This summer, I had the opportunity to intern and study abroad through BU Abroad’s Dublin Internship program. Dublin has a phenomenal growing start-up scene with tremendous opportunities for any aspiring public relations professional looking to gain more experience in the tech sector. As a public relations and social media intern at a children’s developmental product start-up, I was able to refine my engagement evaluation and analytics skills and cultivate mentorships with my supervisor, a self-made entrepreneur. Why do I think every PR student should intern abroad? Read on.
1. Gain an international perspective on the industry
It’s no secret that PR is a global industry. Practicing PR in a foreign country can give you good insight into what it’s like to work with professionals from all over the world. It can also give you a better idea of what aspects of public relations vary by country versus those that are a global standard. For example, the way an Irish press release is structured is very different from the way an American press release is.
2. Network with global professionals
Interning abroad gives a whole new definition to the concept of networking. Rather than limiting your professional network to just American practitioners, you now have the chance to interact with professionals from all over the globe. This is particularly helpful if you plan to specialize in corporate or political public relations where you’ll often find yourself in multinational situations.
3. Earn college credit
If you’re a public relations major at BU, you already know that you have to complete at least one four-credit internship for graduation credit. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and knock out my internship while studying abroad. I earned four credits through the BU Dublin Internship program plus another four credits for the history class I took through Dublin City University (bonus points: that class completed my minor!).
4. Discover a new country (or continent!)
Interning isn’t all work and no play. Obviously, one of the best parts of interning in a foreign country is being able to travel and explore during your off-hours. In eight weeks I travelled all over Ireland as well as Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. While I loved my internship, one of the best parts about being abroad this summer was exploring outside of the office and classroom.
5. Diversify your resume
At career fairs, I’ve found it to be a great talking point to discuss with potential employers that my most recent professional experience was interning for a burgeoning start-up in Dublin. I’m interested in working in a technology or corporate setting, so employers immediately recognize the value of my experience in such a competitive start-up city. Having this foreign experience really helps my resume stand out too!
Written by Dana Finley