Throughout the school year, one topic seems to be on everyone's mind: internships. Professors, alumni and other students frequently mention how important it is to have a few internships under your belt before graduating. ComArtSci senior Ally Hamzey has found an internship that's giving her the experience she needs before heading out into the real world.
This summer, Hamzey is working as a public relations intern for Lansing-based PR firm Truscott Rossman. And if it weren't for ComArtSci Connect, she may never have found the internship in the first place.
"I found out about my internship through the ComArtSci career fair this spring," said Hamzey. "When I saw a table for Truscott Rossman, I ended up showing them my portfolio and leaving a resume there. Later on, an account executive reached out to me and said that they wanted to schedule an interview."
For those who have both a major and a minor, it can be difficult to try and tie the two together. Hamzey notes that this internship has helped her figure out which direction she wants to head in post-commencement.
"This internship has been a really efficient way to get a feel for what kind of sector of media I want to work in after graduation," said Hamzey. "Since I'm majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations, it kind of felt like a toss up when I thought about working for either a news or PR organization. Working for a firm where I can see what it's like to balance working for a variety of clients with different goals and messages really illuminated what PR is for me."
As with most ComArtSci students who find prestigious internships, Hamzey also points out specific classes that have given her the skills she needed to be successful at Truscott Rossman.
"ADV 325 really helped set the groundwork for me on how to write specific news releases or media advisories," said Hamzey. "JRN 300 also gave me the practice I needed to tighten up my AP Style skills, making me feel much more confident walking into this internship."
Most students understand the importance of our classes, but what about the importance of the professors themselves? It can be hard to develop a personal relationship with a professor when you're taking larger classes, but they can be helpful in guiding you in the right direction when it comes to your chosen field.
"Establishing relationships with professors can have the most long lasting impacts on your career," said Hamzey. "Professors that I have been able to create close relationships with at ComArtSci have given me different perspectives and outlooks that have helped me improve my skills across the board. I strongly recommend that you take the time to talk to your professors and get to know who they are."
And how should you go about doing this? By asking them as many questions as possible. ComArtSci professors have the experience that most students are working towards, so they'll have the answers when it comes to your specific questions.
"Ask your professors questions you might not have wanted to ask out loud in class and ask about how they got to where they are now," said Hamzey. "Ask, ask, ask!"
As a rising senior, Hamzey is full of advice when it comes to finding an internship like hers. Her main points? Apply to as many internships as you can and don't get discouraged if you don't get an offer.
"It's easy to feel disheartened if you've applied to 10 internships and only have heard back from a few, but use that as motivation to keep applying and keep improving yourself," said Hamzey. "Create a cover letter that doesn't have typos or silly errors and really allure employers to understand why you're interested and why you're the most qualified for the position."
As far as internal resources go, Hamzey understands just what ComArtSci can do when it comes to building a successful future. She advises her classmates to learn more about what the college has to offer, as it may help them in finding their dream internship.
"Take advantage of the vast array of resources available to you at ComArtSci," said Hamzey. "If I hadn't approached one particular table at our career fair, I wouldn't have the internship that I do now. Read the flyers posted on the walls through the college because you might just find an event or workshop that could be incredibly beneficial to your future career."
By Katie Kochanny