My Communications Internship: Real Students’ Stories
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by communications majors Kiya Norman, Drew Bartelstein, and Justin Levine in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
Many college students pursue internships during the summer or sometimes during the school year for course credit. These internships are super-valuable if you want hands-on experience in the industry you’re trying to break into. You’ll figure out what exactly the work entails, and you’ll be able to fix up your resume to impress employers once you graduate. Internships aren’t the only way to get work, though. In this article, you’ll learn how to build up your work portfolio with or without internships and receive some general advice for getting a job.
Experience From Classes
If you’re at the beginning of your college career, it shouldn’t stress you out that you haven’t gotten an internship yet. You’re just starting out, after all. If you want to try to get one, you should focus on the experience you’ve gained from taking certain classes.
For internships in communications, you should be able to draw on writing you’ve done for school. Sometimes, certain classes give you connections to publish your work in local papers or magazines. This can give you a leg up when you’re looking to apply for your first internship.
Different companies want different things from their interns, even in a field that seems like it could be pretty narrow. For communications, traditional public relations companies and communication firms are common employers. You could also work for startups and nonprofits. Whatever your particular interest, you should be able to put together some examples of your writing into a portfolio that you can show a prospective employer. This will help you to get your foot in the door, even if it doesn’t seem like you have prior work experience.
Getting a Job
You can have a degree and a ton of internships filling up your resume, but you still might not get hired because you seem unenthused, lacking in energy, or not at all well-rounded. The job search is really about what you make of it.
If you don’t have any internships throughout college, but you come away with a degree and a lot of enthusiasm about what you want to do, you’re probably going to get the position over someone who is dispassionate with a better-looking resume or cover letter. It’s somewhat of a social skill; you have to be able to express a lot of interest to sell yourself as the right person for the job.
Importance of Internships
Internships are very valuable for gaining work experience. You’ll learn a lot about what you want to pursue in your career, and you’ll also take away some valuable life lessons from the work. How do you fit into a workplace? What do you want your career to look like?
An internship can help you to answer these questions. If you’re worried that you don’t have internship experience, though, you shouldn’t just wait to get one. It’s okay to work on your portfolio independently so you can build up a body of work to show a potential employer.
Create things that show off your skills. Internships help you to develop all this, so they’re great for letting you prove you know how to do the job you want. Getting an internship in college can help you build a solid body of work to show hiring managers or recruiters. But if you don’t have that experience, you can probably still make something that proves you know how to do the work at hand. Even things you do independently will help you gain the respect of employers.