As a senior PR student, I’m beginning to feel the pressure of transitioning into the workforce. This pressure continues to build as I hear about the growing unemployment rates and terrible economy. The only thing that keeps my spirits up is confidence in my plans for after college.
My plan is to move from Alabama to Washington, D.C., to begin a career in public affairs. I came to realize this is my passion after spending the last two summers interning. These internships gave me the chance to see what it is like to be an employee for U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson and a federal agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Both of these internships helped me understand that bringing effective PR to politics is where I belong.
I am not the only one who found a future job interest through an internship; Molly Webb, a student at The University of Alabama, discovered her interest in fashion PR after a summer internship in New York. Webb interned for ELLE Magazine under creative director Joe Zee, most famous for her role on MTV’s show The City. She always dreamed of working for a fashion editorial.
This summer gave Webb the opportunity to see the different sides of ELLE Magazine. She was able to assist at photo shoots, blog for ELLEgirl.com and compose pieces for some of ELLE’s publications. As a photography minor, Webb’s favorite experience was working at photo shoots.
“I was able to work at many famous photography studios all around the city and meet some amazing photographers, models and stylists,” Webb said.
Emily Spicklemire, a student at Butler University, found her interest in public relations after interning for an agency called BohlsenPR.
“It had recently split from another agency, so working there was definitely an interesting experience: it was a start-up yet it still had plenty of clients,” Spicklemire said. “The office was changing everyday, and it was great to always walk in and see something different.”
Not only did interning at an agency give Spicklemire a better understanding of the public relations field in general; it also gave her an idea of what kind of career she wants after graduation.
“I’m currently interning at a marketing and advertising agency, and it’s a much different environment,” Spicklemire said. “It’s definitely helping me to learn what I like to do and what kind of office I like working in.”
Spicklemire’s favorite experience was being thrown into a completely new environment. Since BohlsenPR was Spicklemire’s first internship, she was able to learn a lot about today’s workforce.
“Obviously, there’s only so much that your classes can teach you,” said Spicklemire. “At some point you just have to get out there and learn for yourself.”
I agree with Spicklemire. As a senior, my advice to those entering the college realm is to take advantage of internships. They will help you find out how your talents and passions apply to the field.
By Libby Page