After being involved with your PRSSA Chapter and interning during college, being an intern following graduation may not sound too appealing.
But the right internship will offer you much more than mastering the copy machine. You might be working at the bottom of the food-chain, but having the ability to learn on the job is actually a great way to bridge college and post-grad life, especially if you’re moving to a new city.
What more could a post-grad internship teach you?
Getting Used to the 40-hour Work Week
Between college classes, studying and PRSSA Chapter responsibilities, being a college student is a full-time job. But working a regular 40-hour week at a single organization can be very different. Learning how to manage and keep track of your time at work can take a while to get used to and having enough energy to have a life outside of work can be a challenge. Post-grad internships allow you to sail smoothly into a full-time position without the shock of the typical work day.
Agency vs. Corporate
You may have held an internship in-house or at an agency while in college, but working at a full-time internship can solidify your next move. Accepting a position is a big commitment, so you will want to make sure you’re happy with the decision.
Think of your post-grad internship as a time to date the organization—it should be the best fit for both parties. And after you’ve had a taste of the company culture and environment you can sign up for a long-term relationship knowing you’re making a real commitment.
Gaining Experience in Your Industry
Technology? Healthcare? Retail? With so many options for which industry to enter, an internship will let you explore all public relations has to offer. Is the technology industry too scientific for you? Try something different. Taking a post-grad internship could help you navigate a field that can appear endless.
Making Contacts in Your City
For those moving away, internships can be a valuable chance to see what public relations is like in a new city. Getting acquainted with your local PRSA Chapter and meeting people for informational interviews are a great place to start. Your post-grad internship can help you make new contacts.
Continuing to Learn
Professionals are much more likely to share how they do their jobs with interns. Take the opportunity to meet with all the members on your team and learn about things you haven’t done before. Listening in on calls with the media and watching how your organization manages a crisis, for example, can give you a better idea of what you will be doing in the future.
While the intern title may not be too enticing, don’t discount the post-grad internship. There’s always more to learn.
Are you looking for an internship? Check out the PRSSA Internship Center for opportunities.
What did you learn in your post-grad internship?
Teresa Lane is a marketing intern at The Polyclinic in Seattle, a PRSA Puget Sound associate member and the 2015–2016 alumni adviser for the Washington State University PRSSA Chapter. Follow her @TeresaRHLane or connect with her on LinkedIn.