By: Hope Salyer
Ask any public relations practitioner what advice he or she would give to PR majors, and the answer is going to be to complete at least one internship. In a day and age where companies like the McTigue Financial Group in Chicago are receiving over 1,000 resumes a year for a mere 40 positions, an internship has never been more important.
With so many people competing for one job, it often comes down to a well-selected internship. Securing an internship provides you with real-world experience that is so valuable in today’s PR workforce. Companies and clients want someone with experience. They want to know they can count on a PR practitioner who is creative, innovative, has experience dealing with problems when they arise, and can lead their brand in a constantly-changing environment. There is no better way to prove you are that person than by completing an internship.
Internships are becoming so important and popular now that many companies pride themselves in having a successful internship program, oftentimes hiring interns for full-time positions. According to PR Daily, interns are 70 percent more likely to be hired as full-time employees with a company.
Internships also help to provide you with a portfolio of work for future employers. According to Webershandwickseattle.com, an internship provides you with great examples of professional and quality work that you’ve done. You can then create a blog of your own using a site like WordPress.com, and publish all of your work and writing samples in one easy place for future employers to find.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a college internship is the opportunity it provides for you to discover what you like and what you dislike. By completing multiple internships during college, you get to experience the reality of working in an agency, corporate, and nonprofit setting or any others you would like to learn about. Internships allow you to explore what you want to do in the field, whether it’s the event planning aspect of PR, or crisis management—without the pressure of being stuck in a position you hate.
The importance and benefits of an internship increase each year. With so many opportunities out there for PR students around the country, an internship is a great start to your career!
Hope Salyer is a junior public relations major and journalism and communication double minor. Hope is serving as the Chief Financial Officer of EMU PRSSA. This is Hope’s first semester serving for the PRSSA E-board. A Michigan native, she hopes to start her career working for an agency in the Detroit area. Her dream is to become the public relations coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Contact Hope on Twitter @hsalyer01 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.