As a freshman at Northern Ariz. Univ. Fall 2007, I enrolled in Dr. Astrid Sheil’s PR 272: Intro to PR. She stressed the importance of two things:
- Public Relations is the single most important thing a business can do for itself, even though the business doesn’t always realize that.
- Internships are the single most important thing you can do as a professional to hit the ground running.
She would bring in guest speakers who were past students of hers or professionals hiring PR interns. She did whatever she could to help her students get ahead. In addition to being to the Internship Coordinator, she also taught PR 372: Research Methods.
That spring, as a second semester student at NAU, I enrolled in Dr. Sheil’s research class. As students, we took on a client, the Counseling and Testing Center (CTC) at NAU, performed primary and secondary research, built a campaign, drafted student/parent letters and designed fliers and banners. At the end of the semester, we presented a nicely printed and bound copy of our public relations campaign to the director of the CTC.
Although this wasn’t an internship per say, it was experience. On your resume, an internship (or two or three or more) shows that you have done this before, you have initiative and drive, you challenge yourself, you appreciate the opportunity to learn and that you do what it takes to get to where you want to be.
Even though I was only a sophomore and technically without any internship experience, I had already been part of a team that compiled and produced an entire PR campaign–an opportunity I wouldn’t do again until my PR capstone course senior year.
Tip #1: Always try for the internship, and don’t automatically assume you won’t get it.