School is over for the summer and you are ready to begin your internship or job. You might not have yet thought of your plans for next fall–but are there things you should do during summer to prepare for the upcoming school year? The answer is yes. Read the great advice below from members of the 2011-2012 National Committee on steps you can take to advance your professional career during the summer season.
Nick Lucido (Immediate Past President)
Use the extra time you have in summer to update your résumé, gather your portfolio materials and compile a list of your accomplishments. By making these updates when you’re not under a deadline or feeling pressure to apply for an internship, you will be able to think clearly and spend the necessary time to complete an exhaustive list. The next time you apply for an internship or job, you will be prepared with all of your materials and will also have time to tailor your résumé and portfolio for the positions you apply for.
Haley Higgs (Vice President of Regional Conferences)
So often, we get our minds set on one area of public relations that we know is what we want to do, so we don’t explore other areas. Take advantage of new opportunities that may be outside of what you “want” to do. Summer internships and shadowing are perfect occasions to step outside your comfort zone, whether it be in an agency, corporate or, non-profit environment, and experience another area of public relations. Who knows, what you think you want to do may change by the end of summer. Be open to it!
Lauren Gray (Current National President, Vice President of Public Relations)
Catch up on news and trend updates over the summer. Stay updated on industry news, changes, and more through PRSA’s Issues & Trends emails, PRSSA platforms and other news outlets. This will help bring you to the top of current events when you return to classes and when applying for jobs and internships.
JR Rochester (Vice President of Advocacy)
Remember to maintain connections and build relationships that you have already developed through internships, PRSSA and school. Reach out to your local PRSA Chapters to volunteer during the summer to grow your network. Also, remember to keep your social media accounts updated and transparent, so that your digital presence can be shared through your relationships.
Amy Bishop (FORUM Editor in Chief)
Summer break is an excellent time to fine tune your online personal brand. Use this time to set up a blog and create consistent, easy ways for visitors to view your résumé and portfolio pieces. Additionally, integrate your online social networks and websites–linking to one another–to ensure your connections can find the exact information they are seeking.
Jessica Noonan (Vice President of Professional Development)
Summer is an excellent time to build your professional network. If you are interning, be sure to meet with individual co-workers for coffee or other activities outside of work. If you’re not interning, attend PRSA events or reach to human resources contacts to see if you could shadow a public relations professional. Most important: Follow up!
What will you do during the summer season to advance your professional career?