After three years of battling through your degree comes the time to join another fight, the fight for employment. That’s the great thing about graduating: you’ve spent three years, sitting through lectures and seminars wondering where it’s going to get you. Well, now it’s time to apply those skills.
I’m now well practiced at writing essays which means that copy writing comes naturally: from crafting efficient and snappy tweets to writing longer form blogs such as this, the skills I’ve learnt on my degree are relevant to almost every area of my internship. But if you’re looking for a career in PR, in amongst a cohort of fresh-faced grads, how can you make sure that you stand out from the crowd?
A degree is not going to set you apart when it comes to finding a role in PR. Having interned at CommsCo alongside my final year studies, I’ve gained hands-on experience in the world of PR that I simply wouldn’t have learnt at university. When I walked into the CommsCo office as a fresh-faced summer intern in August 2017, my understanding of PR was almost wholly theoretical. But after nine months, my base of skills has become far more practical. I’ve written pitches to journalists, I’ve repurposed content for clients and I’m building expertise in running social media accounts. An internship is almost like a “try before you buy” period for working in the world of PR and, as my educational career comes to an end, the transition into the world of work seems much less daunting.
University provides the raw tools, an internship allows you to practically apply those skills and then, when it comes to a grad job, you get to develop those skills to a professional standard. An internship develops the passion as well as the skills, providing the link between what you’ve learnt at university and how it’s relevant in the real world of work. Grad jobs and internships really do go hand-in-hand, each is a stepping stone towards the career destination you’ve got your sights set on.
Graduating without direct experience simply means another few years of learning more new skills. Graduating with an internship on your CV means just getting better at skills you’re already confident with. The world of work won’t seem so scary, the tasks you’re set won’t seem so complex, and your ultimate career goal of becoming the one of best at what you do won’t seem so far off. So, don’t wait until you graduate to dip your toe into the world of work, start getting as much experience as you can as soon as you can. Summer is just around the corner and CommsCo is looking for a new intern to replace me, so what are you waiting for?