How to find work experience while studying
Venturing into the PR industry while studying can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. Gaining work experience is a great way to display your skills in a real world workplace environment.
To really grab an employer’s attention, you need to stand out from the competition!
Here are a few tips to help you achieve a kick-start in your professional career.
There is no doubt the skills you learn at university provide a great start for your career, however being a confident communicator will help you liaise with journalists to get your clients desired media coverage, and help you attract new business.
To put this into practice, go to as many networking events as you can. Your university will usually have regular networking events to give you the opportunity to meet and, most importantly learn from, industry professionals. Attending social events and career fairs can also help you with this.
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram can help maintain connections for future internships or employment.
Know the news
Knowing the news of the day is imperative. How can PR professionals help their clients get media coverage if they don’t know what’s making news that day? Your potential employers will expect you to know what’s on the front page of the major papers – and don’t be surprised if they quiz you on it!
Being in the habit of reading the daily newspapers and knowing what’s made the nightly news bulletins will also help you with your own studies, as you will be able to identify and write about the most newsworthy topics and craft important key messages.
Practice and perfect
The saying “practice makes perfect” rings very true when finding a PR internship. Your writing and interpersonal skills need to be excellent. One grammatical error could be detrimental in achieving your desired internship.
Ensure you edit and re-read your application and seek feedback from someone you trust, ideally in the PR industry. A fresh set of eyes is always helpful when reviewing your own work.
Build your profile and maintain a good rapport with lecturers and tutors who are often still in touch with many Public Relations professionals. Build your social media platforms, talk to industry professionals and volunteer for industry-associated events to help you stand out as the best candidate for an internship.