Updated: Feb 27, 2019
by Jennifer Rozo
How internships can be the gateway to your next job
We all hear this over and over when we are in school, “get an internship at least get one, under your belt.” When I first started on campus I had a plan I wanted to hit the ground running. I figured I will have a lot of connections that I will make with other students, and faculty it won’t be that hard to get an internship. I always dreamed of interning at Paramount Studios, that has always been my dream job well, that, and Sony Music. Things of course never happen as you plan them, and of course, procrastination has been a permanent companion of mine.
On Feb. 13, this event changed my outlook on internships and that feeling of dread that getting to intern was not going to be possible. I attended this PRSSA meeting that was hosting a panel of exceptional young students both current and graduates that had to obtain great opportunities to intern at amazing companies. The panelists Erika, Mercedes, Leena Ali, Therese Martin and Mercedes Mayers explained the ins and outs of what life as intern is like.
Erika explained she did an internship at Fox Sports, she gave really great information regarding how when you get an opportunity, never turn it down just because it might not be exactly what you want. Fox Sports led to another internship for Erika at NBCUniversal and eventually this led to her actual job at E! News.
Mercedes interned for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. She also had very interesting insights on what it takes to get an internship, and how to stay relevant within the industry you hope to get into. Mercedes went on from interning with the Clippers to working with Nike, and now she has become a professional blogger.
Therese talked about interning at a P.R. agency and how that was a great learning experience where she was able to discover that her real passion was in P.R. for nonprofit organizations.
Leena is interning at a company that deals with vehicles and talked about how she didn’t think she was going to be able to get any type of internship. This internship has now ended up with this great opportunity where she is being exposed to all things public relations.
Some of the tips and suggestions that stuck with me the most were to not worry if you are in senior year, you can still go for an internship, and if not, you can keep your P.R. skills relevant by helping friends or local community business with P.R.
Also, never comparing your abilities to those of others, even though you see others doing things you are not yet doing, your opportunity will come. Taking initiative and always trying any task the same way you would treat something exciting you are looking forward on working with. Internships are essential but they are not the end of the road, you must be a go-getter and make your own way.