With college seniors having just graduated, I wanted to share my post-grad experience. I was a May 2010 Public Relations graduate from the University of Maryland, and I am grateful that I interned after college.
I had my fair share of of internships and work experience throughout college, and like most of my classmates, had been applying for full-time jobs for months before graduation. A lot of our in-class discussion revolved around who had been lucky enough to have landed a job already or had been hired full-time from their internships.
I felt uneasy as graduation loomed and I still had no plan, so I decided to focus my time on getting an internship. However, many entry-level jobs call for up to 2 years of experience, and I didn’t have anything close to that on my resume. I was frustrated and didn’t even think I would get an interview based on this research. Because of this, I decided to focus on getting an internship.
I was lucky enough to apply for an internship at a small agency in Washington, D.C. that needed help with a big project – and I applied at the perfect time. I finally had a plan after graduation. Additionally, I felt qualified for the position, which made it easier to transition from student-life to work-life. I was finished my learning in the classroom (for now), and it was time to learn in the field.
The whole experience was great. Working a full-time internship is very different than the Monday, Wednesday, Sometimes-Friday plan I had been on my senior year. I was allowed to fully integrate myself into the agency. I attended bi-weekly staff meetings, contributed to client deliverables and met clients when they came to the office. I got to know my colleagues well.
As time went on, I dove deeper into media and marketing projects and was given real responsibility. I know I had proven myself and by September I was asked to come on full-time. I had made it – and had lost nothing and gained a lot of experience along the way.
So, college seniors: don’t discount an internship after graduation. Interning allows you to decide if what you’re doing is really want you want to do (Luckily, for me it was!). You’re not tied to a salary or vacation days- take a few days off and celebrate your graduation. Congrats!
About the Author
Maeve Atkins is an Account Assistant at Griffin & Company, Inc., a marketing communications agency in Washington, D.C. In 2010, Atkins earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of Maryland. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter via @maeveatkins.
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