The imPoRtance of internships

Guest blogger Katie Spoleti

Guest blogger Katie Spoleti

Public Relations Nation occasionally posts a guest blog written by a Hofstra student. Katie Spoleti is a journalism major and a senior in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University. 

Before entering my college career, the word “internship” sounded like something impressive to say to spark interest during conversations between peers and relatives. After declaring my journalism major under the School of Communication at Hofstra University, I learned quickly that having an internship meant much more than what I had originally thought it to be.

As a senior with five internships under my belt and one more to complete in the spring, I can say that my experiences have definitely helped me determine what I want to do after graduation. When you have the opportunity to work for different companies, you learn quickly what you can and can’t see yourself pursuing as a career. Internships give you the ability to take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it – putting all that you’ve retained about your field to the real test. So, while building upon your knowledge interning for diverse industries, you set yourself up to learn where your interests really lie while refining your career goals.

What truly inspired me to apply for my first internship position was a discussion led by Lauren Berger, “The Intern Queen,” which was sponsored by Hofstra’s very own PRSSA chapter in 2014. After speaking about how she landed her first internship with the Zimmerman Public Relations Agency, Berger went on to explain how her life dramatically changed after that – successfully completing 15 internships at high-profile companies like Fox, MTV and NBC during her remaining years at college. Through listening to her experiences and tips, I knew then that I wanted to maximize my time as a student and start building my resume and network in the field.

For journalism and public relations majors specifically, the Communications department calls for students to obtain three credits of an internship in order to graduate. Some would argue that this requirement is not fair for undergraduates but the majority have said that it is exactly what has helped them land their first job after college. How important do you think interning is? Could you handle being a full time student and part time intern?

7 thoughts on “The imPoRtance of internships

  1. Anwar Ahmad

    Prior to attending Hofstra, I was aware of how important internships were. I always spoke to my family about all the opportunities and benefits I would receive if I interned while in school. Most of my peers did not start interning until their junior year, while others started as soon as their second semester of sophomore year. I am currently in my first semester of Junior year and have not had an internship yet. I am guilty of waiting until the last minute because the stress of classes continue to consume all of my time. Although I am currently applying to internships with the hope of landing one in the Spring, I am realizing that gaining as much experience as possible before graduation is imperative for a PR major. The more experience one has, the more knowledge they gain about the specific field they want to get into.

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  2. Nikita Hakels

    Internships are extremely important. It gives you the opportunity to understand your abilities. Internship plays an important role during our studying period as it gives us an understanding of the practical world.

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  3. A. Murphy

    I think that requiring internships puts some students into a difficult position, especially in the graduate program (where internships are not currently required). With that being said, I have had an amazing time interning with Empire Government Strategies (empiregs.com) and have learned so much. At times, I have struggled to balance my class schedule and homework along with my on-campus job at the writing center and my work as a graduate assistant. With so much going on, I know that I haven’t always been able to give my all to anything and as a result, everything I do ends up suffering. However, I wouldn’t take back anything and I strongly encourage everyone to have an internship if possible.

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  4. ari okonofua

    I unfortunately had only one internship while in undergrad at Howard University. To this day, it still bothers me =(. So many of my peers had internships all over in such known companies but I was too busy with work and school to be able to handle an internship. Looking back, I think internships are a major key to identifying what you like and don’t like and can help inform what type of job or work you would like to one day do. Its great to be able to compare and contrast work environments – great post!

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  5. Vanessa

    Prior to attending Hofstra, I did not believe interning was of any importance. However I must say, after beginning the graduate program my views on that have changed drastically. Interning is difficult especially if you have a full time job and bills to pay, but can be quite rewarding in the long run. Personally, I’ve never had the time to do so, but after seeing how important it is to have the opportunity to apply what was learned in class in the real world, i would agree having an internship is beneficial.

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  6. Josh Solomon

    It would be extremely hard to balance your responsibilities and manage your time. It’s already hard to do being a full time student.

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