June 26, 2013

Life After College: The Internship

Since graduating the word experience has been haunting me. While everyone is screaming "you need more experience!" I'm screaming, "If you hire me I would get all the experience I need!" But as we know the job market is very competitive and just a degree isn't going to cut it these days-so to compete you indeed need the experience. Interning is a great way to do that and though I didn't get a chance to do it while in school I was given the opportunity in February.
My first internship at Skirt PR (a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle public relation agency) recently came to an end and I have to say I learned a lot about the world of PR and what working a 9 to 5 would feel like. Walking into it I didn't know what to expect- the most I knew about interning was what I've seen on television and in movies. Fetching coffee, dropping everything to meet the needs of a demanding boss(Devil Wears Prada), and the stress of wanting show that you would be the perfect candidate if there was an opening available. But as we all know, reality is nothing like the movies.

I was able to do what I love, write, in a whole new way and help some amazing brands get the exposure they deserved. I was surrounded by intelligent, passionate, and very fashionable women who worked hard not only individually but as a team. I've never been so excited to get up at 7am in my life. It wasn't all glamorous but it all made for a great experience.

With that said, just in case any of you are just starting an internship of your own or on the hunt for one, I wanted to offer a few tips I learned on my first interning journey.

1. Flats are your best friends (especially if you're interning in the fashion industry). It may sound very obvious but I had to learn the hard way (more than once).Learning the true meaning of running in heels (in the pouring rain) during my internship wasn't fun. You never know when you'll have to run an errand or two or five in one day. Your feet will thank you for having an extra pair around.

2. Be open to doing it all. Of course you want the opportunity to write that perfect pitch or press release but a lot more will be asked of you outside the office. Like Street marketing or (awkwardly) working out on TV, or delivering countless media kits. I learned that being open to doing those things really made me appreciate what goes into getting the brands name out there and your effort to help everyone out doesn't go unnoticed.

3.Stay in the know. I only took a few public relations classes in school so I knew I needed and wanted to learn as much as possible. I found a couple of sites/blogs that continue to help me gain insight into the PR world. PRCouture, and PRCloset are great for job leads and interviews with notable people in the industry that give great tips on what it takes to "make it".
How has life after college been for you?
If graduation is close, do you feel prepared?