With the school year coming to a close, there is one thing on the mind of many college students: internships. It is common knowledge among students that experience of any kind will get you far and enhance your marketability in the job world. As internship experience is becoming increasingly vital to finding a job after graduation, finding an internship over the summer is becoming more competitive. Yet, with the internet and social media advancing, there are opportunities out there that many students overlook in terms of internships. The first step in finding one of these often overlooked internship opportunities is initiative. I can say this from experience.
Last semester, I found myself in the same situation as many other full-time students: I had too many classes and extra curricular activities to commit to a 9-5 internship. During the summer, I wanted to have an internship in the city, but like many other college students I need to make an income to have spending money in the fall. Many students think that they have to make a decision between having an internship and having a job. Since internships and jobs typically run during the same business hours, it can be hard to balance both.
Therefore, when I received an e-mail from Temple University’s PRSSA detailing a virtual social media internship, I was intrigued. I sent in my resume and had a conference call with the woman I now call my boss. She explained that she and her husband began a website, Wandering Educators, and they were looking for someone to circulate it through various social media outlets. After hearing about the responsibilities and deciding on an appropriate number of hours per week, the virtual internship seemed manageable. I was told I would be responsible for managing the Twitter account, utilizing StumbleUpon to circulate their articles and increase their friendships, and using Digg. In addition, I will now be increasing my hours to go through a Facebook training program.
Social media is one of the fastest growing areas of Public Relations, and the internship has taught me a great amount about how to utilize the internet for Public Relations purposes. In the first month of working for them, I increased their website’s traffic by 10%. This was work that could be done anywhere that I could transport my laptop.
After the first eight weeks of interning, the social media position turned into a job and I now receive a weekly salary for my work. I have found that taking initiative has paid off, and I can have the best of both worlds. I have a 9-5 summer job, and when I come home I am still able to gain experience in the Public Relations field.
I encourage all curious Public Relations students to put themselves out there! Utilize the internet and use all of the resources available to learn as much as you possibly can. My experience in social media will help me when applying for internships in the fall, and has even given me a little extra spending money for the summer. Send out your resume, keep chipping away, and realize that there are internship opportunities that can work around your schedule and possibly without even leaving your home.
This guest blog was written by Meagan Prescott.