Possible to Avoid Internship?

Q.  Out of college, I landed a job through a friend of mine at an engineering firm, doing marketing. I have changed jobs since, going to another engineering firm to create their marketing efforts, however I’ve learned that this is not the field I want to be in.   How would you recommend making a career change, without having to intern at a PR firm? 

A.  Although I didn’t join the agency world until after many years in corporate PR positions, I firmly believe agencies are the best places to begin PR careers.  Young professionals and creative ideas flourish in most agencies; you get incredible hands-on experience and have fun in the process.

Although you want to bypass the internship route, you’ll find that most entry-level agency jobs are filled via the internship route.  Either you advance within the agency where you intern, or the experience at one agency lands you at another. 

A few other possibilities:

  1. Research agencies that have major engineering firms as clients.  Those agencies might be willing to forgo an internship requirement due to your relevant on-the-job experience with two engineering companies.
  2. Respond to internship postings.  Situations change rapidly within agencies and a full-time position could open, especially if you have relevant experience that meets an account staffing need. 
  3. Keep an eye open for job postings within corporations where your current experience has relevance.  Focus on larger companies since I suspect you would prefer being surrounded by other PR people.  It is lonely for young professionals to be the sole PR practitioner in any organization. 

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