Want an Internship? Take Initiative.

Internship Looking for an internship can be a full-time job in itself. I have spent countless hours searching for public relations and marketing internship postings, only to discover that not many were posted.

Frustrated, yet determined, I formulated a new approach: to research agencies I thought would be a good fit for me, and directly e-mail them about internships. To my delight, this proved very successful, confirming the importance of networking.

Here are three reasons to expand your internship search by directly contacting the companies you are interested in working for.

  1. You can expand your network. Even if the company you reached out to doesn’t have an opening, it is valuable to establish relationships. Start with an email and telephone call, then request a meeting – formal or informal – to make a connection. Hopefully, you will make an impression that leads to a position or a referral.
  2. Free Advice. Always ask for advice. In my experience, professionals are almost always open to sharing their career path and what they learned along the way. It can be very helpful to ask for a review of your resume, portfolio and interview. Most professionals are more than happy to share their experience and expertise, which can give you direction while also helping you to build a relationship.
  3. You may get hired. Taking the initiative to personally email, then call a company will set you apart from your competition. Your efforts may even create an opportunity where one did not exist. Personally, I was able to secure a great summer internship by taking the initiative to reach out to an agency that I targeted. Looking beyond postings turned out to be one a truly smart and rewarding decision.
Rachel Dill

Rachel is a young veteran in the marketing industry with expertise in both digital and traditional marketing. She currently leads the agency's digital services with experience supporting numerous brands, including Bruegger’s Bagels, The Container Store, JOANN Stores, Mr. Chicken, San Diego Lighting Association and more. Rachel holds certificates in HubSpot, Email Marketing, SEO/SEM, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Sprout Social and Video Advertising. She is also a member of the PRSA Cleveland board of directors and is the VP of Communications on the executive committee. Most recently she received the PRSA Rising Star Award, recognizing and honoring an outstanding professional with seven or fewer years of experience. A proud graduate of The Ohio State University, she holds a bachelor’s in strategic communication, and minors in fashion and retail studies and professional writing. Rachel is also certified in Digital Marketing Strategies Data, Automation, AI & Analytics from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management Executive Education program.