By Marissa Mooney |A&E Editor|
Whether it is paid or unpaid, that perfect internship might set you apart and get your foot in the door with a potential employer.
This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at an Entertainment Public Relations firm in Los Angeles.
All of last spring quarter I researched internships that would fit perfectly in my career path.
I browsed through internqueen.com and anything Google could offer me.
I wanted the opportunity to “test drive” a career (Would I be happier in public relations or marketing?).
I took the initiative and interviewed with many potential Entertainment PR firms in Los Angeles.
Nothing looked promising as many of the firms I interviewed required commuting to Los Angeles five days a week.
Fortunately, my last interview was a success and flexible to my schedule.
For the whole summer I committed my time, gas and money because the internship was unpaid, working for celebrities.
I never wanted to enter an unpaid internship resulting in making the perfect coffee or getting my boss lunch. I lucked out.
Instead I had the chance to network, establish relationships with mentors, celebrities, and fellow publicists.
My internship included plenty of office work, doing press, and other media related tasks, as well as attending parties and events for clients.
I was also fortunate to attended Macy’s Glamorama concert event at The Orpheum Theatre in L.A, which the Backstreet Boys happened to attend as well.
I was able to schmooze on the red carpet with clients, attend photo shoots and fancy Hollywood parties, while learning about the hard-work of the Public Relations realm.
An internship can lead to an introduction to the field’s culture and etiquette (Are clients addressed by their first name? Are jeans appropriate for Casual Friday?)
I accumulated new skills and gained a “real world” perspective on an occupation (How much overtime do employees really work? How much time is spent behind a desk versus in the field?)
According to CNN, “graduating students with paid or unpaid internships on their resume have a much better chance at landing a full-time position upon graduation. Students are doing internships as undergraduates, and it is not unusual for recent grads to take an unpaid internship with hopes of turning it into a permanent position, networking and building their resume.”
Sometimes when searching for that perfect internship, you just hope to get lucky.
Sacrificing my summer vacation I gained a future reference on my resume and a part-time position.
When I walk across that stage during graduation in June, I will be given a full-time position in the Entertainment Public Relations field.
Interning during my undergraduate years really did pay off!