As I was reading one of my favorite PR blogs, PRowl Public Relations, written by the talented staff of Temple University's first and only student-run PR firm, I came across this awesome post written by student Evan Galusha. Evan recently attended PPRA and PRSA's joint event Careers 101 and made an extremely valuable connection...one that led to an internship!
Enjoy Evan's story below. This blog post originally appeared on PRowl Public Relations' blog on April 24.
Coming into this semester, I knew I needed to find an internship for the summer. Having never had an internship, or anything resembling a “white collar” job, I found myself very apprehensive and was unsure of how to separate myself from other applicants. How could I, an inexperienced student with limited exposure to the profession of public relations, distinguish myself as a viable candidate who possessed the characteristics and personality that potential employers were seeking? After sending my resume to nearly half a dozen employers and not hearing back from one, I decided simply sending a list of what I had done did not accurately reflect the potential which existed within me. I needed to not just put my name out there, I needed to put a face to my name and make an impression based on an actual meeting.
One afternoon a friend of mine sent me an email containing the details of an upcoming PPRA networking event and suggested I attend. This is exactly what I was looking for: a chance to sit down and meet public relations professionals in the Philadelphia area. So I paid the small registration fee and when the date arrived I put on a suit for the first time in my life. At the event, I learned how to properly position myself to obtain an internship or a job, and how to make myself stand out among the masses. Upon the conclusion of the event, using the advice I had just learned, I approached several employers who had expressed a need for an intern at their place of work. Again, using the advice I had learned from the PPRA event, I followed up with those who I had met and established a relationship by beginning an email correspondence. The next thing I knew, I had an interview scheduled. I prepared myself adequately for the interview by using the suggestions of the professionals I had spoken with at the networking event and was able to provide my interviewer with practical suggestions that fit the organization’s message. Two days later, I was informed that I had received the position.
Thanks to networking, and my friend’s suggestion to attend this particular event, I now have a summer internship. Had I not gone, anxiety would have probably continued to grow as my chances to find a summer internship diminished. The lessons from the professionals at the PPRA event, along with the chance to meet prospective employers face-to-face, allowed me to display my personality beyond a simple resume and cover letter and led to my eventual hire.
Thanks to Evan for agreeing to let us re-post his story!