This first thing that you will need is to have a good understanding of your area of interest. Are you interested in media relations? What about government relations? Perhaps you are interested in working with an environmental organization? What about a nonprofit organization? Maybe you’d like to be at a smaller agency because you would have more opportunities for hands-on projects or a large firm where you might have greater opportunities to network? Maybe you’d like to work for a newspaper or a local radio or TV station? Perhaps you are passionate about photojournalism?
The best thing you can have is a good, professional résumé with some previous work or internship experience, ideally in the career field you would like to enter. Working with the PDXSX program manager, we’ll try to identify your two or three key areas of interest. We want to make sure the internship is as valuable to you as it is to the employer.
Once we have identified your areas of interest, using your résumé, letters of recommendation and portfolio, the PDXSX program manager will try to match you with a potential employer. If the employer thinks you’d work well with his or her organization, you will have a personal interview with them. The employer will arrange for you to come in for the interview and decide if you’d be a good match. The final decision will come down to your interview, résumé and the employer.
It is important to note that many of the internship opportunities are very competitive. In many cases you are competing against students from other colleges, other PDXSX students, recent college graduates and, sometimes, people with several years of professional experience who are looking to change their careers.
Neither the University, SOJC nor the PDXSX have exclusive rights to any internship – the competitive process for an internship is as real world as it gets, which we believe is a valuable learning tool, as well.