By Matthew Kaiserman, Junior Account Executive

Last year, nine million millennials joined the workforce, proving the value of internships and real, hands-on experience becomes increasingly evident. As hiring managers and agency heads see hundreds if not thousands of resumes a week, it is clear that having translatable experience under your belt helps set you apart from other candidates. In the world of communications, employers are looking for their entry-level staff to hit the ground running. There are learning curves in every industry, but communicators need to be prepared to step in and contribute from day one. Practical internship experience is a way to prepare yourself for these opportunities.

Internships are also a great way to narrow down your career path and see the things that you enjoy doing and the types of jobs that may not be the best fit. Early in college, I was dead-set on becoming a political operative. I interned on a primary campaign during the 2016 Presidential Election and even spent a summer in our nation’s capital interning in the U.S. House of Representatives. While these were great experiences and certainly fond memories, they showed me that maybe I did not want a political career as much as I had anticipated. However, this work in politics did point me towards my future career path of public relations.

I enjoyed interacting with the media and the promotional aspects of politics that led me to work in communications. In college, I interned in communications for a nonprofit and two agencies which greatly prepared me for my role with Media Frenzy Global today. Through these experiences, I was able to build an in-depth portfolio of work, handle many client facing roles and learn the full media cycle from a PR perspective; from writing to pitching and analytics.

Having a variety of experiences under your belt can only set you up for success. Communicators have to be adaptable to stay on top of all trends and shifts within the industry. Having a plethora of different skills and internships can make you a more attractive candidate and prepare you for your career. Sure, I didn’t go into politics, but I learned a lot of interesting lessons I apply to my job now. From time management, communication skills to quickly becoming educated on various topics and industries, I was able to use my time working in politics to further position myself for a career in communications.

Interning in many different environments is a sure-fire way to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. You may bounce around a few industries before you find the right fit, but agencies want candidates who bring fresh perspectives to the table. Internships present an opportunity for immense growth. Most companies encourage interns to get as involved as possible, so those who take advantage of these opportunities can better position themselves for the future.