School of Communication & Journalism

Student Internship Comments

Here’s what past students had to say about the internship experience...

"I thoroughly enjoyed my internship this summer and now have very valuable experience under my belt. I know this will help when looking for jobs and needing references. I was dreading it in the beginning, but now I am so happy it was required. As much as the curriculum changes, I hope that class remains constant."

"We all know that practical experience is the best, and internships give students that hands-on experience they need.  I feel that quality internships are essential to develop key skills that you can't get in a classroom.  Skills such as multitasking, communicating, learning to deal with diversity, and dealing with deadlines are different when you are working for someone else, not yourself like you do in college.  Internships are also a great way to network with people in the industry.  My boss and co-workers were great about giving me contacts and referring me to open positions in the industry."

"I learned that customer service is hard. You can not please everyone. There are people in this world that are simply difficult. I have learned that stressing over little things will not get me anywhere. I have learned to work well as a team and that without my counterparts the work would not get done. Another aspect that I learned throughout my internship is to never be afraid to ask lots of questions. By asking questions I got answers."

"I learned more than I ever expected.  I felt in the beginning that I would really have a head start being that I am a senior and have taken all my classes already but I realized that I don’t think any amount of classes will ever prepare you for all the world has to offer.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel that Auburn did a wonderful job teaching me but I feel that it is most valuable if combined with first hand work .  I feel that during my time interning my most challenging part of my work was having to share my tasks and coordinate my work with others.  I have always been kind of a perfectionist and liked to have things done my way so working with others and sharing duties was a slight change I must say.  It took me a couple of weeks to really feel comfortable allowing someone else to share my work but eventually I learned it was ok and that two heads were better than one."

"It would be beneficial to encourage students to find their internship based on their future career goals. It's not always necessary to stick to what's listed or given to us to find the perfect internship. I found my internship on my own. OPR does not usually have interns, and never posts listings on the web site. I really wanted an internship that would prepare for my chosen career path, and didn't find anything that interested me on the web site or in the e-mails that were sent out. A professional contact suggest OPR to me, and after hearing about the kinds of programs and events they put on, I knew it would be perfect for me. I contacted them to ask if they would like an intern for the summer, and after meeting with Mrs. Kent and going over my resume and internship objectives, I was ready to go!"

"As my internship draws to a close and I reflect back on all I have learned, I realize what an excellent experience this has been. I gathered much knowledge in the classroom, but a hands-on approach has been invaluable. It has served as a beneficial ending to my formal education. In my opinion, the best way to learn is by doing. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. I believe Auburn University has done a tremendous job in implementing the internship program into the communication curriculum. The Communication Department takes a laid back approach to this part of the major. At first, when I began looking for an internship, I was not sure that I liked having so much freedom in my decision, but looking back, I am appreciative of the way the department conducts the program because it caused me to seek out my own internship and set-up all the details involved. The department was helpful when I had questions, but it was good for me to oversee every aspect of my own internship and, in the end, has been advantageous. I believe this approach made the experience mirror that of an actual job search."

"I think that an internship is extremely valuable to a student. It is a small taste of the real world. It helped reinforce my knowledge of responsibility, focus, drive and ambition. I had to be responsible for people’s money, credit card authorization forms, getting to work on time, fulfilling my word and completing all of the tasks that I was assigned. I learned focus. I learned drive during really long days of events. I got tired, but didn’t give up. The only way to gain experience, and move up in the working world is to be driven, focused and to have a will to never give up. People noticed my willingness to help in any department at any time. I was not paid, and was only supposed to work 15 hours per week. I was working 40 hours a week. I was not getting any extra credit hours, or over-time pay, but that was okay. I was gaining experience which is more valuable to my future career success than any amount of money or credit hours. I was only able to gain this experience because of the requirement to complete a semester internship. It was an invaluable tool to help me figure out what I want to do."

"Open communication was one of the strongest and most apparent skills that I learned during my internship. When I first started interning, I was intimidated and nervous to ask too many questions because I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t understand or that I needed extra help with something. Luckily I got over that fear quickly because asking questions is the only way to learn what you are really supposed to be doing. I found that my boss and fellow staff members appreciated it more if I asked too many questions to make sure I really understood what it was doing and that I did it correctly. If I had not worked with such cooperative and helpful people, I probably would have been too intimidated to ask questions in my next job. Now that I know it is not bad to ask questions, I won’t have to struggle with it in my future job. Without open communication between everyone in an office, I don’t see how any work can be done."

"After interviewing at ten jobs over the past couple of weeks I was offered eight of them. I believe that entirely this was because of my background experience I learned in my internship. The internship taught me exactly all of the required skills and tasks needed to have a career in my field. I now have a job doing medical marketing. The man that hired me said that I blew him away with all of my experience and knowledge just coming out of college. He also stated that everything I learned from my internship was exactly what he was looking for in an employee. So to say the least I do believe that the internship completely met my career goals and exceeded my expectations of what great value it would bring to me."

"The major suggestion I have heard most people make for the Auburn Internship Program has been more direction with finding an internship. Really I think what students want is a list of internships to choose from. I don’t agree with this. Finding an internship was a lot like finding a real job has been. You don’t get handed a list of places to look. You have to go out and make the list. So if I had to suggest one thing NOT to do I would not make finding an internship any easier on students. It is a good experience even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time."

"After doing two internships, I thought that would be enough, but I would strongly encourage students who have the opportunity to do as many internships as possible. Even if it's only two days a week at something local, as much experience as possible is great to have once graduation approaches and it's time to apply for jobs."

"Had I set out in the working world without this experience, I think I would have gotten a very fast wakeup call, and the news probably would not have been good.  The practicality of working is not something that can be taught in a textbook.  If not for this internship, I would have probably not known a lot of simple things like people notice when you show up at work just a few minutes early or late.  The bosses do note if you are dressed in a manner that conveys a good impression of their company.  Another thing that I learned from this wonderful experience is to keep out of office politics.  Like my mother always said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  What wonderful advice when you are trying to negotiate your way around a business that is filled with different personality types and long-standing relationships and issues."

"The thing that is so scary and overwhelming about Auburn’s internship program is the freedom of it all.  It was freedom that allowed me to pick New York City, a place where I had never been, and decide to intern there.  It was freedom (and a little bit of Auburn alumni connections, apparently) that allowed me to apply for the internship at Fox.  It is this freedom that I completely feared at first, wishing it away and wanting a more structured internship program, wanting Auburn to better suit me for the endless possibilities.  But it was this fear and anxiety that eventually birthed the most valuable aspect of the internship.  I came to New York not knowing anyone, not having a place to live, and not knowing my way around, subways or no, and within a week found an apartment, figured out the subways, and met people who would eventually become my friends.  I would have to say that the most rewarding thing, overall, was not the internship itself, but rather the fact that I, someone born and raised in Alabama, can come to New York City, and eventually feel at ease in the daily dealings the city has to offer.  So while at first the loose structure of Auburn’s internship program was a cause for grief, it eventually turned out to be one of its greatest strengths, preparing me more thoroughly and completely for the “real world” than any other learning experience before." 

"There are several important things I learned through this experience. I know now that sometimes you have to shut your mouth even when you believe you're right. I have found some people are rude and not helpful (no matter how nice you are to them). Also, web design is a great thing to understand in today's corporate culture. And, I have discovered that it is very beneficial to understand how individual company decisions are made before working there. A very valuable piece of advice my supervisor gave me one day is that you should always ask about how management is constructed among companies since it varies so significantly."

"While I believe that the Department of Communication internship requirement is a very useful tool in preparing college students for life after graduation, I must admit that I feel I have not taken complete advantage of the experience.  I allowed myself to remain in my personal comfort zone.  As invaluable as this experience has been, looking back, I cannot say that there would be nothing I would change.  I have learned so much about the responsibilities of life outside of the classroom, however, I do feel that I could have learned so much more if I had only forced myself to really search for the "perfect" internship for my actual career goals." 

"As I go into the "real world" having this internship experience was good for me to start out as a professional. I learned responsibilities of working: being on time, dressing professionally, working hard, and having supervisors ect is all part of having a job. I am very aware that I will be starting out at the bottom of any company that I work for only to work myself up. I know that I am starting all over and I am looking forward to that. Having an internship only gives me more of a competitive edge because I got experience from that."

"Before I interned I wasn't excited about having to do it but after completing my
internship I realized this was probably the best thing Auburn made me do.  Being able to utilize all the skills that I was taught at Auburn in a real-life situation is the best learning experience in the world."

"This experience finally opened my eyes to the real world. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most responsible person, but I have come to realize that responsibility sets a good employee apart from an excellent employee. I am in this internship because of my lack of willingness to get up and get an internship earlier in the school year, but everything happens for a reason."

"As a whole I believe that this internship was successful in furthering my knowledge of a career in the field of marketing. While being immersed in a company 40 hours a week for two and half months, I saw the pressure of deadlines, importance of appearance, the value of being a self motivator and the joy of loving your job."

"I would like to start off by saying that I could not have asked for a better internship experience.  This was a tough, stressful job that required all of my energy and time this summer.  But all of the stress was very worth the fun that I had in this job."

"The internship is very important in my opinion.  If I could change something about my college career, it would be that I interned more than once.  Now that my internship is over I wish that I had the opportunity to try other jobs.  Interning is the best way to find out if you fit into that particular career. It also helps you learn and gain so much
experience that you would not have had without being in the work force instead of the classroom."

"Over the past few months I feel like I have gained so much experience and real world wisdom.  I feel that I now have a good idea what it is like to run your own business and what it is like to work closely with the public on a day-to-day basis.  I am so grateful for this experience in a somewhat sheltered environment.  I now feel ready to conquer the world." 

"The first few days of my experience at EMI Music Group were hectic and sweat filled as I tried to acclimate my self to the speed and intricacies of the 9 to 5 work day. Once I got into a routine and learned the jargon of the office I quickly began to enjoy my work day. The experiences that I have had this summer will be invaluable this fall as I move into another job. Experiencing full work days and all their bumps and turns is something the classroom can never replicate with lectures and exams. The hands on, often pressure filled, work that I experienced will be a great advantage to me in my next work setting. Other than a monotonous task every now and then (which is to be expected as an intern) I have only praise for my experience this summer. It is impossible to understand the value of an internship until after you have done it. Going into this summer I saw very little necessity in the internship requirement, but now that I have completed it and will be working at a real job soon I can't imagine showing up to an interview or job with out the experiences I have had this summer."

"This internship has been a valuable one in that I have learned how to work with many types of people in many types of situations.  It has taught me to not take things so personally, that business is business and it is not personal." 

"More than anything, though, I have learned through my internship the value of hard work and how to work as a team with other people. Everyone must do their part and work as a team to meet monthly and yearly goals.  Just being able to see how a business works and what really goes on beyond what you see on the surface has been an experience I can take with me.  Having this internship has been a great lesson in
how to cope with real problems and situations.  I now feel more prepared to obtain my goals and have the career I have always wanted."

"My experience at McNeely Pigott & Fox (MP&F) has been outstanding. I know that not every student is fortunate enough to obtain an internship that will provide them with as much hands-on experience as mine has, but I wish that every student could. Everything I was taught in my undergraduate classes was put into practice while at MP&F, from introductory courses such as Newspaper Fundamentals (affect, effect) to upper level classes like Writing in Public Relations (pitch memos, news releases)."

"I think the internship is a great opportunity for college students to get ready for the real world and grow up. I think if I answered this question before my internship, I would ask, why do we have to do internships at all,  aren't college classes enough? But now I know, college classes aren't enough, I got first hand experience in the "real world". Got my feet wet a little bit before I graduate college"

"I honestly thing that everyone, before being allowed to intern, should have done a year of Eagle Eye or WEGL (depending on the internship). I think that if I had had that experience and training myself then I would have learned a lot more in my internship.
One of the most important things this internship has taught me this summer is that you must enjoy what you do and you must like the people you work with on a daily basis because if you don’t, it will affect your job performance." 

"I am thrilled Auburn and my communications degree requires an internship because it allows us to have a chance to understand and adjust to life outside of college.  It gives us the opportunity to learn how to interact with other employees and gain experience in the working world.  I think Auburn University and the College of Liberal Arts has
prepared me extremely well for the work world.  After having completed this internship I now feel ready and excited to pursue my career!"

"Before I began my internship I knew that I had a good knowledge of what a public relations practitioner should know and do, but I didn't know if I could put that education to work.  I now feel that not only do I have a terrific education to support me but I now have the experience too. My portfolio went from having a few examples of made up press releases to being full of work that has been used to promote the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center and the City of Auburn's Park and Recreation Department and work that I am proud to show off."

"This summer I have been able to see just how important good communication skills are and how they impact your working relationship with others.  It really doesn't matter how much you know about a subject if you aren't able to communicate it to other people.  I also realized how important it is to find a job in a field or involving an issue that you love and how choosing the right job is one of the most important decisions you can make.  Having an internship of this nature also provided a great picture of living the "real world".  I know as a student I have become used to ten o'clock classes and very late nights, but this summer my hours had me up at six thirty every morning and in bed by eleven almost every night.  It has been a good dose of reality and of what life will be like upon graduation." 

"This experience has only gotten me more excited to continue in this field for my career.  Many times an internship is a wake-up call to students that they're in the wrong major, but it was the opposite for me.  It confirmed that I love the television news business and want to continue with it for a very long time.  Not everyone will have a great experience, but being an intern is one of the best things I've ever done!"

"In the beginning I was not excited.  Finding an internship that I actually wanted was more of a pain than I had anticipated.  Near the start of the internship I was often frustrated.  It was difficult having to learn so much new information and ways of the company, while still trying to be competent and impress those around you." 

"Interning at a small company had a lot to do with the amount I learned.  I think my level of responsibility increased due to the low number of employees.  At times this was overwhelming, but I also tried to look at it as an opportunity.  It is a really cool feeling to put a lot of effort into a project and then see it directly affect the company
in a positive way.  Being able to see your contributions and the significance of them was another perk of interning at a smaller company."

"I never realized how important experience is in the working world. Obviously in the college bubble we are warned of many things, but until we actually face them, they are just that, warnings. The work world is grueling and it is now obvious as to why it is so important to do what you love. Because even with jobs that you love there will be days when you just want to quit. Starting out in the working world is also humbling, being the "new kid", having to do all the work that no one else wants to do and having the crappy schedules. Although I know I will miss college, I am also ready to be on my own and not rely on my parents for money."

"First of all, it is common sense to show up for a job on time, I have always been taught to do so. However, saying it and actually having to do it are totally different!
Despite the temptation to sleep in, I woke up every morning and made it in plenty of time.  Secondly, though there was time to talk over the lunch break and during other
parts of the day, I realized that a job does not always have a social atmosphere (very different from campus life).  Even though I'm surrounded with people that I spend all my time with, the workplace is not necessarily the time to spill my guts over a problem I have or holler with joy over something exciting.  It is easy to be told things like that, but much better to experience it firsthand." 

Contact Information

Ric Smith

Prof. Ric Smith

School of Communication & Journalism
232 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2757
smithrw@auburn.edu

Last Updated: June 13, 2017