by Dan Nguyen
The life of a student managing academic coursework concurrently with internship projects is fulfilling. There is so much knowledge to gather in. This is particularly true for public relations students, as I have personally come to learn. I have found that PR is a dynamic profession. It changes with the way people mass communicate. This has opened up an abundance of opportunities for us students and future professionals to take.
In my experience, internships provide much more than what is described on applications. All of the internships I’ve taken on over the past year have offered tasks I didn’t see coming. None of the classes I’ve taken at CSULB have covered (extensive) graphic design, video editing or retention marketing. My coursework has only skimmed advertising via Facebook and Google Adwords. I was given those duties anyway and I took the responsibility and ran with it. This has led me to great development as a PR professional in training.
It’s not a stretch to closely associate these skills with PR. We are communicators, and we need to use all appropriate mediums of communication. We need to communicate visually because people are stopped by visuals. We need to use digital marketing tactics because our audiences are increasingly found on digital platforms. We aren’t becoming less of what we’re learning to be in class. We’re building on that.
In allusion back to the title of this post, you shape what you experience, meaning you shape what you learn. When you secure an internship, be appreciative of what is handed to you. If the majority of things you do aren’t relevant to PR, you’ve taken the wrong internship. Assuming you have the right internship, you have a canvas and all kinds of materials to work with. You can make something remarkable out of it.
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