I got my foot in the door in public relations with an internship. I graduated with a degree in communication, with an emphasis in public relations, but didn’t have any real experience yet in the field. This made it a little difficult to find a full-time job.
Lucky for me, a friend who had graduated a year ahead of me, knew of an opening in the 12 week internship program for a small but growing PR firm focused on technology, Alexander Communications. With my friend forwarding my resume for me, I got the internship. I worked hard, read everything I could, and asked questions. At the end of 12 weeks, they offered me a job, then later on I became the coordinator of the internship program, and stayed there for four years through lots of incredibly interesting clients, one acquisition (by Ogilvy), and an incredible amount of knowledge gained.
That internship gave me my start in my career. Fifteen years later, I’m still going in the same field and still in touch with many people from that first opportunity that came about because a friend told me about an internship opportunity.
In 1995, there wasn’t a central place for internship information. There was a binder in the career center at the university. Other than that, it was who you know. Not much changed over the next 15 years. Most internships were about who you know, and mostly still are. Until now. I’m working with Internships.com. They’re changing the process. Making it easier for employers, students and higher education to find and connect interns with opportunities, and help everyone make the most of it.
You can read their press release with a little more detail on BusinessWire, or just pass the name, Internships.com, on to a friend who runs a business who might benefit from an intern as part of their team, a student looking to get ahead, or a university administrator who might appreciate a little help for their students.
If I didn’t have that friend, my career might have been different. Or maybe I would have become frustrated at not being able to find an internship and done something else. Who knows?