There’s No Such Thing As Work-Life Balance for PR Interns

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

As those of us who have interned already know, in the world of a PR student, you’re lucky if you find a paying internship. As you get further into your college years, you’re also lucky if your parents still provide for you financially.

Although I know a fair share of people who are granted a generous amount of financial support from their parents, I also know many, myself included, who require their own way to make ends meet when it comes to money.

While my mother has been more than generous in paying for my overall essentials for living, I need to be able to provide myself with clothes, food, utilities, etc. when I begin my semester away at school in the fall. As such, I have to have an additional job to my summer internship.

My summer internship hours are from Mon-Thurs 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I work as a waitress every Friday and Saturday, and usually an extra day or two during the week. Some days I leave my internship at 4:30 and go straight to the restaurant, where I work from 5-10 p.m., then get up at 6:15 the next morning to intern all over again.

I find relief on Sundays, when both the restaurant and my internship site are closed. My responsibilities are then focused on writing my weekly article, catching up on laundry and continuing my job hunt.

There is, however, a light at the end of my tunnel. In two weeks I will (hopefully) be done waitressing for the rest of my life after five years of catering to the needs of customers. My internship will conclude in three weeks, and I will have a quick breather before beginning a new chaotic schedule when classes start.

To those out there in my shoes or preparing for a future that sounds similar to this, do not give up! Keep up your hard work and push it out, it will be worth it in the end!

What experiences have you had working a job or two simultaneously with your internship?

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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9 comments on “There’s No Such Thing As Work-Life Balance for PR Interns

  1. Christina, I detected a little bit of “I’m tired” in there. I also thought as I was reading – keep it up, you’re doing great! Hard work is the path to success. I just started my own PR biz in the DC area and if I was hiring, I would interview you in a heartbeat after reading this. I’ll be on the lookout for job opps for you. Stay focused, stay tough! It’s gonna pay off.

  2. Christina,

    I understand that you are in a very difficult position right now and the internship process can be incredibly stressful. But I read this article as a venting session for you and not as something that actually dealt with what the title of the article suggests. To simply say that there’s no such thing as a work-life balance for PR interns is a sweeping generalization that is not true for all situations.

    I guess my main point is that many people choose not to have any distinction between their personal and professional lives. I don’t think that is particularly wise or healthy. In order to stay sane, I have to have activities that aren’t related to work or you’ll drive yourself crazy.

    Best of luck,

    • Hi James –

      Perhaps Christina could’ve been slightly more positive in the article, but I think it’s great to see just how honest she was being.

      Having an internship (or any job for that matter) is hard work, but sometimes you need to push through it all because hard work really does pay off in the end. I absolutely agree that you need to get away from the work at times and get your mind off it – and I’m sure Christina has some downtime where she can relax and hangout with friends – but for interns especially, if you work your ass off and go above and beyond, more times than not you’ll be rewarded with a full-time job offer. That’s not to say that you wouldn’t get a job offer even if you do your basic responsibilities and leave at the stroke of 5 o’clock every day, but why take that chance? Either way, you need to have a work-life balance, yes, but sometimes it’s not easy to make that a reality.

      As for the title, I wrote it, not Christina. It’s designed to intrigue people to read the article. Similar to pitching a reporter, I used a subject heading that I thought would get people to click on the link.

      Appreciate the comments!



  3. I certainly recognize that finding that work-life balance is difficult. But I definitely see a lot of younger PR people who don’t seem to have any interests besides PR. I’m not implying Christina is someone like that and I definitely applaud her ability to balance two jobs and stay sane.

    But on a grander scale, I think we almost romanticize the plight of the intern who works 12 hours a day for little/no pay and is forced to work extra jobs in the meantime to make ends meet as if it’s part of some PR ritual. The fact is that lifestyle is not sustainable for most and, speaking from experience, it can wreck havoc on one’s life.

    My apologies if I came off as attacking either of you because that was not my intention.

    • No harm done, James! These conversations are exactly what I routinely hope will happen whenever a new post gets published. You make some good points and I’m curious to hear others weigh in as well.

    • I disagree James. I, too, work a crazy schedule right now and, while at times I’m exhausted, I find the stress rather rewarding. PR jobs can often involve long hours and I think it’s great to learn how to balance your life, while you’re still in school and have the opportunity to cut back on hours if you find yourself overwhelmed. College (grad school for me) is a great chance to test the waters because the crazy schedule is temporary. Knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel is a great incentive to work hard.

  4. Joel, I’d like to thank you for your words of encouragement! It really made me feel as though my hardwork is paying off and I was able to grab at least one person’s attention!

    James, I see your point, I should have mentioned that it is important to find time to do things for yourself during busy times, thank you for clarifying!

    Just a small clarification of my own: I exercise daily, which helps relieve a good deal of my stress. I also live by the motto “work when you have to, have a good time when you can.” Unfortunately, at this point I’m doing everything possible to land myself a job and begin my career path, which leaves less time for “having a good time.” I still manage to sneak nights out with my friends and spending time with my boyfriend into my schedule, as I understand the importance of doing so.

    Thanks again for pointing out this importance to other readers, and thanks for reading yourself!

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