Internships are pivotal steps towards landing the job of your dreams. As public relations students, we need to take full advantage of different internships, extracurriculars and volunteer opportunities. If you’ve recently completed a summer internship, you are probably wondering what to do next.
Remain connected with your previous colleagues.
One of the most important ways to utilize your internship opportunity and the various connections you’ve gained is to cultivate and nurture the relationships after the fact. You never know what will come up for you. One day, you may need a reference letter or someone to support you in your professional affairs. What better person to do that than one of your previous employers?
How do you do that? Navigating relationships and connections was difficult for me during the pandemic. I experienced some isolation during my internships, especially since I didn’t have the opportunity to interact as much with my coworkers. Because of this, I personally need to connect with my coworkers even more. We need to step out of our comfort zones and reach out to our previous supervisors or colleagues. Set up a virtual chat with them to discuss your future goals, bring up questions, or even ask about their professional background. Utilize them as a mentor and embrace what they have to offer. Remaining connected with your previous colleagues will go a long way in your future success.
Practice the skills you’ve learned.
What did you learn this summer? Did you learn about media research, pitching, content planning, design work, videography, etc. If you pick up personal projects where you can practice the skills you’ve learned this summer, you will perfect them for your next job opportunity. This is important because you don’t want to forget the amazing skills you’ve learned when you secure your next opportunity.
Update your resume.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Make sure you always update your resume with the quantifiable achievements you’ve made during your internship opportunity. Don’t sell yourself short either. Check out the example below how you can showcase and quantify your talents through your resume.
Bad example – “Increased engagement and followers on social media.”
Good example – “Increased social media engagement and followers by 73% through LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.”
Look for the next opportunity.
Use the information you’ve learned in your recent internship experience to find another internship or job opportunity. Reflect on your internship. What did you do well? What do you need to work on? These are all important things to consider when moving forward with another opportunity. There is always room for growth and transformation.
Internships are very important, so I hope these steps will help you look for the next opportunity you deserve.
Zane David Landin, PRSSA 2020–2021 vice president of career services, is a senior from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He will graduate in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. He has a strong passion for academics, design, social issues, creative writing, and learning new things all the time. Upon graduation, he hopes to be accepted into the master’s program in strategic communication at Columbia University to work at a public relations firm, the government, a nonprofit, or a university. Eventually, he plans on completing his Ph.D. in Disability Studies with an emphasis in Communication Disorders to become a university professor and conduct research on accessible communication practices advocating for universal design.