How many PR internships?

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This past week on #PRstudchat, one of the discussion questions was about how many internships you should have/are you expected to have within PR. Note: Tweets are taken directly from #PRstudchat and given credit for.

I don’t think there is really a “right” answer to this question, but I think you need either 2-3 internships. You need however many internships you feel you need to really “see” into the PR world and you need a place where you will want to work and be comfortable.

@bitty_boop says:  [there is] no set number. You just know when a place is right.

One thing about having internships is that you could have 8 internships, but did you do anything and did you learn anything? You can do three hours a week and not do anything for a company/organization/business and count that as an internship, but is that really going to help you?

Make sure when you DO intern, you are actually doing something to benefit yourself and the place you are working for. If you never do anything, it’s not helping anyone in the long run.

What about unpaid vs. paid?

@kionsanders says: There’s nothing wrong with an unpaid internship (if you can afford it). Some major corporations don’t pay.

I agree! Even if you’re not getting paid, still take advantage of the opportunity to intern. Maybe work out an agreement with the company and intern MWF and work somewhere else Tuesday and Thursday. Make sure an unpaid internship fits into your budget and your schedule.

If you do get a paid internship, all the better! I think having a paid internship makes people more motivated sometimes, but paid/unpaid it really doesn’t matter as long as YOU get something out of the internship.

@han_ma said: Keep an open-mind to try anything new. Never limit your opportunities to learn.

Here is an interesting post, via the New York Times, titled ‘The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not’ that raises some very interesting questions… http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html

The panel members for last weeks #PRstudchat included: @SJOgborn @jesslaw @AngelaHernandez @han_ma @kionsanders @Mikinzie

Find out more about #PRstudchat by following @PRstudchat

26 thoughts on “How many PR internships?

  1. Thanks for the feature on your blog post Lauren! Truly appreciate it! Also, I thoroughly enjoy your contributions to the #PRStudChat community. Chat w/ you soon!

    – Han

  2. Great post, Lauren! The more internships, the better. As a student, I wanted to gain as much as experience as possible … so I did it! That mentality got me to where I am today.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eric Leist, Andrew Worob, Kion Sanders, Han Ma, PRWeekend and others. PRWeekend said: RT @laurenkgray: My latest blog post about how many PR internships should you have? http://ow.ly/2H4IX #blogchat #PR #smmchat #brandchat #LBSchat #4sqchat […]

  4. I believe a “few” internships are critical to the learning process. However, if you have “too many,” especially after graduating, I’m going to wonder why no one made you an offer to stay.

    I put the terms few and too many in quotes because I’m not sure exactly what those numbers are 😉 Just my two cents worth!

    1. Thanks for your input! I haven’t thought about that angle with the ‘too many’ and I think that’s an excellent point! Thanks for offering you insight! I’m not too sure there are any correct numbers either, just vague terms, like you said :]

  5. I believe a “few” internships are critical to the learning process. However, if you have “too many,” especially after graduating, I’m going to wonder why no one made you an offer to stay.
    I put the terms few and too many in quotes because I’m not sure exactly what those numbers are 😉 Just my two cents worth!

    1. Thanks for your input! I haven’t thought about that angle with the ‘too many’ and I think that’s an excellent point! Thanks for offering you insight! I’m not too sure there are any correct numbers either, just vague terms, like you said :]

  6. Tressa’s comment is spot-on. And the question about a lack of offer can come even if you’ve only had one internship, but I think it gets asked more often the more internships you have.

    I’d agree that “a few” internships are critical, but it’s also important to test out different work environments to see which you like best and where you do your best work. Agencies and in-house jobs are really different, as are traditionally-focused PR and social media positions. I’ve done some agency work and a virtual SM internship and it really helped me define my interests.

    1. I honestly couldn’t agree more! I’ve done PR for a town, hopefully getting an internship with a firm next summer and next semester I am doing an internship with a non-profit organization! Thanks for your input and reading!

  7. Tressa’s comment is spot-on. And the question about a lack of offer can come even if you’ve only had one internship, but I think it gets asked more often the more internships you have.
    I’d agree that “a few” internships are critical, but it’s also important to test out different work environments to see which you like best and where you do your best work. Agencies and in-house jobs are really different, as are traditionally-focused PR and social media positions. I’ve done some agency work and a virtual SM internship and it really helped me define my interests.

  8. I’ve had “a few” internships, and by graduation may be bordering on “a lot”. From my point of view, I would be working to earn money anyway so why not make it an internship and get some PR experience rather than just waiting tables? It has nothing to do with lack of offers, so hopefully employers will investigate the reason behind so many internships and not just assume your a poor employee!

    1. That is an excellent POV. I never thought about employers thinking why you have so many internships, I would hope they would never assume we were poor employees! We all need more experience :] Thanks for your insight!

  9. I’ve had “a few” internships, and by graduation may be bordering on “a lot”. From my point of view, I would be working to earn money anyway so why not make it an internship and get some PR experience rather than just waiting tables? It has nothing to do with lack of offers, so hopefully employers will investigate the reason behind so many internships and not just assume your a poor employee!

  10. I currently have an unpaid internship and a paying job. It works out quite well because I spend 20 hours at the beginning of the week at my internship and spend the rest of the week at my paying job. The internship I have is extremely beneficial because my boss has me working on challenging projects everyday. It seems like I’m doing the right thing according to your post.

  11. I currently have an unpaid internship and a paying job. It works out quite well because I spend 20 hours at the beginning of the week at my internship and spend the rest of the week at my paying job. The internship I have is extremely beneficial because my boss has me working on challenging projects everyday. It seems like I’m doing the right thing according to your post.

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