One Closed Door Means It's Time to Look at the Rest of the Hallway
I chose Temple University because of several factors: location, culture, and media relevancy. However, the moment which sold me on Temple was on my tour. The woman giving the tour was a public relations major, the field I was interested in. As a sophomore, she was working part-time at an internship in Center City, which absolutely astounded me. Out of the 12 schools I applied to, Temple was the only one who encouraged students to get internships as sophomores. Most of the other schools didn’t allow students to apply for internships until their junior or senior year. Before applying to schools, I knew working at an internship as soon as possible was a major goal of mine. I figured the more experience I gained earlier on, the more prepared I’d be in the long run.
I joined the PRSSA at the beginning of my sophomore year and enjoyed every meeting we had, from the workshops led by alumni to the days we met with committees. In November, they announced several agency tours which would take place soon. Almost all the agencies had Temple alumni working there, so I was very excited to make a good impression and possibly make a few connections. The first agency we visited was a dream come true for me; it was in Center City, the building was modern, and they specialized in several areas of public relations I have interest in.
The woman giving us the tour was a Temple alumnus, so at the end of the tour I sparked a conversation with her, which ended with me giving her a copy of my resume. A month or two passed before the intern director reached out to set up an interview. This was my first interview for a public relations position so naturally I was excited. I did research on the company and their past campaigns so I’d be prepared. The fateful day came and went with ease. The interview felt more like a conversation between me and the intern director. At the end of the interview he told me I had the summer position. Holding back an ecstatic fist pump I smiled, shook his hand, and thanked him for the opportunity and his time.
Moving forward several months, I was preparing for finals when I got an email no one ever wants to receive. The intern director told me the unfortunate: an order had come from the powers above him and decided there would be no summer intern this year. Naturally, I freaked out. I called my mother to tell her what happened and receive some moral support. Once I got a better handle on my emotions, I started thinking about my options.
The next day, I talked to several professors and informed them of my situation. I asked if any of them had recommendations for any employers looking for a summer intern. Later in the day, I went to talk to the director of my department. She provided an overwhelming amount of support, both emotionally and in finding applications. I didn’t lose hope and began applying to other internships.
It didn’t take long for employers to respond and I soon interviewed with a wonderful organization for a public relations internship. About a week or so later, I received an email from another employer with the same company but in a different department. This interview went splendidly, and the company decided I’d be a better fit for the latter position.
This story goes to show employers are willing to hire younger college students, but they must take the initiative and show ambition. It showed me how many resources I have at my disposal and how many of my professors are willing to help find jobs or provide recommendations. Most of all this experience taught me not to despair in the face of adversity, but to rise to the challenge.
This blog post was written by Park Sehgal, Director of Recruitment.