By Irma Gomez
The Department of Communication held a Q&A with Lauren Russ, Owner of Connect Communications and adjunct faculty in IMC, Laura Janota, Director of Public Relations for Roosevelt, Alex de Miranda, a graduate student in IMC, Lena Guerrero, a recent undergrad graduate in IMC and Associate Professor of Journalism, Linda Jones.
“If you’re thinking about an internship for the fall, start your search now,” Jones said.
Each speaker was chosen because they’ve had experience with getting internships in their field.
“I went a whole semester where I did not get an internship, even though I was signed up for the class. I needed a new way of approaching the search for an internship, so I went to the company that I work for and asked them if I could intern for them,” Guerrero said.
Although it may not be not ideal for students to get an internship at their current job, Guerrero found a clever way to bend the rules.
“I had two desks. One I was working part time a software developer, and was also their marketing intern,” Guerrera said. “It got confusing and overwhelming at first because I had two teams coming to me asking me for things, so having two desks made it much easier. That way when I was in my software developing desk that’s all I would work in and all others could ask me about, and when I was at the marketing desk then all my work consisted around marketing.”
Professor Jones said that attending internship fairs are often more helpful than applying for internships online.
“The fear that many students have at fairs is that they will not get a response back. However, I think this fear comes from applying through websites like Internships.com where thousands of students are applying for the same position,” Jones said. “Fairs are different and we encourage students to attend because that’s a great way to have a face to a resume, and not to fear asking questions and approaching the company reps.”
Miranda agreed with Jones’ comment, and suggested students to not be afraid to ask for an internship.
“I got my internship in a company that is based in Minneapolis, and I simply reached out to the CEO through LinkedIn and asked them if they had any internships,” Miranda said. “To my luck they did and they flew me out to Minneapolis for the interview and onboarding process, and now most of my work consists of information strategy which consists of working for them remotely.”
Russ explicitly stated that she looks for interns that are professionally mature, can stick to deadlines and have a good reputation with professors.
“I hire students who will follow up with the work, who don’t make constant excuses for why they can’t show up or can’t meet a deadline,” Russ said. “I look for students who are evidently passionate about the industry and want to know whether or not it’s a fit for them. I also encourage students to ask questions, but to also take initiative because there is a balance of too many questions and not an independent worker.”