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Just like every other college student my summers by the pool are now replaced with computer screens, cubicles and packed lunches. Lucky for me my summer internship was much more than that. I packed my bags and spent my summer across the country interning at Preferred Public Relations, a PR firm in the heart of Las Vegas. Twelve weeks filled with changes, challenges and tons of PR.

Being an intern in a different city, state and time zone definitely took some adjusting. On a day-to-day basis I got the opportunity to work on amazing projects for a variety of our clients. Social media creation, press release writing and media monitoring were just a few things that filled my time in the office. One of the most eye-opening experiences this summer was even though I was 2,000 miles from home my job stayed the same. Clients everywhere want you to put them first, create awareness for their company and design them a specific plan to make their goals attainable. However, what was different was the networking strategy and skills I had to learn.

Because I was so far away from my MSU family (and connections), it was even more important for me to network and make a name for myself while I was there. I started by introducing myself to EVERYONE I met I wanted anyone who would listen to know my name and that I was there. Coffee dates, email introductions and unpaid work were just a few steps in this process. I also got involved with a group called “Spartans of Las Vegas,” Spartans really are everywhere and willing to help you anyway they can. They did a few volunteer events as well as a networking cocktail social where they invited young professionals to socialize with us in a relaxed setting, which lead to dozens of business cards and lots of follow up emails.

I knew within the first week I was out there that this was where I wanted to be after graduation. Since I’ve been back, I have been able to stay in contact with professional and social contacts to set up meetings and coffee dates when I visit over winter break, which will help when I make my permanent move out there in May. This summer reminded me once again how important it is to introduce yourself to everyone and build your network everywhere you go.

By: Joanna Miller

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