The Value of Internships

It’s a shame the summer movie season is kicking off with a ridiculous movie called The Internship that makes a mockery of a great opportunity.

Internships are meant to be a learning experience for students during their college years to help them determine if they want to pursue a career in a particular profession. For over 20 years, Danielides Communications, Inc. (DCI) has offered a formal internship program throughout the year for college credit or a stipend during the fall/winter semester, spring semester and summer. Our goal is to help educate students about public relations and communications with “hands-on” experience from drafting press releases and building media lists to attending broadcast interviews and participating in creative brainstorming sessions to launch new products or programs. 

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Aside from straight forward everyday tasks, lots of unique projects develop, especially during the summer. One year, when the Cow Parade was in the Big Apple, two of our interns were in charge of inspecting our client’s cow sculpture weekly for missing Swarovski crystals. Our client was shoe designer Stuart Weitzman. Stuart had commissioned an artist to design and decorate a 6-foot dancing cow and part of her costume was decorated with rhinestones. While the public admired they sculpture, they often picked rhinestones off the cow, so our interns were dispatched with a glue gun and box of rhinestones to replace the missing ones. How fun was that experience!

During the summer, we have the opportunity to recruit students who attend colleges and universities across the country, which makes for an interesting mix of personalities. In the fall and spring, most of our interns come from tri-state area educational institutions. As we have the chance to get to know our interns and evaluate their skills, it’s always rewarding to discover those who will be rising stars in our industry once they graduate.  We have launched, mentored (long term) and hired some of our former interns who give us a refreshing perspective on issues while learning the ropes and cultivating media contacts. 

Internships are meant to be a serious and enlightening experience, not a fool-hardy adventure like this summer’s movie.