Posted At: December 2, 2013 1:57 p.m.
by Lexi Holdbrooks.
I will never forget the day that started it all. I found myself in class listening to a professor’s life lesson about the importance of internships in an aspiring public relations student’s career. I can still hear his resounding words echoing through the lecture hall, “You will move home and live with your parents forever if you only have one internship.”
Aka, you failed at life. As much as I adore my parents and their home-cooked meals, the last thing I wanted to do was move back into my old bedroom after college. In order to diverge from this fate, I chose to be proactive and began my life as the never-ending intern.
Now, as a soon-to-be graduate, I have three internships under my belt. The idea was to gather as much experience as possible before graduation and, let me tell you, I have some experience.
The great thing about internships is that they allow you to explore various routes before you ultimately select your career. I have interned at Lewis Communications, an advertising firm in Birmingham, Ala., Town & Country magazine in New York City and Proffitt PR, a boutique PR firm in Destin, Fla.
You never know what to expect as an intern. One day I found myself working on a sod farm in lower Alabama on a photo shoot and once in a commercial in the sweltering heat of summer. Another time I found myself carrying 70 pounds of Swedish Fish on the train from China Town to Midtown . . . in heels.
With all of the seemingly low points of an internship, like stocking the editorial closet full of magazines (once again in heels too high for the job), there are just as many, if not more, highs. One of my most cherished experiences was working a holiday video shoot with Neiman Marcus’ fashion director Ken Downing (NM’s fashion guru). T&C’s interns not only worked the whole shoot but were allowed to play dress up with more than six million dollars’ worth of jewelry. That was an all-time high.
The thing that I appreciate most as an intern is the learning experience. You may be doing mundane tasks, but at the end of the day, these tasks actually impact the work around you and mold you into a great worker.
My last internship at a small PR firm was where I had the “aha” moment. I realized PR is truly what I loved and wanted to do with my career. It took three summers working as an intern to realize it was worth every learning experience.
Now as an upcoming graduate, I never thought I would be interviewing for yet another internship. However, I am here to prove that professor wrong. Yes, it may take me four internships to land my first job, but the experience and knowledge gained are worth every moment and may just be the key to not moving back to the homefront.