Internships, Volunteer Opportunities, and Experiences

As a student who has aspirations to pursue a career in the Public Relations field, the WRLC Marketing and Public Relations Panel was truly insightful. It’s at conferences like WRLC that I realize the extent of what DECA has to offer its members.

The panel featured Accenture Communication Consultant Jonathan Block, La Jolla Playhouse Communications Specialist Deanna Chew, Rescue Social Change Group President Jeffrey Jordan, and the San Diego Padres’ Director of Marketing Nicole Smith. At the end of the panel discussion, the audience was allowed to ask the panelists questions. One of the big questions was, “How do I land an internship right after college?”

Jeffrey Jordan said not to be too concerned about finding an internship directly after college because most professional companies look for college students that they can “groom” and “potentially hire when they graduate.” Instead, he suggests that students redirect their focus to looking for volunteer opportunities right after high school.

“You might get better experience through volunteer opportunities: political ones, even volunteering for non-profits or organizations where you might have a chance to do more than they would hire you to do because you’re there for free,” said Jordan. “And you can really prove yourself and end up doing a lot of fun stuff.”

Nicole Smith took a different angle on internships.

“Internships are huge, really important, but I would broaden the category,” Smith emphasized. She says it’s not just about interning in your field, but doing the jobs that you can do now such as “working customer service at a store” or “being a waitress or waiter.” Why? Because, despite the fact that these are entry-level positions, you can learn essential skills including customer service, how to deal with the public, and how to communicate effectively. In fact, Smith said that when she looks to hire people at the San Diego Padres, she looks for people with those very basic skills.

“Don’t underestimate the value of the experiences that you can achieve right now and how those little experiences can help you build and grow into bigger ones,” concluded Smith.


Meet the Author: Victoria Cana

Want to know Victoria's secret? Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, LinkedIn. You name it, Victoria's got it. Victoria Cana is Nevada DECA's social media savvy VP of Publicity and an aspiring news anchor or PR Manager. She's passionate about public relations, journalism, and all things DECA.

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