How to manage your own Internship Journey

By Maria Clara Ribeiro

“I’m not doing enough!”

“He said he’s already done seven internships and I’m struggling to find my second.”

“She’s interning in New York City this summer and I’m stuck in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.”

“I’m never going to get hired.”

“She said she finally developed her ‘personal brand’, what does that even mean?!”

Maybe you’ve said those words or maybe you’ve heard them. In a field like Public Relations, where everyone is ambitious and the environment is competitive, it’s easy to start comparing yourself to others and questioning your own accomplishments. 

So, I’m going to tell you the same words I had to tell myself recently:

Calm down. 

Keep working hard. 

Stop stealing your own joy through comparison. 

You see, I’ve spent the last few months comparing everything I’ve accomplished with what the people around me have accomplished. I never stopped and took a minute to take note of everything I already do. As communications students, we are taught to make ourselves appear to have the most value as possible. We go around proudly telling everyone what internship we have lined up and all the clubs we are involved in on campus, but at what point did we stop valuing quality over quantity?

Are you even passionate about your internship or do you just love taking photos at the events you get to go to?

Do you really want to intern for that company or do you just want to be able to say you did?

Is this organization something you are truly willing to invest in or is it just a resume builder?

The further we get into the school year, the more people I see walking around like dimmed lights. Some of you guys are burnt out and you need to remind yourself why you fell in love with Public Relations. You can only do that by changing your perspective on your college journey.

 Networking needs to shift from, “what can this person do for me?” to “what can I do for this person?”. Conversations need to shift from bragging sessions where students are trying to one top each other, to students truly supporting each other. Most importantly, we need to stop assuming there is a golden standard for how your college career should pan out. There is no “internship magic number” and there is not one “right way” you should progress. 

This blog is not to convince you to become academically and professionally complacent, it’s to convince you to appreciate all the handwork you’ve already done and to remind you that your college journey, is just that: YOUR college journey. 

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