My philosophy used to be “get as many internships as I can.” I thought this would be the pathway to landing a job after graduation. So, I spent the summer after my sophomore year in Los Angeles interning at two public relations firms. This past summer, I interned for two non-profit organizations and a small public relations firm in Philadelphia.
I used to think the more places I worked for, the more experience I would get. I will not say this is incorrect. By working in an agency setting as well as doing non-profit work this past summer, I learned about the different fields within public relations. I decided I did not like non-profit work, which I would not have been able to know without working in various fields throughout my time in college.
I enjoyed my agency experience at Skai Blue Media this past summer so much I decided to stay longer. I have come to understand that maybe staying where you are may lead to amazing opportunities as well. It is not necessary to obtain as many internships as possible. There are other pathways to being hired after graduation.
I began with typical intern tasks early in the summer, such as updating media lists, researching for our clients, and writing bi-weekly newsletters. As time progressed at my firm, however, I had amazing opportunities presented to me. I wrote an article published in City Paper. I was able to plan and manage a photo shoot for a city district. A piece I wrote was published in Uptown Magazine.
Since I decided to stay at Skai Blue Media, I have been given more responsibilities. I have been promoted to my boss’ personal assistant. I have managed several accounts, as well as written various press releases and pieces for our clients. I partly supervise new interns, and I am even getting paid now. By staying for more than the typical internship period, I have begun to understand how a business is run. I work on a project from start to finish, and I am learning about the small pieces of the business as a whole.
All this would not have been possible had I not decided to stay longer at the firm. What is the moral of this story? Do not feel pressure to obtain as many internships as possible. Staying where you are for a longer period of time is another way to gain experience. You may encounter opportunities you would not otherwise have had by jumping through internships.