This guest post is written by our star intern Isobel Loschiavo, who has been interning with us for the last five weeks.
When I was asked to write a post for the Encoder blog a million ideas were rushing through my mind. I could talk about Twitter, the Fairfax crisis or I could talk about Twitter AND television (a combination of my two favourite past times). But then I got thinking I am a 21 year old Melbourne student sitting in Sydney writing a blog post for a major PR consultancy.
A month ago I didn’t have any intentions on completing an internship during my university break let alone in another state. Fast forward 30 days and here I am, staring out the window at a view of the Sydney CBD.
Studying PR is something so many people dream of but like anything there is the reality of hard work. Last year when I began my course my lecturers emphasised the notion of applying for as many internship positions as possible.
At first I dismissed the idea; I thought “I am only first year why should I bother?” But now as I approach the half way mark of my degree I have realised everything my teachers said was true. Experience is essential for developing those skills you have only read about in your textbooks. For all those out there who thought like I did, this is why internships are essential.
1. Interning in different fields of PR can help you decide which area of PR you would like to pursue. An internship in Corporate PR might make you realise you’re bored out of your brains, but you might love Brands PR. Likewise, you might find PR isn’t for you at all.
2. Internships give you the opportunity to fine tune your PR skills. You might have read about how important it is to keep up with the news, but have you ever had to trawl Lexis Nexis and condense every bit of your client’s coverage into a table, clippings and all? Keeping up with the news is more than just reading 140 characters on Twitter.
3. Ultimately, networking is the key. It’s who you know. Not just in the PR world but with journalists, a range of suppliers, clients and the list goes on. You never know who you might need to call on in the future. Oh and it might just boost your LinkedIn connection number too!
4. One of the most important things about an internship is the real world experience you gain. As you apply for jobs in the industry the truth is that your new employer wants to see what real world PR experience you have. If you can show that you have paid your dues a potential boss is likely to be quite impressed.
With only one week of my internship left I cannot describe how invaluable it has been for me to see firsthand how the PR world works. I highly recommend students apply for any internship they can. Paid or unpaid it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day the experience you gain is priceless.