest is raised by the museum, Rasnic explained. A few of her tasks in the role included writing profiles about donors, assisting with donor tours and events, drafting fundraising materials like proposals and blog posts, and more.
“I think sometimes people feel like internships are only during the summer. But I worked 10 to 12 hours during the week, and I know a ton of people who do that during the school year. Don’t discount that there are a ton of great internship opportunities in Norman and Oklahoma City that are very manageable to do throughout the school year.” - Meredith Rasnic
Throughout her freshman, sophomore, and junior years, Rasnic worked for Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (OEC) as a public relations intern within the marketing and member relations department. In this role, she completed tasks ranging from running social media to writing press releases and articles for the company’s newsletter.
Additionally, Rasnic corresponded with recipients of Oklahoma Round Up, which allowed her to learn more about the nonprofit aspects of the company. This program allows the cooperative’s members to round their bills up to the next dollar, and the money generated is then given as grants to individuals and organizations.
“I think sometimes people feel like internships are only during the summer,” Rasnic stated. “But I worked 10 to 12 hours during the week, and I know a ton of people who do that during the school year. So don’t discount that there are a ton of great internship opportunities in Norman and Oklahoma City that are very manageable to do throughout the school year.”
In August, Rasnic began a full-time job in the client service department at Saxum, a digital agency based in Oklahoma City. Rasnic said her time at OU – from the skills she learned in her classes to her internship experiences to her campus involvement with a range of organizations – prepared her well for next step.
“The electric company in Norman and then the Smithsonian were very different experiences, but they were both incredible and kept giving me a really wide variety of opportunities,” Rasnic shared. “I also saw how flexible my public relations degree was. Everyone needs PR, and you can apply it to a lot of different situations … I gained a really wide range of skills at OU that I can take to any situation.”