What You Should Be Getting Out Of Your PR Internship

Taylor and Interim Executive Director of Alumni Relations outside the EMU Alumni Association.

As most of you know, an internship is required to graduate in the public relations program.

Previously, I wrote a blog informing you on how to avoid the struggles of finding an internship. I gave my advice and I hope it helped some of our readers.

Even though finding an internship can be difficult, it’s a darn good thing it is required. But it’s more important to keep in mind what you get out of your internship. Don’t just be an assistant.

Get down and get the hands-on experience you need. Do not just look at the internship as credit so you can graduate, it is experience for the real world.

It is actually building a portfolio.

If you do not have examples of your work and you are just delivering coffee and making copies, as cheesy as this sounds, you’re only cheating yourself.

Even though you know you are capable of handling projects, potential employers will not see you as capable because they do not have proof.

Thankfully, I have been very lucky in my internship. When I applied, someone told me it was one of the harder internship available. That only intrigued me, not discouraged me. What is difficult to some is easy to others and vice-versa. All I can say go with your gut!

If people say it is hard, it’s usually because it is highly involved, not difficult. However, keep in mind, the working environment is huge and can make or break an intern.

I graduate in December and I feel I have gained so much real-life experience in my internship. I work for the Office for Alumni Relations at EMU and love what I do. This is not an internship for the slackers, it is real work and very relevant to the world of PR and communications.

I touch on a little bit of everything and I am confident enough to say, I am proud of my portfolio thus far. It is not that I am just proud of myself, I am proud to work for office/boss that values your experience there and wants you learn as much as you can. For example:

  • I have assisted in the managing of 29 alumni chapters( Communication)
  • I write for the EMU Young Alumni Blog (Social Media)
  • Contribute to the Eastern Michigan University Alumni Facebook and Pinterest page (Social Media)
  • Manage the EMU Homecoming Website (Social Media)
  • Currently planning three events and participating with several others ( Event Planning)
  • I am an active member of the Homecoming Committee and get to see firsthand how all promoting is started and executed. (PR/ Marketing)
  • Wrote the Promotional Pieces for Alumni partnerships ( External Communications)

So when applying for an internship and going on your interview, know what you’re looking for!

Thankfully, I was lucky and my boss, Interim Executive Director, Dan Mathis knows what I need to do to grow as a professional.

So keep in mind all the branches of PR and don’t be afraid to ask how you will be involved in all those branches in their office.

Taylor Maguire
Vice President of Special Events & Programs



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