5 Reasons Why Being a PR Intern Isn’t Easy..

Every Friday, PR at Sunrise will continue to offer articles that are written by PR students..

As rewarding as your internship can be, there are some key challenges to be aware of when taking on an internship, such as:

1. Knowing your boundaries: By the time you approach your internship, you typically have mastered many basic PR skills. So what do you do when your boss spends two hours explaining something you spent an entire semester already learning, or does something that you have been taught repeatedly to be incorrect? An important understanding that you will have to come to get over the course of your internship is when to speak up to your boss and when to stay silent.

2. Coming to terms with the lack of pay: One day, as I was sitting at my desk working on an assignment, I realized, I’m making $2.50/hour to do something that in five months I’ll be doing for $35,000/year. Unfortunately, this is a challenge that you do not have any control over. Instead, you just have to accept that you need the experience in order to make the money later on.

3. Maintaining a professional relationship with the opposite sex: The company where I’m interning at now recently hired an outside agency for a project. This agency has an employee that continually made romantic advances at me to the point where I felt uncomfortable. After reporting the issue to my boss and the agency, he was reprimanded, and I was informed that I needed to monitor my behavior with male employees, as being too friendly may lead them to believe you have alternative motives.

4. Adjusting to different writing styles: One thing I’ve learned as an intern is that everyone has a different idea of how much detail should be put into a story and how it should be worded. At first, the adjustment wasn’t easy, but you will eventually gain the skills to quickly pick up on the format your boss prefers.

5. Job hunting: The thought of graduating and finally earning that college degree is thrilling … Until you begin your job hunt. Entry-level positions are few a far between, and even most entry-level postings that I’ve seen require at least 2 years of experience. All that I can say on this is to get yourself out there as much as you can, cross your fingers and good luck!

About the Author
Christina Starr is a senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter via @c_c_starr.

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7 comments on “5 Reasons Why Being a PR Intern Isn’t Easy..

  1. I’ve been in PR over 20 years and had to comment! It’s funny that non-PR folks think PR is all fun and games, but you are now an insider and know the deal. At the upper levels, its the clients that can make life tough! Re: #1,2,4,5- please know that most of this-or similar stuff-will be the case at every new job in your career, as well as some new projects. You have learned some very tough lessons and the good thing is, that experience will be very valuable. If you are highly skilled in PR, the office crapola always becomes the biggest challanges! About #3-in full-time spots, that you should not have to tolerate and most places have strict anti-harrass policies. If you work somewhere that is not supportive, and you’ve first tried being firm on your own, you could out the guy to the colleagues, or get the heck out of dodge.

  2. It’s all about learning and adjusting, in my opinion, and that’s definitely something I find myself doing every day! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. I completely agree about the writing style for different bosses. Everyone has their own technique and you have to learn how to adapt to it. Then when it comes to your time, you can roll with your own technique!

  4. Exactly. At first I thought I was just completely mistaken in what I thought was the correct way to write a feature or press release. But after noticing that one of my bosses would change something that my other boss told me to do, and vice versa, I realized everyone just has different styles. Imagine my relief! 🙂

  5. Although it sounds as simple as an apple pie for most of the people but the reality is that it isn’t and there are certain task and duties that are needed to be practice properly to achieve that. Thanks for making such a nice post.

  6. Pingback: There’s No Such Thing As Work-Life Balance for PR Interns « PR at Sunrise

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