Guess what, guys? It’s that time of year- again! Summer internships await. Ah the sweet feeling of boosting your resume. So let’s get right to it. I’m going to focus on the beauty of going outside of your comfort zone in the job world.
So, because I’m a PR major I’m just going to harp on that a bit. Currently, I’m doing my fourth internship (technically a part-time job) at a 3D rapid prototyping/engineering firm, R&D Technologies. It’s a great marketing position, the only one in the company, and I’m granted complete creative flow. I got the position by taking a walk through the School of Engineering, Computing, and Construction Management Career Fair. I was actually snapchatting a photo of the 3D printer they had on their table when the President of the company encouraged me to send my resume for a marketing position. See how that kind of just fell in my lap? All it took was the slightest bit of interest and I got it!
Let’s face it... Public relations and communications firms have absolutely no need to come to career fairs at Roger Williams University or any other small college. While we have a great communications program, we do not have a critical mass of communications students to entice an employer to come to a career fair. Furthermore, the amount of applicants to these firms far exceeds the amount of positions available by a lot. They don’t need to go to a college campus to recruit as they have more applicants than they can handle. So, how do you stand out of the pack?
The moral of the story is this: you don’t have to go to a firm to find an internship or job. Nor do firms have to come to us at school to find an intern or to hire for a professional job. There are so many options that you should take into account when you’re on the hunt. For example, almost every company has a public relations/marketing department. Just because the company isn’t called “Blank PR,” or “Blank Communications,” does not mean that they don’t have a place for you. If you went to the Career Fair, you would have had a chance to talk to over 80 organizations about their internal communications departments.
It’s up to you to take some initiative and showcase yourself to employers that you wouldn’t typically go for. Yes, agency work is highly coveted, but that doesn’t make it the best or the only option. So, what should you do? Branch out. Step into unchartered territory. However you want to say it, it’s time to open up your eyes to to explore ALL of the employers who need PR interns and graduates. Here’s an idea: go to Career Fairs and Networking Receptions- all of them. While companies may not be recruiting for PR/marketing positions at that exact event, they obviously have contacts in the departments that hire students like us.
And if you don’t have any interest in in-house work, then it’s really up to you to take initiative and reach out to employers. The Career Center, with PRSSA, sponsors day-trips to New York City and Boston to visit PR firms and other organizations that hire communications and marketing students, because we realize the necessity of going to the firm and making contact there. This year, we’re visiting nine amazing companies who love when RWU visits and loves hiring alums, despite never having to coming to campus to recruit.
Wishing all of you the best in your searches, and I sincerely hope you step out of your comfort zone and make some new and unusual contacts!