It’s that time of year again, PRSSA members are slowly starting to pull their hair out and question everything on their resume. Looking for the perfect internship is one of the most exciting and nerve racking experiences a PR student can go through. I have spent countless hours researching, writing cover letters and creating leave behinds, just to secure a position to gain more experience. I’m pretty sure my roommate wanted to kill me last year for my weekly panic attacks before I finally accepted a position at a great agency. A part of me misses the search filled with excel documents listing dream internship possibilities, but the other part of me is really excited to start my career and put roots in at a company. Even though I am currently looking for a full time position, I thought I would list 10 great internships that Scripps PRSSA’s members might want to pursue.
1. Fahlgren Mortine, Ohio: I have to start off the list with a personal favorite. I interned for Fahlgren Mortine last summer and it was such an amazing experience. I not only learned something new everyday, but I had a blast doing so. Fahlgren has some of the most passionate and driven people in the industry and I was so fortunate to spend three months learning from them. The agency is full-service and is completely integrated in all aspects. One of the reasons why I love this company so much is their culture. The staff jokes around together, dances together and enjoys pulling pranks on eachother. The group of professionals at Fahlgren are all a big family who are hardworking and dedicated to their clients. Fahlgren has three PR intern positions available this summer in their Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland offices. They also offer a scholarship alongside the Columbus internship position. The Founder’s Award and Public Relations Internship awards the participant with a $2,000 scholarship on top of the paid full-time position.
2. MWW, D.C: MWW’s Washington D.C office is offering a Government Relations position that would give any politically savvy PR student an extremely valuable experience on Capitol Hill. Their Government Relations intern serves as an integral part of the MWW team. In this position, interns are relied upon for extensive legislative, grant funding and media research that directly relates and impacts their clients’ priorities and goals. Interns at this office will gain experience by working with DC staff, developing a strong foundation for careers on Capitol Hill and beyond.
3. Hunter PR, NYC: I have recently found out about this agency through a jschool graduate who is having the time of her life working there. Hunter PR interns act as fully-functioning team members working on active agency accounts. Interns report to an account executive or senior account executive and generally work on 2–3 main client projects. Duties include drafting press materials, building media lists, brainstorming ideas, researching ideas, pitching media and planning event logistics. Hunter PR specializes in food and beverage public relations and has been a leader in that industry for more than 20 years. If you are interested in working with our fellow bobcats Lauren Nolan and Lexi Sweet in the Big Apple – send your resume and a cover letter to email@example.com.
4. Ohio State Fair, Ohio: This is such a cool internship! I have had several friends work as a public relations interns for the fair and they enjoyed every second! As an Ohio State Fair intern, you’ll have the unique opportunity to preview the “real world” of public relations in an exciting setting while being treated as a professional communicator and assigned important
projects. Interns will also be asked to complete important assignments in media relations and promotions. The position also expects the intern to serve as the key contact to radio and television stations regarding their promotions and remote broadcasts at the Fair. To apply send your résumé and at least three writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is March 1, 2012 and interviews will be held shortly thereafter.
5. SeaWorld, Orlando: Are you interested in tourism PR or promoting an amusement park involving animals? If so, then working for SeaWorld may be a dream paid position for you! While working for SeaWorld, an intern can expect to coordinate media fams, stunts, and events while escorting visiting media officials. Another exciting thing this position offers interns is the capability to write press releases, pitch letters and the opportunity to pitch the media. This is an extremely exciting position in Orlando, Florida and would be a great choice if you’re seeking more media relations experience.
6. Walker Sands, Chicago: Walker Sands is strongly involved in the Chicago technology world and start-up community. As part of their Chicago Summer Internship Program, interns will work on a small team for clients that specialize in the small business and technology sectors. Interns must be able to think on your feet and change gears quickly. According to Walker Sands, this is one of the best PR internships in Chicago! At the end of the internship program, the interns will have had in-depth exposure to what it’s like to work in the PR industry (and a chance to hang out on our rooftop garden). To find out more on how to apply for a position at Walker Sands, click here.
7. Coyne PR, NJ: Coyne is probably one of my favorite agencies that I have ever visited. Their corporate office is in New Jersey, but they also have an office right in the heart of the Big Apple. Coyne PR is involved in endless sectors of PR and has accomplished some impressive stunts to gain national coverage for their clients time and time again. For example, they have shut down Lombard Street and turned it into a life-size Candy Land board to celebrate the board game’s 60th birthday. Not only did the stunt look insanely cool, it also generated nearly 800 broadcast placements, including six national broadcast hits – CBS-TV’s “The Early Show,” ABC-TV’s “World News Now,” Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN’s “Headline News,” and an Associated Press broadcast segment. This is an awesome company and would no doubt be an incredible internship opportunity!
8. GolinHarris, Chicago: GolinHarris has made a name for themselves through their creation of the bridge and their innovative “G4” model. If you haven’t ever heard of this agency I would urge you to check out their website and see what they’re doing. GolinHarris is currently running their global company in an innovative manner that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They believe that their agency needs to be continuously evolving with the world around them, and that it’s the only way they can meet the ever changing needs of their clients. To do this, they have created different ways to engage employees and customers while providing actionable insights for their clients. I am definitely a GolinHarris groupie and this is without-a-doubt an amazing internship that will be like nothing you have ever experienced.
9. Cleveland Indians, Ohio: Are you Interested in sports PR and have a serious love for all things Cleveland? This internship is a great opportunity to showcase your social media skills while promoting a MLB team! Interns can expect to manage and carry out marketing responsibilities as delegated including but not limited to social media, publications and customer service feedback programs in accordance with the Company’s GuestPath Universal Service Standards and applicable Operational Standards. This position is a great first step when trying to break into the professional world of athletics.
10. P&G, Ohio: Do you like the idea of working for a corporation that has so many products your job feels more like an agency than a corporate communications position? Since 1837, P&G has built a rich heritage of touching consumers’ lives with brands that make life a little better every day. They are a global company that houses locations in just about any state or country you could possibly desire working in. P&G offers several positions in public relations, marketing and branding that would be a great fit for any communications major. Check out their careers page and see if working for a global pioneer is the right fit for you.
These next couple of months are going to be full of worry and stress, but there are few things you need to remember. First, you’re more qualified than you’re giving yourself credit. Stop selling yourself short and go for your dream position! There is absolutely nothing you can’t accomplish and if you go into your internship hunt with confidence you can make your future employer believe in you.
Second, as an intern you are there to learn so don’t stress out if you don’t know how to use Photoshop or how to read HTML coding. In your cover letter and interview just be honest and showcase your passion and your desire to learn more. Future employers will value your sponge-like attitude, and will most likely take the risk to bring you on if you show them you’re open to learning new skills.
Third, ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask older students or professional mentors to help you throughout the process, because that is what they’re there for. In all honesty, you should have four to five people review your resume or cover letter before sending it out. In the past I have sent out my resume to a small army before I ever sent in one application. Having other people with fresh eyes reviewing your work definitely helps and is extremely valuable. In addition to resume help, upperclassmen can help you in preparation for your interviews if you feel like you want a little additional practice.
Finally, just relax and realize that the right company will select you. If you’re a freshman or a sophomore who doesn’t obtain their dream internship this summer, don’t worry you have plenty of time to reapply next year! If a company or agency doesn’t select you for a position then it probably means that at this moment in time you’re not the right fit. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not qualified or not good enough. It just simply means that you’re not the best fit for their company, skill expectations or culture.
Good luck with your internship hunt and may the odds be ever in your favor!