Which Came first, the Internship or the Experience?

Obtaining an internship is no easy task. It takes a certain set of skills and a polished resume to land an internship that will (hopefully) guide you to the career of your choice. But what happens when you don’t have the skills necessary for the internship that you want? As a young student in PRSSA, this is something I can relate to more than I would like to admit.

Like the age old question, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" public relations students are wondering, "do I have enough prior experience to land that internship?"

Like the age old question, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” public relations students are wondering, “do I have enough prior experience to land that internship?”

Here are some helpful ways to gain resume-worthy experience outside of an internship:

Get Involved

There are several ways you can get involved in PRSSA, whether it be within your own Chapter or nationally. You can gain writing experience by writing for the national blog, Progressions, or the national newspaper, FORUM. You can (and should) participate in events that your Chapter hosts, offer to help plan those events and attend national events hosted by PRSSA.

Be active on social media! Participate in PRSSA’s monthly Twitter chats or engage in conversations on LinkedIn.

Say, “yes!” to every opportunity thrown your way. Don’t deny yourself an opportunity because it’s not something that you’re particularly interested in. Experience is experience and you’ll learn from it either way. You might even enjoy yourself!

Network, Network, Network

You’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Here are a few networking tips:

·    Make as many connections as you can. Befriend your classmates since they are your future co-workers.

·    Get to know your professors. They make for great connections and would be able to write you a recommendation letter when you’re applying for an internship or job in the future.

·    Attend PRSSA national events and Chapter socials.

 Always make sure to follow up and keep in touch with connections you’ve made.

Be Persistent

Don’t give up when you don’t get the internship or job you want. Rejection is part of the process. Take that rejection and turn it into a learning experience. There are plenty of opportunities that have yet to present themselves.

What advice would you offer to young, aspiring professionals with little experience?

Are you looking for an internship? Check out the PRSSA Internship Center on the PRSSA website! 

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Krista Watson is a member of the PRSSA Chapter at Loyola University Chicago. Follow her on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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