guiding the career in public relations

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Undergrad Interns Rare at Major Agencies

December 2nd, 2009 · 3 Comments

Q.  When is the best time to apply for internships at a major agency?  I worked at a small agency in Denver last year between my sophomore and junior year, and would now like to pursue an internship at a larger firm perhaps in San Francisco, New York or Chicago.  -MS

A.  Internships run year-round at most agencies, although many create additional intern positions during the summer.  Most agencies don’t start giving serious consideration to summer intern staffing until late March and early April.  Start watching job postings at your target agencies during your winter break, but don’t expect to see many summer listings until late winter or early spring. 

You may need to reconsider your goal of landing a major agency intern position.  Paid internships are becoming rare for undergraduatess since major agencies have a wide choice of candidates among college graduates.  Internships for college graduates have become the common starting point for entry-level positions, which is a change from a few years ago when it was possible to land a full-time job right out of college.  Therefore, your competition is fierce due to the college grads who often already have three or more internships. 

Tags: Q&As

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jaclyn White // Dec 2, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Do you feel that it is impossible to land a full-time job out of college? Or should I just set my sights at a smaller company or agency? I found this information very interesting – it explains why some of the extremely capable, intelligent undergrads I know aren’t able to land many of the internships they apply for.

  • 2 Culpwrit // Dec 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Jaclyn: In the present economy, it’s almost impossible to land a full-time job right out of college. You are so right, there is an abundance of top notch talent available but too few PR jobs to absorb them. I am seeing hopeful signs of some improvement in 2010, but it will take a couple of years to absorb currently available talent. That’s why a lot of grads opt to get jobs in sales and other professions until the economic situation improves.

  • 3 Matthew Kaminsky // Dec 5, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Fantastic post. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to tour the Ketchum office in Chicago. Thanks a lot for speaking to our group as we passed your office. You and your staff gave a lot of insight into entering the PR industry. This post definately changes my goals for the next few months. Good luck on the move upstairs.

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