Communication internships are unique because many students can participate in them. Many different majors allow students to gain the necessary skills for communication.
Nicole Herzog is a journalism major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a rising junior, she has completed two different communications internships. Her first communication internship was for the Office of Representative LaKeshia Myers. Then, she did another communications internship for the UW-Madison School of Computer, Data, and Information Sciences (CDIS).
Who Can be a Communications Intern
Communication roles can be filled by a variety of people. This is due to the fact that many majors teach those building block skills that are required to work in communications.
Majors who will succeed as communications interns are English, writing, journalism, graphic design, marketing, public relations, advertising, and the obvious one, communication majors. These majors are not necessarily in related fields, but they all require strong communication skills.
Communications interns should have skills in writing, researching, flexibility, and the willingness to learn about a variety of topics.
Herzog said skills for her role as a communications intern requires, “Being energetic about each topic. A lot of the stories that I write, we focus on for months… Find something exciting in human-computer interaction.”
How to Get a Communications Internship
A great place to start a communications internship search is using your university’s resources, especially within career services.
For Herzog, she got both of her internships after they were posted on the UW-Madison Journalism School job posting website. The companies that post on those job posting platforms are looking for those specific schools’ college students. Therefore, you are more likely to get hired.
Then, Scholars has many great resources for those searching for internships. Scholars’ resources can be used to find the internship programs are best for a communications-based student.
There is the Featured Companies section, where companies share more about themselves and often post links to the available internship opportunities. Then, those companies go on The Internship Show, where they speak on how to get hired at their company!
Types of Communication Internships
Communication is broad, so each internship will be more specific in the type of communication that you will do.
- Marketing communications
- Political communications
- Social Media communications
- Public relations internship
- Content marketing internship
- Copywriting internship
What Communications Interns Do
During Herzog’s political communication internships, she frequently communicated with the constituents of Rep. Myers. Usually, she would communicate the policies that were enacted in the constituents’ district. Then, Herzog prepared daily news briefs for Rep. Myers with her journalism perspective. Along with that, she completed day-to-day office tasks.
For Herzog’s UW-Madison CDIS internship, she wrote weekly feature stories To write those weekly feature stories she communicated with students and faculty about what they were currently working on and researching. She also operated the social media accounts related to their office.
Other tasks that communications interns do are general customer service, working on Adobe services, performing website management, creating marketing materials, sending out e-newsletters, and developing basic advertisement campaigns. With all internships, tasks are usually observed or guided by an entry-level employee or internship coordinator.
For communications and other fields, the duration of the internship varies. Typically, it is listed in the job description. So, the length is clear before completing an internship application. It will also be indicated if the internship is unpaid or paid. If unpaid, the internship will usually offer academic credit hours.
The typical format for an internship experience for college students is doing a full-time summer internship or a part-time internship during the school year.
Benefits of a Communications Internship
The main benefit of a communications internship is the hands-on work experience, professional development, and networking.
For Herzog, she ended up getting her university communications role from networking as a political communications internship.
She shared her benefits from the communication internship. For communications internships, there is a collaborative element. Herzog collaborated with others in the journalism and communications field such as PR, social media, reporting, and marketing.