Author Archives: isabellabrody

How to Land A Summer Internship

interns_wanted

It is stressful for any student to land a summer internship, however, anybody in the public relations field realizes just how hard it is to compete against the thousands of other students who are going out for the same jobs in those big cities like Boston, New York, and Chicago. After completing an internship in New York this past summer, I now know how difficult it is to even get your foot in the door at any company. Here are three tips for landing a great summer internship in PR!

  1. Start Early! Because there is so much competition for a public relations internship, it is in anybody’s best interest to start the search early. Typically, many agencies or in house PR departments hire spring interns, so the best time to reach out for the summer would be around late December or early January. Reach out to any HR contacts during that time because they would have most likely chosen spring candidates. It never hurts to be too early!
  2. Network. After you start looking, use any contacts that you have and try to see if they can help you find a position for the summer. Definitely check in with career services and see what they have to offer as well. It would even be beneficial to ask your parents if they know anybody in the field, or even if they know somebody who knows somebody. Sometimes you would be surprised at the connections your parents or their friends have and how they can help you get an internship!
  3. Follow up. Once you network, it is key that you follow up with the people who you talked to. Always say thank you to somebody who gave you their time, and if there was a connection made, always make sure to send an email with a call to action. If given the email of a person that can help, make sure to note how you would love to speak with them about advice or potential internship opportunities. People love initiative, and this is the best way to show it.

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Internship

For many students, internships can be slow and tedious. When there aren’t any projects to work on, interns are usually asked to organize, file, or run errands. It may seem like a bore sometimes, but at every internship, especially ones in public relations, there are always ways to maximize your experience. Here are some ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your internship:

1. Sit down with your supervisor on your first day of work. This will help you out in the long run because your boss can outline what you should be doing on a daily basis. Sitting down with your supervisors allows you to get to know them better and it will make you more comfortable asking for assistance or advice. Finally, when you have this initial conversation, you can tell your boss what you want to accomplish during your internship. This way, he or she will know what kinds of projects you are interested in. I’ve found that this is the most important part of an internship because your supervisor is who you are working with for the duration of your time at the company, so it is important to understand your responsibilities and establish a healthy relationship.
2. Try and get to know other people in your department. Connections are everything, and setting up informational interviews with the people who work with you is key. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, so ask some coworkers out for coffee. In an informational interview, you can ask how people got to where they are today, how they like their job, and what advice they might have for you. If you have a strong connection with a coworker, you can contact them for any future opportunities. Besides, you get to know the people you are working with!
3. Always ask if there is anything else your supervisor wants you to work on. If you have a lull in work, there is probably something else you can be doing. Just ask your supervisor! Sometimes it can be intimidating if your boss is busy, but they love when interns take initiative. Asking for more work makes you stand out because it shows you are motivated, hardworking, and not afraid to take on more responsibility.
4. Lastly, ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. I know that sometimes this can seem a bit redundant, but it couldn’t be truer. If you want to maximize your experience at any public relations internship, you need to ask questions. Supervisors know that you are there to learn, and what better way than to observe and clarify? If you are unsure about anything or want to know more about something, just ask. Your coworkers will love you for it!

Promotion of The Academy Awards: What Can We Learn?

ellen oscarsEvery year, different groups of people from across the nation look forward to the Academy Awards. Commonly referred to as The Oscars, this award show recognizes achievements in the film industry, as well as those who have contributed to nominated works.  Although the purpose of the segment is to award exceptional works in cinema, the program has recently drawn viewers who are more interested in which celebrities attend, their outfits and who the host will be. As a result, promotion of the award show has taken a route that appeals more to those who are drawn in by these elements, focusing on celebrity personalities rather than nominees.

This year, comedian Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting. Known for her humor and good nature, DeGeneres has become a household name in homes across America. She previously hosted the Oscars in 2007, and it would appear that public reception was positive due to her second offer. In order to successfully promote The Oscars, the show needs to appeal to the expectations of viewers on all levels. One way to do this would be to hire a host already valued by those who plan to tune in. Although it has become almost tradition for some to watch each year, if the host falls short of capturing viewers’ attention, the segment may receive poor reviews which could affect the tone of next year’s show. Therefore, by bringing back successful hosts from years past, the likelihood of high viewership increases.

In order to successfully promote the show—focusing on DeGeneres as the host—the network must craft advertisements that highlight what makes her funny. Her dancing, singing and overall sense of humor are the centerpieces of each promotional clip, not nominees. In one of her videos she notes the “side effects” of watching the Oscars, which include laughter and “critiquing women in beautiful gowns.” In others, she talks about how it’s her second time hosting while flexing her comical vocal and dance abilities. Again none of these personal traits directly relate to the film industry, but it attracts viewers.

So I have two questions for you all—will you be watching the Oscars this year, and why?

Unpaid Internships: Where Do We Draw The Line?

Portrait of a female executiveMost people in college looking for an internship know that these positions are hard to secure and even harder when seeking a payment. I think that having the experience of an internship is something that cannot be overshadowed by a small stipend, though, and also think that interns should be rewarded for their work in others ways if not receiving pay. Personally, I would accept an unpaid internship, but it remains a fact that some companies may still abuse their ability to take for granted the free help that they are receiving. If an intern is performing tasks on the job that have no educational value, and are also not receiving pay, then something is not right.

A recent article on businessweek.com caught my attention. The headline read “Unpaid Intern Is Ruled Not an ‘Employee,’ Not Protected From Sexual Harassment.” Apparently, in some cases, if an intern is unpaid and does not receive remuneration, he or she is not always entitled to the same protection as company employees. This alarmed me and I got to thinking about many other experiences that I had heard about from my friends that fulfilled unpaid internships. Many unpaid interns are forced to run tedious errands and to do work that is of absolutely no value to the company or the intern’s experience. I started to think about what the boundaries between educational value and menial tasks are and if having an unpaid internship is worth crossing them.

If, in the future, I am offered an unpaid internship at a company that I think would give me a fabulous experience, I will take it. However, how will I know who would give me valuable work and who would treat me as nothing more than an assistant? Because unpaid internships are a lot easier to come by than paid ones, and a student must take advantage of any opportunity, sometimes accepting an internship that is not paid is the best route to take. If you learn lessons from an internship that hold valuable information that can be used in your job search, then that weighs out the fact that the position is unpaid. However, when an intern is only working for a company to run errands for his or her boss, or is not considered an employee, that is when I think lines have been crossed.

Although paid internships may be difficult to find, interns must realize their worth when applying to different companies. In order to get an internship in the first place, applicants must be able to stand out in the hiring process and therefore must be exceptional in many ways. If somebody is an impressive student and possesses qualities that set them apart from the rest of the pool, then he or she needs to realize that being somebody’s assistant for absolutely no money at all is not worth the hassle of fighting for such a job. I do not think that companies should be able to take advantage of interns, and although I would absolutely take an unpaid internship, I do think that a student should at least earn college credit or some kind of stipend—rules that are being enforced by many companies as a result of complaints. Just because you are working for an important brand or big company doesn’t mean you should be taken advantage of. So make sure to keep this and all other points mentioned in mind when hunting down your next internship.

The World Of Networking

Landing an internship your freshman year of college is never easy. Everyone (myself included) comes into college with the world at their fingertips and a very optimistic outlook- as they should. It comes as no surprise that when the spring semester quickly arrives and it is time to look for an internship, many students, especially communication majors, are expecting to land their first one. But at the first glance of many applications and job descriptions, students may become discouraged because companies like to see experience (obviously). This brings up the mind-numbing, century-old question all COM students end up asking themselves; “how do I get experience, if I can’t get a job?” Well, I wouldn’t be discouraged quite yet. The answer lies within the world of networking.Networking1

I remember trying to find an internship online through CareerLink. I was very optimistic, and I expected to go to New York and intern at NBC or Vogue or something (it was a long shot, I know). I was quickly brought back down to Earth when I realized that I have neither the experience nor the connections for any internship of that caliber. But instead of giving up and going back to my high school summer job, I decided to take action and start networking. I started with the people my family and friends knew, and it took off from there. I began my networking spree in March with companies throughout Massachusetts. From there, I made my connections. One person would give me the name of another and that person would then give me the email of somebody else. It was exhausting, but also exciting talking to all of these people who just wanted to help me get a summer internship.

My connections eventually led me to an internship at Riemer Communications. My mother’s friend is very close with the principal and founder of the company, Amy Riemer, and I was lucky enough to work with her directly. Amy became my mentor and taught me everything I know about public relations in the field thus far. I could not have asked for a better experience.

I remember the feeling of discouragement when looking for an internship freshman year, and although I was fortunate to land an amazing internship and take advantage of a wonderful opportunity, I owe a lot of it to my connections and to my networking skills. Not only did it help me find a summer internship, but it also taught me skills about how to talk to people I don’t know, how to conduct myself during an interview, and also how to keep in touch with people who may be able to help me in the future. These are all very valuable skills that I will be able to maintain and improve upon for the rest of my career in public relations, and I would encourage everybody to take full advantage of the world of networking.