Published on October 3, 2017, at 6:42 p.m.
by Hyland Stockton.
Requirements: degree in related field and 5+ years of experience. How am I ever supposed to get experience when every job requires experience? This dilemma is a problem for recent graduates. Every job that appears to be entry level still requires some experience. Therefore, getting involved and having internships are so important during college.
I have always been told to build my résumé, get an internship and get involved. So, I did just that. I started with an internship I thought was going to focus on communications.
Instead, I conducted research, input data into excel files and assisted the different departments on daily tasks. A few days in, I realized this internship had nothing to do with my field of study. Then, I freaked out. I was so concerned I was not gaining the skills I needed, but it turned out to be the best experience.
I had never worked in an office setting, but there I was. I now have many people who can vouch for my work ethic and ability to adapt to different scenarios. After all, references are invaluable.
From there, I knew I wanted to get more involved with public relations. So, I applied to the student-run firm at The University of Alabama, Capstone Agency. Being in its PR department has given me a great amount of real world experience.
At this point, I knew I was ready for a public relations internship and decided to apply to an agency. I worked in a small office focused on the entertainment side of public relations. The experience was different than I ever expected.
Yes, I always dreamed of working at a boutique agency, but I soon realized it may not be the environment for me. I began worrying whether I should have gone somewhere else or stayed with my previous internship.
I realized, once again, I needed this experience. Before, if you were to ask me what I wanted to do with my career, I would have told you I wanted to work in a boutique agency and represent entertainers. Now, I know it’s not the route I want to take.
I didn’t have a bad experience. I just realized I want to try in-house work next.
The important thing to note is that any experience helps narrow your job search. Everyone has a spot, and for PR professionals, the best way to discover your niche is through experience.
To all the other students looking to fill the “experience” section on your résumé: Take any opportunity you can. Remember, all experience – bad or good – is valuable.