One internship, two internships, three internships…more!

An internship is good, right? What about two internships? What about, dare I say, six internships?

Working as an intern in public relations is an almost guaranteed way to get hands-on, relevant experience in the profession. You have the opportunity to surround yourself in a communications environment, work on projects and network with fellow employees.

Is one internship enough? What are the advantages of having multiple internships? It seems logical that the more internships the more likely you are to land a job after graduation.

Having more than one internship allows you to explore multiple interests and determine what type of environment you would enjoy most. I was an intern in two entertainment public relations firms in Los Angeles last summer. After those experiences, I knew I would be more than content employed in an agency setting.

“How is non-profit work different than agency? What about corporate public relations? How much can you do with freelancing?” These thoughts plagued me since last summer. To answer my questions, I decided to intern for two non-profits this summer and become a freelance writer for another non-profit.

When I interview for positions after graduation, I will have a wide range of experience because the projects I completed for each employer were unique. Not only did I create media lists, pitch journalists, and aid in developing events, but I also wrote articles published in media outlets, acted as a supervisor for a non-profit volunteer, and created promotional materials. The more internships you have the more responsibility you will have for various projects.

Networking will help you get that job you want after graduation. Consider the chances to network while interning at several different places during college. You can meet and learn from more practitioners if you intern at more than one organization. At the non-profits I work at, I get to work alongside more than public relations professionals. I cross paths with accountants, a board of directors and volunteers.

Although I have had incomparable experiences at the non-profits and the summer is only half over, I know my heart is in the agency world. How did I figure that out? By interning at multiple organizations.

Have you had multiple internships?  If so, how has it benefitted you?  If not, do you plan to intern again or do you feel you are prepared for the professional world from your intern experience?

Evan Nicholson is a senior at Temple University in Philadelphia, majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing and art history. She is the public relations director for Temple’s PRSSA Chapter. Nicholson is also director of finance and an account executive for PRowl Public Relations, Temple’s student-run firm associated with PRSSA.


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6 Responses to One internship, two internships, three internships…more!

  1. Melissa Cibelli August 31, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Evan, you’re spot on. Serious PR learning and experience doesn’t occur in the classroom- it occurs in the field. I’d recommend that anyone interested in the field complete at least two internships, one in-house and one agency-side.

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  2. Evan Roberts August 31, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Solid post Evan! You definitely hit the nail on the head about why multiple internships are important. I think the best point you made was about getting a variety of exposure to different aspects of PR in those internships. It is very important for us as students to get that wide range of experience, and to be proactive about positioning ourselves for a position after graduation. Thanks for your insight, from your experience it seems I’ve got some catching up to do!

    #EvanUnited

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  3. Susan Garcia September 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    This is wonderful advice for students. I’m a 2009 UMN graduate, and I can say with confidence that the multiple internships I partook in were a big help in becoming hired in this tough economy. If I were to give advice I’d say, try to diversify your experience. It not only helps you figure out what you love, but it gives you the ability to view your professional work from many different angles, something that is EXTREMELY helpful in the world of PR.

    Good luck in your senior year and upcoming job search!

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  4. Melanie September 15, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    Evan, I really enjoyed your post because I’ve recently been thinking about getting an internship. Even though it’s not required for my degree program, I would like to get the networking experience that you talked about. The only thing I’m hesitating about is not being able to work at my job (a paid position) while interning (which is not typically paid). I guess by making the connections with other people at the internship, though, I could end up with an even better job than I have right now and ultimately make it worth it to work for free! You make several good points about meeting other professionals and you’ve encouraged me to look into doing an internship when summer rolls around. Thanks for your post!

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  5. Yolanda C Lewis September 27, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I am currently interning for a non profit for kids and also working as the primary publicist for an entertainment e zine called Buzz In the City. Between the two I must say I prefer the entertainment side of PR. I am also venturing out on my own and forming a company so I can freelance and get paid for my efforts.

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