By: Kaitlyn Baase
Last Thursday, five seniors in the Public Relations program spoke to PRSSA about their experience with internships in a panel, which was mediated by Sam Bankey.
First, let’s introduce the seniors who spoke:
-Chris Hull is a senior in the PR program who interned as a campaign manager for a Gratiot county probate judge.
-A.J. Petix had a community relations internship this summer with the Detroit Pistons. He also had an internship through the Disney College Program and has his Associates degree in Graphic Design.
-Liz Michalski created her own internship for the Pinktober event in Cass City, MI. She has also interned for Dr. Bishop. Her latest achievement was being a finalist in the PRWeek Student of the year national competition.
-Carlie Zervan interned this summer in Nashville, TN for ASCAP. She currently works as a news service assistant for Ferris.
-Avery Larson is interning for Social Media Energy, which is located in Denver, CO. She will be working at SME part-time within the next month, and will be working full-time after graduation.
These five seniors shared some incredible advice to those who are beginning their internship hunt, as well as those who have already had their share of internships. Here are some key points from the panel.
Getting an internship is about networking
One thing that was similar through most on the internships received is that they were through networking. Zervan received her internship for ASCAP through her job at Live Nation Detroit. Larson said she found her first internship through her roommate’s cousin’s roommate.
Keep up with your networks!
The key thing here is to talk to your networks about other things besides public relations. Petix said he sends out occasional emails to his networks that ask about their lives. It’s important to get to know people on a personal level.
Making a good impression during an interview is important!
“You could be absolutely terrified, but if you smile they’ll think you are confident as you can be,” Liz Michalski stated. Larson also said to be forward in the interview. Ask them what the next step is. They might not think you are interested in the position if you aren’t forward. Hull also stated to be forward and say that you are interested. Make sure to ask questions.
PR is important in many fields, especially politics!
Chris Hull stated that many in politics are willing to accept your help. “It’s massively important especially with a small election,” he said. Hull also said that winning can be more about your reputation than your experience.
Tattoos in the workplace depend mainly on the company
“I’ve never had a problem [with tattoos].” Zervan said, “I know there are strict rules at some places, but that’s not the kind of place I want to work at.” Petix added that the Disney College Program is one of those places where you must have all tattoos hidden to maintain their constant image.
Finally, the seniors closed with their own personal advice:
-“It all goes back to Bishops PREL 101 class: networking lists,” Larson said. Make your own networking list and start from there.
-“Try to explore your own personal network,” Chris Hull said.
-“Try to go into a field where you think you want to work.” Carlie Zervan said, “You might find out that you don’t like it.”
-“If you don’t find an internship, don’t be discouraged.” Michalski stated, “Make one; I did! If you do, you get the best of both worlds.”
-Petix said to get out there and meet new people. He said to ask Dr. B if you need help getting a connection in the PR industry.
Overall, the internship panel was a success. Thank you to all of the seniors who spoke at the internship panel!