By Camille Fleming
Penn State University, Class of 2024
My lifelong passion has been writing, and as a college student, I developed an intense interest in the field of public relations and communications. While I was still unsure about my career path, I learned that the career fair at my university was approaching. I wanted to determine if this was really something I wanted to do, so I decided it was time to seek out my first internship, following the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Research
Before heading to the career fair, I knew I had to prepare. I researched all of the companies attending the career fair that was related to my major and stumbled upon the Communication Solutions Group. I read a summary of what they’re about but more importantly, the work of the prior interns and their thoughts about their time at the company. I concluded that I would try to network with Communication Solutions and make a good first impression at the very least.
Step 2: Preparation
Given that I had no prior experience in this area of work, I had a few doubts. I figured an alternative was showing the interviewees writing samples, videos, and flyers I had made for my club at my university as well as some essays I wrote for various classes. However, I was aware that I needed to stand out from all the college students they would meet that day. I developed a website and an Instagram page dedicated to all of my work instead of printing out all of my samples. Therefore, they were able to find endless pieces of my work and view them at their leisure. I believed that it would be a great way to gain exposure while demonstrating my social media graphic design and writing skills.
Step 3: Resume
The most important item I had to work on was my resume. I wanted to display a brief overview of my background, and successes in any extracurricular activities and academic pursuits. I made sure to get everything revised multiple times before going to the career fair, checking that it was in the best shape. I put my contact information and a handful of references on my resume if they wanted to move further with the process.
Step 4: Career Fair
The career fair finally arrived and I searched specifically for Communication Solutions. I arrived with several copies of my resume, a website link with all my samples, and a confident smile hoping for the best. I was absolutely sold after having a brief conversation with Kellie and Jess and learning more about their company. I handed them my resume and contact information, and crossed my fingers hoping for the best.
Step 5: Interview
After several days, I received a call to start the interview process. I had the university’s career development staff help me prepare by doing plenty of mock interviews to try to perfect my answers. I wanted to appear eager yet authentic and determined to be the best candidate I could be. Once the interview day finally came, I was extremely nervous, but as we got into the discussion, I started to feel more comfortable. I tried my best to articulate my thoughts clearly, while still trying to be authentic and sincere in my answers. Once the interview ended, I handed them a physical copy of about five references they could contact.
About a week later, after Communication Solutions contacted my references, I received another call that informed me of being chosen for the fall internship position! I was thrilled they gave me an opportunity to work with them and was anxious to learn more about the public relations industry.
Final Tips and Takeaways
In summation, if you’re seeking an internship at the Communication Solutions Group or another public relations firm, these steps may be helpful to you. It is essential that you at minimum have an updated resume, a selection of samples, and strong communication skills to offer to any employer. Another crucial component is attending career fairs because they offer a great opportunity to interact directly with potential employers. Every day at the Communication Solution Group, I acquire new concepts and improve my skills. With every correction, revision, and even conversation, I get a chance to develop my journalistic capabilities, becoming a stronger writer than the previous day. Follow these steps to secure your internship here at Communication Solutions. You won’t regret it!