The Search for the ‘Perfect’ PR Internship

Perhaps I should start by admitting that I wanted to title this post, “Any PR Internship” other than the ‘perfect’ one.  But then I got to thinking: my education, skills and experiences make me qualified for an awesome internship, even though those may be tough to come by.  What is rewarding isn’t always easy, and what is easy usually isn’t rewarding.  Like most college students, I’m in the midst of a full on internship search, complete with countless cover letters, resume updates and yes, frustration.

When you’ve sent out your fair share of resumes with no reply, it’s easy to lose site of the light at the end of the tunnel.  I find that it’s best remain focussed, take deep breaths and ask yourself why you wanted an internship in the first place.  I tell myself I’m looking for an internship that will challenge me, one that will make me a better writer, an internship that will provide me with invaluable experiences that no textbook could ever offer and a position that will allow me to work side-by-side with the PR professionals I am aspiring to be. 

With that said, I landed an interview!  When I began my search at the end of last school year, (I really want this!) I mentally made a list of my most coveted, ‘dream internships.’  Most of these internships were at agencies, some paid and some not.  The difficult thing about trying to land an internship at an agency is that most agencies require the intern to have past agency experience.  I kept thinking to myself: how am I supposed to gain experience if I can’t even get my foot in the door?  Kind of a catch 22 isn’t it?  I have previously interned with a non-profit and am currently interning for a small business.  I feel that if I were to intern at an agency I would be taking a HUGE step in my professional career…

My interview at Agency “X” is tomorrow morning.  Today, I’ve been compiling a portfolio of work, searching for just the right outfit (which was almost as difficult as getting the interview in the first place) and trying to stay calm, cool and collected.  I have been going over potential interview questions in my head as well as conducting more research on the agency, itself.  Before I wrote this post I made a list of strengths/weaknesses (OK, I’m not perfect), what I’m looking for in an internship experience, what I’m interested in and questions I would like to ask the interviewers.  I have found that the act of physically writing things down has really calmed my nerves.  However, what remains to be seen is what kind of shape I’ll be in tomorrow morning…

In parting, here’s the lesson to be learned:  Don’t just settle for any internship, look for THE internship.  Focus on your strengths and how you can turn your weaknesses into opportunities.  Relax and enjoy the interview process-remember, it’s a chance to showcase who you are and who you want to become!

Here’s some links to sites that helped me prepare:

13 Job Interview Mistake to Avoid-http://www.worktree.com/tb/IN_mistakes.cfm

Get Creative When Looking for an Internship-http://adage.com/gennext/post?article_id=141387

13 Ways to Land your Dream Internship in Marketing, PR, and Social Media-http://www.marketingzen.com/13-ways-to-land-your-dream-internship-in-marketing-pr-and-social-media

How to Land the Internship You Want-http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/26/summer-intern-job-leadership-careers-advice_2.html

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