Thank you to guest blogger Sasha Chinchar, a senior public relations major, for writing this post about her experience with internships.
I’ve heard internships mentioned over and over again since I started college. Everyone kept telling me I would need one to graduate, but I had no idea just how important internships would be. Although I knew getting an internship was required, I didn’t realize I would need, not just the one to graduate, but multiple internships to learn what can’t be taught in the classroom: experience. Although I’m an intern at Flash Communications, which is my first internship and has given me invaluable experience, it doesn’t fulfill my internship requirement to graduate. This means I have to find a summer internship, and fast. Being a senior and on the search for an internship, I have learned some lessons the hard way. These are some things about internships I wish someone would have told me earlier:
Get started now
Now that it is my senior year in college, I know I made a big mistake; I waited till too long to start gaining internship experience. What I didn’t realize is that students should start doing internships as soon as they can. My sophomore and junior year I thought no one would want me as an intern because I just started my PR courses and didn’t feel like my skills were developed enough. Little did I know, many companies are waiting for an intern to help them and eager to help students grow. After all, growing is what internships are for. Besides, you don’t want to be in your senior year searching for an internship just so you can graduate.
Don’t do the minimum
Yes, an internship is required to graduate as a PR major and in most other majors, but an internship can give you so much more than that. Internships give you the real-world experience and help you find what you want to do. There are many different paths you can take in PR and how are you supposed to know exactly what you want to do after graduation until you’ve experienced it? Taking more than one internship will help you find what field you want to work in. It will also help build your resume to allow you to get better internships or even great job after graduation.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” internship
Your first internship may not be your most ideal, but I learned that without experience, it makes it difficult to obtain the more competitive ones. Although you may start with an internship with no pay or few hours, it is important to use these internships to build your resume and get the internships you really want. There is no such thing as the perfect internship, but with the right experience you can get the one pretty close to it.
There are so many fun and excited opportunities for internships, so don’t wait and get started on building your own competitive edge.
Kent State PR students: If you are still looking for an internship, Flash Communications is now taking applications for Fall 2012. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out the internship database, where new internships opportunities are posted regularly.
What do you think about Sasha’s tips on internships?