In today’s competitive world, even graduates need to be able to hit the ground running and be able to confidently and effectively deal with anything that comes their way.
Most tertiary institutions that offer courses in public relations and communications will provide students with at least one internship opportunity, but if you are passionate about a career in PR the best thing to do is to be proactive and source your own opportunities.
What industry are you interested in?
Start by identifying the type of organisation you are interested in and even which industry sectors you would like to work with.
The more experience you have in different sectors, the easier it will be, when it comes time for looking at full time work to choose an agency or even in-house job in the industry you know you are interested in.
Each industry differs when it comes to skill. Some industries, such as consumer, are fast-paced, constantly on the go and turning over work and writing lots of media releases and sending out product. Other industries, such as business or government might include more strategy and media relations.
Choosing an agency
Once you have identified the type of role you are after it is important to do your research and identify the agencies that match your skills and interests. There is no point in approaching a fashion agency if you are interested in finance.
The size of an agency will also play a large role in the skills and experience you gain. Consultants employed at large agencies will often specialise in a particular client type and will have specific duties.
In smaller agencies there is often a need to have all hands on deck and you will be exposed to a multitude of public relations practices, from event planning to media liaison and everything in between.
Send the director or (if applicable) the HR manager of each agency a personalised email outlining why you want to intern with them and what it is about them that captured your attention. Also send with it your resume and a cover letter explaining what your professional background is i.e. tertiary education, part time work and any other experience relating to your chosen field.
If you haven’t heard anything after two days follow up with a phone call. Be prepared to answer questions and have a note pad and pen available to take notes on.
Get maximum benefit from your internship
Once you have been accepted for an internship or work experience, make the most of the opportunity. Don’t hide in the background and wait to be given work. Put your hand up for any task that you feel able to accomplish and if you take something on and need help, ask for it.
It is important to be proactive and contribute to the team. Your ideas are valid, and even though they may not be used, you will be remembered for speaking up.
A positive internship will lead to positive recommendations, which will ultimately give you the edge over your competition once you graduate. It may even lead to an offer from the company you interned with.
If you don’t feel you gained as much from an internship as you would have liked, or would like to experience a different type of environment, apply for another internship. The more experience you can gain, the better!
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.