Published on April 13, 2019, at 5:25 p.m.
by Julia Landon.
According to a study done by the Chronicle of Higher Education, when media/communications employers were asked to rank the most important attributes when they evaluate graduates for hire, internships were at the top of the list. Students hear almost every day about the importance of internships, but sometimes the concept can be very overwhelming. This year’s internship season may be almost over, but here are some tips to get ahead of the game for the next application cycle, whether that be for a fall, spring or summer internship.
Do your research
Many people want to be in a specific city but don’t really know what company they want to work for. When starting the search, simply Google “PR agencies in [enter city here].” This will give you a list of most, if not all, of the potential opportunities available in the city. Another option you have is to go to O’Dwyer’s and use its “Find a PR Firm” search engine.
Once you narrow down the names of potential companies, start looking at websites. Note what you like, don’t like, interesting case studies, etc. All of this information, even informally stored in the back of your mind, will make your search so much easier.
Narrow your options (even further)
The initial research, even when narrowed down, can leave you with an overwhelming amount of options, depending on your preferred location. This is when you start perusing companies’ internship/employment pages and LinkedIn profiles. Look to see what current employees and interns are doing.
Sometimes companies don’t have internship opportunities posted, but don’t let this deter you! Find a way to contact them, whether it be an email dedicated to hiring full-time positions or a contact form. Send a brief version of your cover letter describing your interest and offer to send your résumé, as well.
Throughout your internship hunting process, it is absolutely crucial that you keep track of your progress. Create a spreadsheet with names of the positions, contact information (great for when you’re sending thank-you notes!), required materials for submission, deadlines, notes and updates on your status. This system will ensure you have your application properly submitted before a company’s internship application deadline.
Getting an internship in the PR field is stressful, but at the end of the day, the payoff is worth it tenfold. You will leave your internship with connections that can last a lifetime and help you find your first (or second, or third) post-grad job.