In a world brimming with countless businesses yet many aspiring professionals, it can be rather tough to nail down an internship. Yes, I’m sure you embrace remarkable qualifications and fresh enthusiasm but the main concern is — How do you stand apart from the rest?
How do you become the fuchsia in a crayon box of pink? With six internships under my belt (all before my sophomore year of college), I have constructed a solid list to help you jumpstart your career.
Many businesses and PR agencies post internship positions on Twitter. Twitter is a fabulous resource to accumulate internship opportunities as companies are always on the lookout for interns.
Even Mashable agrees: “With the increasing popularity of Twitter, more and more job seekers and recruiters are turning to the social network to find leads.”
So why not take advantage of it? In addition, by creating a relationship with a desired company or agency on Twitter, you plant a seed that — with the right watering — can flourish into your dream internship. (Follow, favorite, retweet, mention, DM. After all, Twitter is all about networking!)
My favorite internship resource is @Internqueen. Lauren Berger, the creator of InternQueen, maintains a virtual community to connect companies with college students and vise versa. With a quick upload of your resume and cover letter, you’re all set! This website helped me score FOUR social media internships in the same week.
Some PR agencies and firms ONLY look for an applicant who has been an active member in their university’s PRSSA. Why is it such a big deal, you might ask? Well because PRSSA helps you enhance your education, broaden your network and launch your career in Public Relations. Additionally, PRSSA is committed to resourcing students with the professional networking, scholarships, career development, internship and job opportunities you need to achieve future success in the public relations industry. Joining PRSSA automatically unlocks dozens and dozens of internships that only members have access to. Plus when building your resume, PRSSA is guaranteed to give it a splash of color.
Agency tours, bi-weekly meetings with accomplished PR professionals, and even networking within my university’s chapter have all provided me with a strong sense of what the Public Relations field looks like. Staying active in my chapter has allowed me to dip my toes in all things PR and has even resulted in an internship on the 2013-2014 executive board.
Cultivate + Maintain A Blog
Not only is blogging a great way to strengthen your writing skills, but it also doubles as a solid portfolio to show interested employers. Complete your blog with your resume, accomplishments and contact information–all while maintaining consistency with blogging. You’ll be sure to impress an employer.
Ever since my professor showed me a PR blog, I have found many, many aspiring PR’s or PR professionals using a professional blog dedicated to professionalism. My advice? Gather up all your creative juices, past experience, and desire for writing and intertwine them into a professional blog. You won’t regret it.
Energy + Passion
Your level of energy can make or break your chances of obtaining an internship. Chances are employers love their company and want a candidate that will mirror their passion. Makes sense, right?! Plus, working with a person full of energy (and efficiency) is ideally more alluring than working with an emotionless milk dud. Bottom line: conveying your energy and passion retains an essential remnant in creating an overall impression.
A few days ago, I was offered an internship to help a celebrity with her swimsuit line in Santa Monica. Even though she had originally posted the internship as “virtual”, she desired the intern to be able to drive to her beach house in Santa Monica. I immediately told her I wouldn’t be back in California until the end of August and continued to express despondency about the misunderstanding. Literally, two minutes later she called me to chat for a bit. Once she discovered my energy for PR and passion for her fashion internship she offered me the position, saying that I could work from where I was. My enthusiasm literally got me my dream internship!
Practice Your Interviewing Skills
Practice, practice practice, you can never have enough practice. We all know how important interviews are amidst the hiring process — which gives you all the more reason to acquire all the practice possible. If you have the option, I would highly recommend participating in a mock interview at your university’s career services. If not, I have heard many professors communicate their willingness to assemble one in favor of preparing their students.
Okay, so now you’ve set up a mock interview [or are preparing for a real interview]. Now what? How do you become that brightly colored fuchsia? An anonymous writer on Internweb articulated four things that stood out among the candidates he interviewed that were ultimately offered internships: 1) They prepared research on the company, 2) radiated enthusiasm about the position, 3) asked questions during and after (ALWAYS ask questions), and 4) VOCALIZED that they wanted the internship.
Best of luck my fellow, aspiring PR’s!
What helped get your internship? Tweet me at @emjoyjohnson