By: Kasia Naessens
Internships are crucial for practicing and developing your PR skills in the workplace, but finding one is not always easy. There are many types of internships in a variety of settings: agency, corporate, sports and entertainment, health care, nonprofit and more. So, how do you discover the internship that is best for you?
1. Internship fair
On most campuses, internship and job fairs are provided throughout the academic year. Research the companies that will be attending, bring your portfolio and business cards, wear professional attire and sell yourself to the PR industry. Creating those connections with professionals can open up avenues you didn't know were possible. In fact, CMU’s chapter of PRSSA is hosting an internship fair on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UC Rotunda. It is worth attending even if you’re not looking for an internship.
2. PRSSA Website
If you are a due-paying member, you have access to the CMU PRSSA internship book and the national Internship Center. You can customize your search to find a specific location, paid or unpaid and the time of the year. It is a great stepping stone to your future.
LinkedIn is another resource to find internships. It also has an internship portal that allows you to customize your search. LinkedIn is a great way to make connections with peers, faculty, CMU alumni and people around the world. Simply messaging individuals about yourself and asking for advice can go a long way. Do not be shy, as this can be a promising action for your future as a PR professional.
All CMU students have access to handshake. It is a great resource, similar to LinkedIn. You can create your own profile, connect with people across the country and find an internship that interests you.
Fastweb is a free source that allows students and professionals to find internships, scholarships and many other benefits. All you have to do is sign up and create your profile. Fastweb will narrow down your searches that adapt to your personal major and career avenue.
6. Do research
There are plenty of resources out there to find an internship that will cater to your needs and help you get started if you are lost or looking for options. Sometimes the company you have been dying to work for is hiring interns. Visit the company’s website and see what you can find.
It’s important to keep an open mind with all internships. Not everything will be perfect, but you will end up right where you are supposed to be.