Friday, 13 Dec 2019

Why public relations students need an internship

If you are a recent graduate or looking to kick start a career in public relations (PR), we recommend you apply for internships.

With graduation right around the corner it’s time to think about gaining work experience.

Internships are the best way to gain industry skills, build your professional network and learn from the best in the business. We asked some public relations interns from Adoni Media why gaining industry experience is important.

Expand upon your study

Degrees and diplomas can’t teach you everything. Uni may show you how to critically analyse case studies, but an internship will teach you how to apply that knowledge. There comes a time when no amount of academic research will cut it, you need real world skills too.

This isn’t to discredit study. Having a strong base level understanding of strategy will help a lot. Most students find work experience helps to contextualise what they are learning in class.

Combining critical thinking with industry skills is the best of both worlds.

Build professional relationships

Once you graduate you are going to want to find a job. In the media and communications industry, everyone talks. Knowing people in the industry or forming relationships with agencies can help you out in the future.

PR is the business of building and maintaining reputations – remember to keep your own in check.

Attend networking events, connect with professionals on LinkedIn and get yourself out there. If you have a tertiary education, your first point of call could be your lecturers and tutors. At the end of each semester don’t be afraid to ask your teachers for a letter of recommendation or ask about any potential work experience they can think of.

Gain relevant industry skills

As a communications professional you will likely have a broad range of skills. Tertiary studies will often provide an overall look at the industry. Internships will show you what skills you should develop.

You may find that some areas of your job aren’t even touched upon in your degree. Sometimes customer service, business management, building and maintaining working relationships and handling the fast-paced media world can only be learnt on the job.

Media relations and workplace etiquette are also things an internship can show you first-hand.

Alternatively, you may be introduced to a whole new area of the industry. PR agents often work closely with the digital media department when developing a social media plan.

Find your career pathway

Even after years of study it can be hard to know what you want to do with your career. One of the fastest ways to find out what you want to do, is eliminating what you don’t want to do.

An internship is the perfect try-before-you-buy arrangement. You can dip your toe into the industry and see what areas appeal to you. Lots of people find studying is very different to the experience of working. You might surprise yourself with what you enjoy.

If you are looking for work experience but don’t know where to start, check out this article by Adoni Media.