Author Archives: katestover3

Securing a Summer Internship

internship

As the snow finally starts to melt off the banks lining every Boston street and corner, students are itching to toss their winter jackets to the back of the closet and get ready to wrap up spring semester classes. Even though it’s too early to start returning textbooks, it is the perfect time to start pushing hard in the pursuit for a summer internship.

The three-month period off from the academic year is an excellent time to gain the professional experience your resume is lacking. With no classes to worry about and extra-curricular clubs also taking a break, you have unlimited availability during the week to commit to an internship – something impossible to come by during the fall and spring semesters.

Public relations never rests, and just because the spring semester interns are graduating or leaving their post after four months doesn’t mean social media accounts don’t need to be updated or press clips need to be collected. The work done by summer interns is usually more extensive and detailed than during the academic year because interns can be in the office for more hours during the week. If you’ve already done your research on agencies and departments looking to hire interns for the summer, make sure your check-list includes these few things:

  • Customize your cover letters! You’ve written what feels like a million cover letters already, so all you want to do is slap a different company name on the front and be done with it…don’t! A cover letter is your only chance for the internship coordinator to get a taste of who you are and your interest level. If it is filled with generic statements and lacks details about the company, they will assume you are just going through the motions and not give your application a second look.
  • Follow up! You sent in your application a few weeks ago and still haven’t heard back? Don’t be afraid to give the office a call. The worst that can happen is they tell you they already filled the position – but then you know not to wait around and now you can keep looking.
  • Use your connections! If people you know were interning during the school year, find out if their position will be open for the summer. Networking is everything, and using the BU community is a great way to get a reference or your resume put to the top of the pile.

Breaking Barriers and Making Connections: Regional Conference Recap

Attendees of the PRSSA PR Advanced: Breaking Barriers Regional Conference on Saturday, February 21st, were advised to “be as hungry as you can”, “stay consistent to be iconic”, and to not feel the pressure that “[they] are going to be the voice of some of the biggest brands in the world” by a variety of public relations, marketing, and journalism professionals.

The all-day event began with coffee and conversation at 8:00am while approximately 130 student filed into the Boston University Photonic Building. From 9:00am to 5:00pm participants heard stories from inspiring speakers, gained knowledge and advice from some of the leading professionals in the communications field today, and asked important questions to probe deeper into the relationship between public relations, marketing, and journalism. Each presentation, breakout session, and panel was unique. Here’s what some of the speakers had to say to the young public relations professionals at the PRSSA Regional Conference:

“Make your content snack-able.” – Graham Karh, Director of Social Strategy at Digial Royalty and keynote speaker at Breaking Barriers

“The two most important component of a good brand story are authenticity and great content.” – Nate Hubbell, Vice President of Technology and Analysis at FleishmanHillard

“Brand value trumps viral-ity.” – Vice President and Strategy Director at Jack Moron Worldwide on viral marketing

“The only two things you do every day more than check your smartphone is breathe and pump blood through your body.” – Tom Chirico, Vice President of Digital and Social Engagement at VH1, on social fandom and engagement

“Relationships come first when securing media placements.” – from the Integrated Marketing Communications panel

After sitting in on all of the presentations throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to attend a career fair where more than a dozen communication firms and organizations had representatives willing to talk further about their work as public relations professionals, as well as potential internship and job opportunities.

The Conference was organized and planned with the creativity and hard work of the PR Advanced committee since the beginning of the academic year. Barbara Alfonso, Regional Conference Coordinator, spearheaded the effort, and the conference would not have been possible without her incredible dedication and leadership.