Beginner's Guide to Internships for Communications Majors

August 10, 2020 The Washington Center

Beginner's Guide to Internships for Communications Majors

What are my career options as a communications major? Internships can help answer this question by getting you on the ground, in the studio or into the byline. Here are some examples.

Internships within the Communications Field

Journalism: As a communications major interning at a major news outlet, you might have the opportunity of seeing a major audio/video project come to life. Claudette did just that when she interned at C-SPAN in Spring 2020 and took the lead on organizing logististics for a documentary competition. “I get to see what happens behind the scenes and get a feel for what it is like to work for a major media corporation. This not only adds to my skill sets, but it also helps me navigate other career options that I never knew were available to me. Also, it’s definitely been a highlight to have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Brian Lamb, the co-founder of C-SPAN!”

Claudette Enriquez Interned at C-SPAN in Spring 2020 and took the lead on organizing logistics for a documentary competition.
Claudette Enriquez Interned at C-SPAN in Spring 2020 and took the lead on organizing logistics for a documentary competition.

Public relations: Working at a public relations firm allows for lots of hands-on marketing and communications experience, while also exposing you to a wide variety of clients. Students with a knack for public speaking may find themselves helping craft pitches for clients, while the wordsmiths may be hard at work writing the perfect press release.

Video production: There are also opportunities for internships at video and multimedia production companies serving as a production assistant or prepping for shoots and edits. Particularly design-savvy interns may get to work first-hand on graphics and effects for clients.

Marketing firm: Interns in a marketing firm can expect a wide range of experience with clients of all shapes and sizes on a variety of projects. From pitching in on brainstorming sessions, to analyzing social media campaign performance, to producing content, interns can expect to use pre-existing skills, like writing and researching, and forge new ones. 

Interning in a Non-Traditional Communications Role

Every business, nonprofit and government agency needs someone to help tell their story. That’s  why communications students find themselves in high demand at a variety of organizations. 

Working at a company outside of the traditional communications world is a great opportunity to combine multiple interests into one internship. You could support your love of a specific cause or organization by joining their communications team as an intern. For example, nonprofits often take interns to help support marketing research projects, manage social media and plan online promotions to help get the word out about the organization. Mythea Mazzola, Fall 2019 intern at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), shares what a typical Monday looks like.

Every business, nonprofit and government agency needs someone to help tell their story. That’s  why communications students find themselves in high demand at a variety of organizations. 

Students interested in getting involved in D.C. politics may decide to intern at a government relations firm. Marcela Castillo, political communications major at Emerson College, interned at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in Fall 2019. She says “I’ve always been interested in politics and I wanted to apply what I’ve learned so far into real-life practices. Every morning of my internship, I provide my team with press releases on 15 Congressional members that we consider to be frontline 2020 candidates. These press releases are then used by our communications department for newsletters and targeted political ads.” 

This is only a small portion of what you can do with a communications major. There are tons of possibilities of where your career can take you, but starting with an internship can take you one step closer to figuring out what that career is.





About the Author

The Washington Center

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we've helped more than 60,000 young people translate their college majors into career paths. We use our scale and expertise to customize each student’s experience to be truly transformative.

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