What I’m Wearing:
The other day I was having a crisis on whether I should go ahead and accept an internship offer at a place I was skeptical about. When I initially applied as the public relations intern, I figured it was a great deal. I would be labeled the PR Specialist of the organization, receive a $12 an hour pay – which is a lot of money to a poor college student, and be helping a good cause. However, the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t like the idea of working for the organization. I was told that my ideas should be suppressed and I would only do clerical work, and not receive any pay until the fall. After listing the pros and cons, I was still confused as to whether my decision to decline was the right one. After all, a first-year college student can’t be too picky about internship choices.
In order to make my final decision, I consulted my mentor. She gave me her professional opinion and highlighted the red flags about the internship that had been raised. Overall, her advice was probably the most helpful of all the advice I had received during my contemplation process. Which brings me to the point of this post: the importance of finding a mentor.
After a PRSSA event that my current mentor spoke at, I went up to her, asked her for her advice about what not to put on my resume. The majority of people these days often as what to put on a resume, but that answer usually varies depending on the company representative one is asking. However, what not to put on a resume is generally the same answer. Of course, she answered my question, and then asked for me to send a copy of my updated resume to her for some advice. Let me explain why this is a good thing that she asked for it:
- I was able to receive a professional’s opinion about my resume
- I was able to receive edits on the mistakes that I personally overlooked
- It was an opportunity for a potential employer one day to look at my resume
Whether the professional you are trying to converse with is actually hiring or not, just have them look at your resume. If they aren’t hiring, or usually in my case, realize that I am too young to be hired, it is a good opportunity to simply have your resume kept on file and for them to have your name in the back of their minds for future reference.
Although I have only met with my mentor in person twice this year, we e-mail frequently; whenever I need her professional advice, she responds in a prompt manner. Mentors really vary depending on the person, so it takes a few tries before you find one that is consistent. Don’t annoy someone to make them become your mentor simply because they have some “fancy” title – find someone who actually believes in you and will give you real world advice.