Why Every College Student Should Do An Internship….Or Two

If there’s one thing I always tell the college students I meet is… do an internship! I cannot stress enough the importance of why every student should complete at least one, if not several, internships while still in school. The benefits are immense, and ultimately can lead you to employment, which is how I landed my first job just two weeks after graduation.

I was of course thrilled about the offer but also thankful because as I was receiving my diploma, the Great Recession of 2008 was underway. Unemployment was on the rise and not only was it a shock to the entire work force, it was extremely difficult for the young people just starting out their careers.  

When I began putting together my business model for JMG PR, I knew an internship program was going to be a part of my company. The internships I had while in college opened up my eyes to the inner workings of PR so I knew incorporating a program would be my way of paying it forward and providing those same opportunities to another generation of students.

During my time as an intern, I had the chance to watch account executives closely, see them in action, and even do some of the “fun” work that comes along with this business. That same model is what I strive for with my interns. I believe they should know exactly what the job is like, and that includes the opportunity to be a part of the “good stuff.”

When crafting JMG’s program, I knew I wanted the interns to come into the office and feel like a part of the team from day one, and based on testimonials from past students, I think we’ve accomplished that.

Some of the responsibilities a JMG PR intern can expect to do during their time here include:

  • Writing pitches

  • Assembling press kits

  • Managing our social media

  • Conducting research

  • Assisting with events

Over the past four years we’ve helped students develop the skills they’ll need in this competitive market, and in return I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really amazing young people.

Because I feel strongly about the importance of internships I’ve put together my top 5 reasons on why doing at least one will pay off in the long-run.

  1. Laying the foundation for your future – not only does an internship make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers, it can also be the gateway to employment.

  2. Take your career for a test drive – just because you’ve always wanted to work in a particular field doesn’t always mean it’s the right fit (although you hope it will be). The great thing about an internship is it allows you to dive deeper into your chosen field and discover whether it’s what you thought it would be like. And if not, better to find out now before you commit to it on a full-time level. Plus, there’s always the chance you might discover another area in your field that is a better fit.

  3. You’ll develop skills – you may already have certain work-related skills but an internship will only help further strengthen them, which gives you a competitive edge once you enter the job market.

  4. Build not only your resume but your network – Everyone’s heard the saying - “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” All of the people you connect with during your internship become potential contacts for your network. Whether you need to call upon them for a referral, or for career advice, making and maintaining connections can create opportunities. Many companies love to hire from within or based off a referral so the larger your network, the more access you’ll have to potential opportunities.

  5. Experience – One of the key words on a job listing is usually the word “experience.” Now you might ask yourself, how do I get experience if I don’t have any? After all, your last four years have been spent studying. And that’s exactly why an internship is so important. It’s where you’ll gain that hands on knowledge employers are seeking and your chances of getting a job have just doubled because of that very reason.

A lot of great students have passed through our doors and one of the projects I like for them to do while they’re here is contribute to our “Intern Diaries.” This allows not only incoming students but prospective intern candidates the chance to learn a little bit about the JMG PR internship experience.

 Check out what our former interns are saying:

Interns at JMG PR are treated like employees which makes you get the best out of the experience and actually learn as much as I have. The trust Jenna placed on me is something I’m thankful for since it made me get out of my comfort zone and intellectually grow more. – Diana Escalona  

Despite having the title of an intern, I always felt more like a real employee of the company, which I believe really helped me with my growth throughout the past few months. As I leave JMG PR, I am sad as I will miss working with everyone there but I am happy to have had such an amazing experience and gained as much knowledge as I did. I am eager for what lies ahead and to be able to expand upon everything I have learned here at JMG! – Megan Miceli

Our program runs on a continues basis (fall, spring and summer) and we encourage students to submit their resume. If you’re looking for a front row seat to the exciting world of PR, I encourage you to connect with us.

Xo Jenna