Here at #TeamKC, we have more than a few internships under our belt. Most are in public relations, either at global corporations like New Era Cap, sports PR at the Buffalo Sabres, fashion PR at Tractenberg & Co, event management agencies, and a not-for-profit organizations. While internships obviously bolster your resume, I believe the more important aspect is that they show you what you love to do, and, what you don’t love to do (ahem, not-for-profit).
Today’s college students really have it easy! It’s never been easier to find an internship in this decade with the growth of social media. Make sure to follow companies on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook. Keep your personal social media sites private, or, even better, post about relevant content in your field to show potential employers you are interested in the industry. Find HR and Account Coordinators on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter for industry updates (but don’t invite them to connect with you until you’ve actually met them!).
Check companies website frequently for updates, and start looking early! Many companies, especially larger agencies, have a strict application process. While you’re on their website, read their blogs to see the latest projects they have worked on. Do they seem like something you’d be interested in doing, too?
Your college’s career center is one of the best free resources you can have. Take advantage of resume workshops, how to craft the perfect cover letter, and mock interviews. Think about joining a national organization to network and search internship posts, such as PRSSA.
I’d recommend completing at least two internships before graduating, if not more. The founder of InternQueen.com (a free resource to search and apply for internships) completed an astounding 19 internships during her college career. If it’s all work and no pay (which it most likely is), remind yourself that it will be worth it once you land your first post graduation job! You can always pick up a second job during the summer to save some extra cash for fall.
Post Grad Advice
If you’re looking to gain more experience or to switch careers after you’ve graduated, don’t stress. I completed a post grad internship while still working a full-time job, and it lead me to finding my full-time job in my field. While it is tougher to find companies that allow internships that aren’t just for credit, they’re out there. Try smaller companies and “volunteer” your time.
Know how to write a press release, use Dreamweaver, or love to tweet? Reach out to organizations such as not-for-profits, who are always looking for help. Join your local Social Media Club, young professional organization (such as BN360 in WNY), or PRSA chapter to stay in touch with the latest industry news. These are both fun ways to get involved, network, and update your resume.
To sum it up:
- It’s never too early to start looking.
- Be professional (in person, on paper, and online).
- Network, network, network-it really is all about who you know.
Where to search:
- Fashion PR – Fashion.net
- Sports PR – Teamworkonline.com
- PR/Media/Entertainment- InternQueen.com
- General PR – PRSSA.org
- General PR- InternMarch.com
- General PR- InternAlert.com
Good luck searching! Questions? Tweet me at @ErinEReedy.