Student Corner

The Road to Securing a PR Internship

By Meagan Poole on March 18, 2024

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I’m at that point now in my program. That terrifying point where I’m looking for my PR internship. One of the last steps of my PR & Strategic Communications education journey at Durham College. I’ve been anticipating this – yet dreading it because it means it’s time to put my skills to the test. I know I’m not the first to experience those feelings, so I thought – why not go in-depth about PR internships, explain the benefits and what I expect, and give my tips and tricks on starting your public relations internship job search? Maybe it’ll help me feel better, and hopefully, some of you too!

PR and communications internships are an excellent opportunity for several reasons. They provide hands-on experience in the field that you can’t create in the classroom, like working on real projects, interacting with clients, and learning from professionals in the industry. Internships can allow you to build a network of contacts, which could be very helpful in future endeavours and job opportunities. They are a chance to apply everything you’ve learned from your college or university program and gain the practical skills employers seek. Simply put, it’s a stepping stone toward a successful career in the industry. 

Since I’m only at the job search point of my internship journey, I can only go off what I’ve learned from my past first days on the job. I imagine there is training about a variety of tasks and responsibilities. With what I’ve learned in school, I can imagine that part of the general job description likely includes social media monitoring, drafting press releases, media pitches, brainstorming sessions, gathering research, etc. It’s important to be eager to learn and open to new challenges. I find no matter what the job is, the more effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. So, expect the unexpected and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

While I’m still in the early stages of looking for my internship, I have some useful tips and tricks to share. 

Tip 1: Start as early as you can. You want to give yourself enough time to research and apply to internships that fit best with you and what you’re looking for. 

Tip 2: Research the company. Double-check that its offerings match your program intern requirements.

Tip 3: Network!!! Make sure you are reaching out to people you know who either have done a placement before or who work for companies that interest you. Even if the companies aren’t hiring, it’s good to have your name out there. 

Tip 4: Customize your resumé. Every job might have different qualifications, responsibilities, etc. You want to double-check that you’re personalizing it enough that your skills match what the employer seeks. 

Tip 5: Attend career fairs. These events provide opportunities to meet recruiters and professionals in person. 

Tip 6: Prepare for interviews. It’s great to show enthusiasm and showcase your skills, but this is also an opportunity to ask thoughtful questions that connect to the company/internship. 

Always remember with perseverance and a passion for PR, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect internship opportunity. Good luck, and in all honestly, wish me luck! 

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