PR Turned HR: How my Communication Skills Landed Me an HR Internship

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.53.07 PMBy: Amy Webb

I have always been interested in the field of Communications, mainly due to my passion for communicating with others. I genuinely enjoy meeting new people and getting to know more about them. Being the “Social Butterfly” I am, I chose a specific niche within Communications to study at Wayne State: Public Relations.

Public Relations peaked my interest for several reasons:

  • It involves communicating
  • It involves building loyal relationships with your clients
  • It involves writing
  • It involves strategically planning and implementing ideas
  • It involves creating a positive image about your clients

Along with these aspects, I continue to discover more and more attributes of Public Relations that keep me eager to begin my professional career in this industry.

However, I have recently found another career pathway that has positively caught my attention. I was nearing the end of my winter semester at WSU when I realized it was probably time to find an internship that really tests my abilities. My brother, a grad student in MSU’s Human Resources program, started telling me a bit about HR and why he thought I would be a good fit for the program. He suggested I begin looking for internships in HR to experience a different professional opportunity.

One day, I decided to finally take action. I was browsing LinkedIn jobs for Communications-related internships, and I stumbled upon a digital marketing company, Search Optics. The company wasn’t hiring any interns, and their open jobs were not even remotely related to my major. I looked further into the company (mainly because I liked their logo and I saw that they were located in Ferndale), and I immediately knew I wanted to work there. I connected with the recruiter of the job postings and messaged her explaining why I thought I would be a great fit for their company. I inquired about a potential PR internship there, and also briefly mentioned my interest in HR as well. She responded within an hour and told me she would be interested in possibly creating an HR internship for me and we scheduled a phone interview that day.

Long story short, Stacey, the recruiter and now a dear friend of mine, was able to create an internship position just for me. She said she admired my tenacity and my strong ability to communicate what I was looking for and how I could benefit a company. The position started off part-time due to the summer classes I was taking, but quickly turned full-time after my classes were completed. My last day of the summer internship at Search Optics was Wednesday August 27, 2014. My coworkers gave me hugs and positive advice as I left, and my trainer (HR Coordinator) even decorated my desk with pink and white streamers and balloons to wish me a happy farewell.

Moving on, instead of boring you with more details about my personal journey, I thought I would share how PR helped with my HR internship:

  • Recruiting- I was fortunate enough to attend several job fairs with fellow HR employees at Search Optics. I loved it, not only to people-watch, but to use my energetic and approachable personality to lure job seekers to our booth.
  • Reference calls- one of my duties was to make professional reference calls for new employees. I was able to not only make good, fun conversation with the references, but also successfully attain insightful and noteworthy information about the incoming employees.
  • Company Newsletter- it was great to be able to use my writing skills to help put together our company newsletter. I wrote an article, and I contributed ideas to our newsletter committee meetings. The newsletter related to HR as well, because we made sure to include new employees in each issue and we covered updates/news with every department within the company.

There were many other tasks in between that I used my PR/Communication skills for, but overall, I think those HR responsibilities stood out as also being PR-related.

So, the advice I give to everyone, and especially those pursuing a career in PR, would be to take advantage of your strong communication skills and to try new opportunities that allow you utilize those skills.

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One response to “PR Turned HR: How my Communication Skills Landed Me an HR Internship

  1. Pingback: Elevate Your Spring Break: Simple Ways To Improve Professionally During A Semester Break | Wayne State University PRSSA·

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