Internships are many things. Awesome. Required. Important. Influential. Life-changing. Stressful. Educational. (Unfortunately, sometimes even disappointing). Most schools/PR programs require an internship to even graduate, and most companies won’t look at your resume without at least one internship, many preferring two or three.
Before I had an internship, I didn’t understand the point of having one. Don’t you just get coffee for your boss and make copies for people? Why isn’t my classroom experience enough for employers? Now that I’ve got one internship under my belt and just started on my second, my views have completely changed. I would argue that I learned more in my internship experience than all of my classroom experience combined. I also realized, employers aren’t just looking for book-smarts anymore. Having real, legitimate, impact is in demand these days. Being able to present a portfolio with evidence of a published article or a pitch YOU made and the result because of YOU is what will land you the job – not just the ability to recite the entire AP Style Guide (which, let’s be honest, no one can really do that, right?).
Another absolutely priceless outcome of an internship: a portfolio. A place to put all of that proof that you didn’t make coffee all summer. A place to brag about yourself without seeming arrogant.
So, if you’re thinking about an internship, the answer is always YES. I’m having the time of my life at Visit Indy as a communications intern and I can’t wait to see how my portfolio will pan out by December.