By: Danyelle R. Carter, Spelman College
Corporate Communications & Public Relations Intern at Univision Communications Inc
THCC: How did you find out about the internship?
I found out about this internship opportunity through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
THCC: What work/project did you most enjoy in your internship?
The work I enjoyed the most was connecting with Univision’s Women Leadership Council which helps to advance women at Univision and prepare the next generation of women leaders. This employee resource group is committed to actively contributing to the professional growth and development of women at Univision with a particular focus on Mentorship, Recruitment, Development and Community Service. During this time, I created a reference sheet, PowerPoint, quotes for social media and brainstormed ways to increase engagement on social media. I also created profiles on the women by interviewing them about their leadership experiences, their sources of inspiration and what feminism means to them.
THCC: What workplace skills have you developed in your internship?
Time/task management: I often found myself in situations where multiple projects were all labeled “important.” Being able to recognize deadlines and high versus low priority tasks was extremely important.
Computer skills: Typing is a must in public relations and communications and it has to be fast because the industry is ever-changing. I often had email work, email alerts, and assignments that needed to be done and if I wasn’t checking my email I could miss an important update. It also helped to know how to navigate Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Phone communication skills: The phone rings off the hook in PR. And because I was often interviewing and relaying messages, I had to make sure I spoke eloquently, professionally and with an awareness of when I should direct a conversation to someone more capable.
An eye for detail: Many times, whether in email or communications documents, I learned to triple check for facts for article verification. When taking messages for my supervisor or colleagues, I had to write down important details such as the name, time of call and person’s contact details, and pass this information on straight away so that details are not lost or forgotten.
THCC: Why do you think most students don’t do internships?
I believe most students do not feel secure in their skills so they don’t apply because of experiences they may have had before.
THCC: What presented the biggest challenge for you in landing your internship?
I would say location, I landed 7 internships, but 6 of them did not agree to provide housing assistance. All of the other internships I was offered were in New York or California. Univision was located about 30 minutes away from where I live in Miami.
THCC: What advice can you share with students who believe they don’t need to do internships?
You do need an internship because there are things that the classroom won’t teach you. For example, dealing with difficult colleagues, working to the beat of a fast-paced industry and what it means to be held accountable. When you’re in college, people are more compassionate about you honing your skills, but in the “real-world” it’s not that easy.
THCC: How do you believe your internship is relevant to your future career options?
In communications and public relations, a lot of writing, quick and strategic thinking is required. My internship at Univision gave me the opportunity to really practice these skills that I had only read about in classes. This was theoretical knowledge meeting practical experiences. For example, I worked ‘Premios Juventud’ (Univision’s annual youth music awards), there were times that I had to staff bloggers, make sure press received press packets, and monitor the media room. It was a high-energy time period and if I wasn’t thinking strategically, at any moment a journalist, I could have done something that was against our media policies. Another example, would be when I had to staff Cover Girl’s bloggers who came to watch Becky G, Fifth Harmony, Pitbull and Ricky Martin perform—I had to make sure they weren’t sneaking photos or video. These are just two examples of my “real-world” experience.
We welcome students who want to share their internship stories with The HBCU Career Center. Email me at mrobin(at)thehbcucareercenter(dot)com if you want to tell us how you spent your internship semester.