Virtual internships open up new possibilities
Over the summer, The Big Think Group, based in Puerto Rico, hosted a number of virtual interns, including Margaret Millerick from the Diederich College of Communication. Read on to learn more about this exciting opportunity for both a current student and an alumnus, Bernardo Fiol-Costa.
By Bernardo Fiol-Costa
I graduated in 1993 with a major in public relations and a minor in film from the Diederich College of Communications. I am a strong believer in student internships. This is a career that you must experience hands-on the dynamics and ever changing industry. As a Marquette student, I was an intern on and off-campus, and during my summer breaks I interned as well in Puerto Rico. This experience definitely helped me and complemented what I was learning at MU.
“A can-do, positive attitude is key to success.”
At The Big Think Group we have always given internship opportunities to students. Some have become employees and even clients. They have the chance to “learn by doing.” They don’t just do menial tasks. If the intern has the capabilities and demonstrates commitment and a desire to learn, they sit in client meetings, strategize, participate at events. It is a complete experience. We also learn from them. It’s listening to a new generation filled with fresh ideas and perspectives. It is definitely a win-win.
The challenge can be lack of time or priorities from the student. This is something that we address from the get-go. We need their commitment in order to manage expectations.
I strongly advise students to participate in internships and make the best out of it. When we are hiring and evaluating resumes, we always look to see if that candidate has previous experiences as an intern, and that’s a plus. While being an intern, my advice is that the student makes him/herself available always. A can-do, positive attitude is key to success. After 25+ years in the industry, if I still have to carry tables, load trucks and mop the floor to make sure that the event starts on time, I will do it. There’s no ego in this business. And clients always see that and appreciate it. Internships are also an opportunity to see first-hand if this is NOT the career for you. It has happened, and that is perfectly fine. If you want a 9 to 5 job, a structured agenda, no surprises, no cancelled vacations or unexpected crisis, this is not for you.