landing a great internship

internship-1

Finding a great internship is often difficult. Over the years I have received countless emails notifying all of the journalism students about incredible internship opportunities all over the United States and even some that were abroad. Attached to each email was a short, but captivating description of what the internship is about and what the intern would be expected to do. The opportunities always sounded amazing! Only one problem: there were usually only one or two openings available for these internships and the emails were being sent out to hundreds of other journalism students. I was very discouraged, especially since I wasn’t even sure how to go about applying for an internship. Opportunities kept passing me by until finally toward the end of my junior year I was able to obtain a great internship with the University of Oregon Public Relations department where I monitored social media coverage on the Eugene 08 Olympic Trials. So how was I able to finally get an internship? With a great cover letter!

A well-written cover letter is key for landing any internship or job. An excellent cover letter should always be short and to the point. You need to remember that the hiring manager is probably reading a handful of cover letters each day, so you will want to write your cover letter in such a way that makes it stand out from all the others. What do you have to offer this company? Why would you be a good asset to this company?  In the first paragraph you should tell the hiring manager who you are and how you heard about the opening. In the second paragraph tell the hiring manager why you are interested in this particular job opportunity and why they should hire you- what do you have to offer this company? The last paragraph is the easiest. You will  let the person know that you will contact them in 5 or so days to ensure receipt of the materials you sent them (your resume and the cover letter) and this is where you will also include contact information. Then a sincerely and your name. Sound simple? Well actually cover letters are pretty difficult to write. They take lots of time and practice. I found this article on wikiHow about how to write an excellent cover letter and found the information very helpful. This article gives step by step instructions for composing a great cover letter, and also includes a sample cover letter and exercises to help you practice writing your cover letter.

Image from Google Images by Dreamstime

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Add comment February 4, 2009 marlafederman

be careful what you write…there’s always someone watching

leopardI am so amazed at what little privacy people allow themselves to have these days. It doesn’t take much to find out about any given person, just check facebook and you will know more about a person than you bargained for. Does anyone remember when sex offenders would pose as young teens in chat rooms, and convince teens to meet up? That was really frightening. There was one case in 2002 when a 13-year-old girl, Alicia Kozakiewicz met up with a “friend” she met on the internet only to be kidnapped and held captive in a cage in his basement, where she was beaten, tortured, and raped. It seems to me that everyone has forgotten about these cases. On Facebook and Myspace people are making it far too easy for crazed maniacs to find them. People are including everything from their favorite color to their exact street address. Not to mention the thousands of pictures scattered over their page. Geez, why not just hand him your life on a silver platter?

Safety is one thing, but image is another. Many of my fellow classmates are getting ready to graduate and with that comes the long, dreaded job search. Students are going to be applying everywhere, but without a clean, professional facebook profile, many won’t even be granted an interview. If you want a shot at getting a job, you’re going to have to take off all those drunken, party pictures and refrain from those oh so popular statuses revealing those unpleasant recreational activities that college students find it so necessary to boast about. It is probably a good time to start cleaning up your profile and become aware of what you say in social mediums because you never know who’s watching.

I was reading a recent blog by David Henderson about the PR account executive/vice president, James Andrews from Ketchum. He flew to Memphis to visit FedEx, one of the agency’s biggest clients and tweeted about how terrible the city was. Little did Andrews know that someone inside FedEx was following him. That person shared the post among the top executives at the FedEx front office, and the company’s corporate communications staff. Huge mistake on Andrews part. I am blown away that even someone as high up at Andrews would not think twice about posting the comment on twitter.

This goes to show that there are eyes everywhere, and you should only post, blog and tweet information that you are willing to share with everyone.

 

Image from Google Images by National Geographic

 

Add comment February 4, 2009 marlafederman

hello and welcome to my life

My name is Marla Federman and I am a public relations major at the University of Oregon. I am finishing up my last few classes and getting ready to graduate this spring.

I am creating this blog as part of my Public Relations advanced writing class. Our class focuses on social media and how important it is, especially for public relations. We are expected to write a series of entries on any topic we choose so long as it is related to public relations.

I knew that choosing a topic would be one of the hardest parts of getting started because my interests are endless. I could write about fashion PR or music PR, sports, travel, celebrities, health, fitness…the list goes on. After hours of pondering I finally came to the conclusion that there is no way I can choose just one of my many interests to write about, so I decided to take a different approach to choosing the focus of my blog.

What kind of blog would be beneficial to public relations students or college students in general? I thought about how lost I was during my later college years when it came time to getting internships and start applying for jobs. It would have been extremely beneficial to have some help along the way with this grueling process. So I have decided to write a blog about my experiences with getting internships and the long and treacherous journey through the job search process.

I am open to opinions, so don’t hesitate to leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my blog.

Add comment January 27, 2009 marlafederman

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