I have been a project manager since May for Utah Policy Daily, a publishing branch of The Exoro Group, a public affairs firm in Salt Lake City. The opportunity came to me before I was actually interviewed for the position.
In fact, it was the opposite.
Several actions led to obtaining the internship, the first being my participation in a PRSSA Twitter Chat. There, I learned about the opportunity to contribute to PRSSA National’s newspaper, FORUM. Former FORUM Editor-in-Chief Amy Bishop was kind enough to allow me to write about the growth of the public affairs industry, a public relations niche that interested me.
I interviewed LaVarr Webb, president of The Exoro Group, for the article. Fortunately for me, that interview was paired by something else—the internship. I sent the article to Mr. Webb when it was published and was offered an internship after following up with him weeks later.
During the internship, I compiled data of Utah’s top leaders. This was for the purpose of notifications about social media seminars, offers for a newsletter with insights into Utah policy and invitations to networking events where these apprised individuals will collaborate about how to improve their communities and state. I also managed social media accounts. I am confident that the project will elevate the company to be the premier public affairs firm in the intermountain west region.
I was able to land this internship because of an interview request on behalf of FORUM. I am grateful that PRSSA provides members opportunities to connect with professionals in the public relations niches of which we seek. While this approach to finding an internship may seem a little unorthodox, you too, could potentially land an internship in a similar way:
- Interview an industry leader and make a key connection.
- Stay in touch with the industry leader about the story.
- Send a follow-up email and notify him or her when the story is published.
How will you land an internship after conducting the interview?
As a Utah State University student, Rhett Wilkinson hails the “true-blooded Aggies.” The co-founder of student magazine Aggie BluePrint, he’s interned for Utah media, U.S. Congress and the state’s governor’s communications office.