The Internship Experience: Locating Opportunities
By Haley Fite
Edited by Katy Randolph
The diversity of an education in communication allows students to fill many different internship roles in a variety of communication industries from public relations and marketing to sales and broadcast news. Internships provide valuable experience for all students to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquire in the classroom to the real and urgent needs in communication. The road to successfully finding, applying, interviewing and accepting an internship, however, can be difficult to navigate and, not to mention, just the tiniest bit stressful.
The first step to becoming a star intern of course is locating internship opportunities. While at times it may seem like there are no internship opportunities out there, it simply requires a little leg work to find your perfect internship experience.
A great place to begin your search is with your academic department. The Department of Communication here at the University of Cincinnati, for example, has its very own internship director and keeps an updated list on Blackboard of internship opportunities available each semester.
In addition, many universities and academic departments often put together internship and career fairs. These events have a high concentration of companies and organizations looking for students like you to fill intern and co-op positions. In the past, I have attended both the Department of Communication Internship Fair as well as the larger, university-wide Career Fair held in both the fall and spring semesters. They are invaluable opportunities not just for locating internships, but also for networking and learning to sell yourself as a communication professional.
On occasion, you may be able to find internship opportunities on more traditional job posting boards and websites. Websites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor host a wide variety of job postings for cities and companies across the nation. These websites can offer a convenient means for locating internships, but they can be difficult to navigate if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. For example, simply searching ‘communication internship’ can leave you filtering through a lot of irrelevant job posts. If you want to try this route, I highly suggest using more specific language and narrowing your search to a specific communication industry. For example, rather than searching for ‘communication internship’ you may want to try ‘public relations internship,’ ‘media internship,’ or ‘event planning internship.’
Your classmates can also act as a valuable source for information on internship programs. While we are often competing with our classmates for limited openings, these same individuals can introduce us to opportunities that may not have been the perfect fit for them but, may be for you.
Unfortunately, locating these internship opportunities is only the first step. In order to find that perfect internship we still have to apply, interview and get the job.