Victory Views


Our 2018 intern read blog posts from past PRSA newsletters written by Vanessa Stiles and reflects on how they relate to her on-the-job learning experience.  Betsy concluded her internship with Victory Sun in August. Take a moment to check out her last blog based on the February 2014 PRSA newsletter – “I hope they like me. I hope they like me.”

Are you ever with somebody in public doing something like running an errand or attending a luncheon and think to yourself, “Wow, this person knows everyone!” 

Throughout your professional and personal life you meet a multitude of people.  You may meet someone and think you’ll never see them again but, somewhere down the road that person could have the potential to help you later. In Vanessa’s newsletter, she discusses the importance of introducing yourself to those you do not know. 

As I have gotten the chance to work closely with Vanessa, one thing that is evident is she knows everyone and everyone knows her! Whether it’s the owner of a local Cajun food restaurant, a past work colleague, or the street department employees, she greets them by name and they are always thrilled to see her. Countless times I have been working with Vanessa in Carmel and someone will approach her and talk to her as if they have been life-long friends. Later, she will tell me something like “Oh, we worked on an event a couple years ago.” It is clear that her connections with the people she works with are one of the many things that have made Vanessa successful at what she does. 

I had a chance to put Vanessa’s approach to work during my internship. While spearheading volunteer recruitment for our event, Art of Wine, I tried to think of the people I could reach out to. I asked volunteers from previous years but, found that personal connections were the best way to attain willing, reliable volunteers.  I started by making a list of people I knew who are involved with a non-profit organization. Next, I reached out to the parents of children I used to nanny, family members, civic-minded sorority sisters, and those I knew who would enjoy the opportunity to volunteer. After reaching out to people I knew, along with those who had previously volunteered, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I was able to fill every volunteer position needed and recruited the highest number of volunteers in all 10 years of the event. 

In Vanessa’s Newsletter, she outlines a communication crisis plan. The last step in her plan is to “follow up with action.” This is the step I will implement as I continue my professional career. By following up with people I have met in the professional world, I have the chance to solidify the newly made connection. It just takes a few minutes and could make an impact in the future. Maybe one day I will be that person who everyone knows. 

Victory Sun Intern, Betsy Bastnagel  & volunteers at the Carmel Arts & Design District Art of Wine

Victory Sun Intern, Betsy Bastnagel & volunteers at the Carmel Arts & Design District Art of Wine


Read Vanessa's original blog post here

PRSA Newsletter February 2014 (pdf)