By Brooke Beatty
We had a great first meeting of 2017 last week. Our panel of four outstanding PR DePaul alumni came to speak about the struggles and tricks of landing an internship. Here are five quick takeaways from the talk!
- Start Small
All of our panelists spoke of the difficulty sometimes of finding that first internship. Sometimes you will have to work at an unpaid position; however, these experiences can be helpful in understanding what industry or sect of PR you will fit best in. The moral of the story is, get out there, try something different and it may lead you to another job down the road.
- Be a part of the conversation
One of the biggest struggles for interns is getting in their groove. Interns constantly talk about some of the issues of asking for more work, wanting to try a different practice and getting a check-in report. The lesson our panelists gave was simple join the conversation. It can be nerve racking, but it will show your supervisor and company that you are dedicated to the task at hand and want to be a part of the team.
- It’s okay if you don’t like your internship
It’s a lot easier to find out what you do not want to do, than it is to find out what you want to do. That’s why our panelists encouraged PR students to get out there and try different industries. Internships is the perfect place to figure out if you want to work on the agency side of the business side. Furthermore it’s a great time to learn what industry you might feel passionate about working in.
- There are external factors at play in the world
In school, it’s easy to forget about the business side of running a public relations agency. But our panelists explained that this was something they learned very quickly in the industry. Sometimes the budget is not there for a full-time position and that is not always your fault. The panelists explained how important it is to keep your ear to the ground and to figure out what was going on in the interworking’s of the company when you are looking to transition from intern to full-time.
- Network, network, network
The panelists could not emphasize enough how important networking was to the PR industry. Ask your professors, past employers, family, friends and more for referrals. Sometimes having an “in” is the first stop to getting a job.