Sunday, November 20, 2011

Internships: Becoming a PR professional in 105 hours

As a part of our requirements to graduate the Mohawk College Public Relations program we have to complete a  field placement. Each of us must complete 105 hours at a single organization, and as interns our duties should be directly related to the practices of Public Relations (not as a barista for the office). It sounds simple enough, but there are many steps to finding a placement that is right for you.
Being an intern is a job (even though you do not get paid for your work) you should treat it like one. Even though it is part of the program requirements, a field placement is not school. Being an adult suddenly just sneaks up on you when you decide to be an intern. It's time to mature and place your feet in some bigger (and about 4 inches taller) shoes. 
Tim Tuck, the head of the Public Relations program at Mohawk College prepares us caterpillars to become independent PR butterflies. We are taught how to handle tough situations and tasks while presenting ourselves in a professional manner.
Though our instructors guide us while in class (and through email when you are having a meltdown over a difficult assignment), finding and landing our placements is up to each student individually.
If you are thinking of taking this program, do your research now. (Google your future before you choose it!)
Begin thinking of ways to add to your portfolio outside of school assignments (write for the paper, start a blog)
Tailor your resume for the job you trying to land, and change it for every place you apply to.
Most importantly: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Which means you better start learning to walk in those bigger (taller) shoes to prevent you from falling flat on your face.

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