For some people, the word intern conjures up images of filing papers, standing idly at the copy machine, or making a mad dash down to Starbucks for 15 different orders with 15 different flavors at 15 different temperatures.
But that’s not the case.
Internships provide a smooth transition into the workforce, and equip candidates with the necessary skills they’ll need to succeed in their industry. I’ve learned this valuable lesson through past experience and my current internship with communications 21. From the first moment I walked through its doors, I knew this was an agency that meant business. c21 has launched award-winning campaigns and is the recipient of more than 70 industry awards; and during my first two months as an intern, I’ve definitely grown to understand why.
c21 works with clients in a variety of industries: from The Avenue, the CIAA, and the Emory Point shopping center (I knew I was onto something when I’d spend my days shopping at Lizard Thicket), to Xytex, a tissue, cord blood and sperm bank. The leadership here are very dedicated and have helped me become an integral part of the team. I come into the office each day determined to complete client goals and meet deadlines, and I leave feeling fulfilled and confident that I’ve outperformed myself.
You may have heard people say, “I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, but I don’t have experience because I can’t get a job.” It can be a sad cycle that seems never-ending—especially for college students and recent grads.
But that’s the great thing about internships! They provide the training that candidates need to land that dream job.
I was one of those college students who would echo that mantra to anyone who would listen. However, I decided to get productive and made the decision to put myself on the path towards a brighter future. Although I started my intern journey later than some, I’ve gained corporate, international, non-profit and agency PR experience in a plethora of areas including travel and tourism, real estate, sports, retail and healthcare—in just one year.
Another concern that some students have is “working for free.” Paid internships do exist, but it’s important not to be picky. Monetary gain is an added bonus, but the hands-on experience is invaluable and can lead to greater things. Movie mogul Steven Spielberg got his start as an intern; so did Microsoft founder Bill Gates and fashion designer Betsey Johnson.
Two of c21’s account managers started out as interns, and now they’re in charge of several client accounts!
To sum it all up, if there’s one piece of advice I could give about internships, it’s this: don’t limit yourself and make sure you’re doing everything you can to improve your chances of snagging that dream job – especially during these tough times. It’s harder to find something when your resume is blank or filled with irrelevant experience. Take the internship and get the experience!
If you know any superstar internship candidates with an interest in public relations, marketing, communications or journalism, click for more information about an opportunity with c21.
Brittany Knox is the newest public relations intern here at c21. She is an alumna of Georgia State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications. When she’s not sharpening her skills as a future PR maven, Brittany enjoys traveling, dancing, and dining around Atlanta.