Written by Casey Leach, account executive for the Portfolio Reviews team
Traditionally, earning a college degree offered the promise of a career shortly after graduation. However, by today’s standards, it is simply not enough. Luckily, internships can help students stand out among other applicants in public relations.
Internships help students build their resume and portfolio by providing opportunities to create work samples through real-world experiences. This is especially important in public relations because the field is so competitive. The public relations sequence in the School of Journalism and Communication requires seniors to participate in portfolio reviews. This helps students present their internship experience, class and other portfolio work, and prepare for post-graduation.
Portfolio reviews take place throughout the school year and include students taking Public Relations Campaigns, the capstone course of the PR sequence. The portfolio reviews allow students to have both their work and presentation style reviewed by a panel of professionals and faculty members. The panel provides encouraging feedback and yes, some constructive criticism, to each student at the end of the review.
Nowadays, most public relations employers are requiring future hires to have real-world PR experience. Luckily, PR internships could help students qualify for those positions that require past experience. Internships are also the perfect opportunity to build a network of professional contacts. You never know with whom your boss could connect you, so take advantage of this and network!
There are plenty of PR internship opportunities throughout the school year and during the summer. Here are some tips to help find an internship:
- Ask SOJC professors and advisors. Professors and advisors in the SOJC want students to succeed, so they are more than willing to help students look for internships. Professors are impressed when younger students are taking the initiative to look for internships early in their academic career. Keep in mind that professors have many connections.
- Check out the School of Journalism and Communication Career Services Internship Database. http://sojccareers.uoregon.edu The SOJC’s internship database is the perfect place to look for specific journalism internships because the website only lists internships related to SOJC majors. It’s updated frequently, so be sure to check it regularly.
- Check out the Career Center’s job and internship database. https://career.uoregon.edu The career center’s job and internship database provides a variety of jobs and internships, which is a great place to check regularly. They have an abundant amount of internships and job opportunities.
One thing to remember: There are many resources available at the SOJC to help students find internships to further their PR careers in one way or another. Take advantage of those resources because they are available to help students succeed in obtaining a job after college.
Casey Leach is an account executive on the Portfolio Reviews account. She is a junior at the University of Oregon majoring in public relations and minoring in business administration. After graduation she hopes to work for an agency in either Seattle or Portland.
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