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Public relations senior Ben Rushton invests in his future at Birmingham World Games

Ben Rushton stands next to target at the World Games in Birmingham

This summer, senior Ben Rushton interned at The World Games in Birmingham. The public relations major navigated the tasks a venue operations intern faces using crisis management and strategic communication skills he learned at Auburn.

Rushton said his tasks included “everything under the sun.”

“I was responsible for anything that needed to be done really. If someone didn’t have the correct scanner or if anyone needed a hand with distributing venue manuals…that kind of thing,” Rushton said. “It was very challenging. I probably worked for a month straight. I couldn’t even name all the things I did throughout this experience.”

Rushton wasn’t just responsible for making sure equipment was in place; he was also responsible for creating communication documents, ensuring people were on top of different tasks and assisting the venue manager with his duties. His talent as a communicator was the key to success.

“You had to have solid communication skills,” Rushton said. “It was important to make sure people knew what to do and that you were doing your job correctly.”

The public relations curriculum teaches crisis management skills, which Rushton said he used often.

“It was a lot of putting out small fires,” Rushton said. “If there’s a problem, it’s about dealing with the issue and making sure no one saw it or heard about it so the audience can enjoy the games.”

In addition to crisis management, public relations majors are required to take a strategic communications course. Rushton used those skills every day on the job when creating communication materials or coordinating with other employees in the office.

“You have to find a target audience,” Rushton said. “It’s critical to read the room and assess what different people will respond to or what they might be interested in.”

The opportunity to intern at The World Games arose after Rushton worked with Bruno Event Teams during last year's SEC Baseball Tournament. He advises other public relations students to seek opportunities outside of the classroom.

“Don’t hold back, be a go-getter,” Rushton said. “What you learn inside the classroom must translate to outside opportunities to succeed. You have to take every opportunity that comes your way, put yourself out there and invest in your future.”

For more information about public relations in the College of Liberal Arts, visit here.

Tags: Communication and Journalism

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