Why Are Internships Important?
At Belmont, internships are important. The PR program believes that internships are the best way to gain true professional experience. From the first semester, teachers encourage students to have at least three internships before they graduate, because they provide students with the opportunity to get their foot in the door and learn the field. Public relations is a competitive market, making internships and practical experience extremely important in gaining a job after graduation.
Writing samples or projects completed in internships also become great pieces to put in portfolios to show future employers. By starting early and having several internships, students can work at a variety of places and get a feel for what type of public relations they may want to go into. For example, a student may intern for a public relations agency and realize it is too fast paced and then try elsewhere. For this reason, internships are great for finding the niche within public relations that one likes best.
Not only are internships wonderful for experience and learning, they provide students with networking opportunities. These connections can lead to other internships and even future jobs. Belmont is fortunate to be closely connected to the Nashville public relations community through PRSA, and practitioners in the area are very supportive of Belmont students.
How Do I Get an Internship?
The PR faculty regularly sends out internship opportunities through email. They also post information about internships around campus making it easy to find one you are interested in and apply.
Nashville is an excellent place to gain public relations experience as there are several public relations firms and dozens of nonprofit organizations to choose from. You can also choose to intern for a newspaper or magazine if you are interested in journalism. Along with these options, you can intern for a record company if you are also interested in music business. The bottom line is that Nashville has everything from sports, event planning, music business, newspapers, television stations, corporations, agencies and nonprofit organizations of possible places you can intern. Some of these will be paid, while others will not.
Our program gives students the option to take an internship for course credit. In order to get three credit hours, the student must work 10 hours a week and submit a portfolio of work at the end of the semester.
Where Have Some of Our Students Been Interns?
Public Relations students have had internships at a variety of businesses and organizations in Nashville and across the country. They have worked for Titans Radio, the TennCare Office of the governor, MTV, Rocketown, American Cancer Society, Country Music Association, The Rage, Belmont marketing and sports communication offices, the Gospel Music Association, Katcher Vaughn & Bailey, The Girl Scouts of Cumberland Valley, and many more.