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Editor’s Note: This is the fifth entry in a series from our bloggers that offers career and internship advice to the incoming Class of 2016.

Morris+King Company, Morris+King Internhips, PR Internships, Public Relations Internships, PR FirmsI cannot believe it has already been an entire year since I began preparing to embark on the most important journey of my life – moving into my home for the next four years at High Point University. Believe me, I couldn’t have chosen a better place to call “my home away from home.”

Since my return from studying abroad in China this past May, I have been spending my days interning in New York City at one of the most successful public relations firms in the industry. I am interning as a rising sophomore, but you will soon find that it’s truly never “too early” to get ahead. So, I took advantage of an incredible opportunity, and I have been working to keep myself ahead of the curve ever since. 

You see, interning is incredibly important, at least for most fields of study, because you’ll need an abundance of hands-on, “on the job” experience in order to show your future employer that he or she is making the right decision to hire you. Again, it’s pretty uncommon for someone to intern after having only completed his or her first year of college, but not for the same reasons you’d probably expect. 

In my opinion, and in all honesty, there are very few people out there who won’t take on an intern because he or she may be too young. Rather, he or she may not be as qualified as the other candidates. Luckily, you’re all going to High Point University! I know that just sounded really corny, but it’s true… allow me to explain. Eric Melniczek is the Director of Career and Internship Services at High Point University, and he is absolutely brilliant. Together, he and I were able to draft and polish my resume, map out potential career goals, develop a plan of action to keep me on track to accomplish those goals, and lastly, we were able to develop a plan of action to obtain one of the many internships I had been looking into. I highly recommend you set up a meeting or drop by his office and introduce yourselves, because he knows exactly what he’s doing, and he will provide you with resources and advice that can help you prepare yourself for an internship.

Second, I would take advantage of every opportunity possible at High Point University, as far as clubs, events, activities and more. For example, as an aspiring public relations specialist, I made certain to get involved with High Point University’s PRSSA chapter. Additionally, I was a blogger for the freshman class and an intern for High Point University’s Marketing Intern Team. See what I mean? Although just a freshman, I made every effort possible to gain exposure, learning and working in an environment in which I one day hope to start a career. 

I think of it like this- do literally everything you can to ensure you are just as qualified as your competition. If you do everything you can, take advantage of all appropriate opportunities, and really make an effort to learn and absorb all of the experiences, you really cant go wrong. It will all be worth it in the long run! 

Until next time,

John