Internships are a great way to gain experience and stand out from the crowd in the competitive public relations industry. I’m sure this is not the first time you’ve heard this but, you may be wondering, where do I find an internship or how do I get an internship without having any experience? The secrets are: start looking early and network.
Start looking early:
When looking for a summer internship the first thing you need to figure out is where you will be for the summer. Are you going back home, staying at school or going somewhere completely new? That is the first step.
The next step is looking for the internship. The University of Oregon’s Career Center’s website has Duck Connect, which is a database where jobs and internships are posted from all over the country. Another good resource to keep in mind when looking for internships is the UO’s School of Journalism and Communication’s job/internship database, which has journalism major specific internships from all over the country. The best time to start looking for internships is in January/February. Add looking for internships into your daily routine so you can apply right away for ones that you are interested in before they are taken.
Contact professionals that work at places you are interested in interning at for informational interviews. Build a relationship with them and let them know you are looking for a summer internship. They may have something available that they can let you know of or they may know of another contact at a different company that may have a good internship for you. It is important to remember that not all jobs and internships are posted online, so networking is a key component when looking for internships.
Networking will also help you land that summer internship because the professional will have already talked to you before you have applied for the internship so they will have a sense of who you are versus meeting you for the first time on paper. Another great resource to utilize is your peers and SOJC faculty! SOJC students intern at cool places every summer and a student may have a contact at a company you are looking to intern at. Faculty also know alumni and other professionals that work at public relations agencies and in-house so they have a wide network. Make sure to reach out and ask around, you never know, one of your classmates or professors may be able to help you land the summer internship you are looking for.
Finding a summer internship at times may seem daunting or even impossible, but as a student at the University of Oregon you have many people who are willing to help you. So, take advantage of that and utilize your resources. Also, keep in mind that summer internships do not have to be glamorous to gain good experience. Small companies in a smaller town also can provide great experience so be open minded and the right internship will come along!