Original: Edward Drogos July 21, 2014
“I wanted to graduate from college with not only a good understanding of the field from my classes, but also a solid practical background.”
'14 Communication, Intern at the UIC Office of Sustainability, Clear Channel Communications and Shedd Aquarium
UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences alumnus Michael Queroz spent his undergraduate years interning to gain professional experience and to earn academic credit through the LAS internship course (LAS 289). "I wanted to graduate from college with not only a good understanding of the field from my classes, but also a solid practical background,” explained Queroz.
At his first internship, Michael gained social media experience. "My first internship was at the UIC Office of Sustainability," stated Michael. "My mission was to connect with students to help enhance their interest in sustainability through my tweets and blogs. My biggest project promoted our partnership with ZipCar through a contest I devised.”
Then, Michael upgraded to a public relations internship. "Next, I followed my interest in music public relations and landed an internship at Clear Channel Communications, doing promotions for all seven of their local radio stations," Michael continued. "I represented stations at various events, helped engage listeners, and worked with individual clients. My experience also gave me a solid grasp of the corporate culture.”
Finally, Michael was a public relations intern at Shedd Aquarium - one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. "Best of all my projects, Shedd provided me with a major role to plan the announcement of the gender of a newly born Rockhopper penguin," he said. "We made gender reveal-themed promotional material and invited media to the gender reveal event. The penguin chick was female, and the public helped to select a name for her, Ruggles.”
For people wanting to improve their chances of finding an internship, Michael suggests following up with companies about the processing of their application. "It’s normal for some organizations to not reply to your application at first,” said Michael reassuringly. “After a few weeks without a response, I would always email them again to express my interest and ask if they had a chance to review my application. Every time I did that, I was contacted for an interview.”
Now that Michael has entered the professional world, he continues to work towards improving and gaining new skills. "After graduation, I was hired as a full-time media relations intern at Public Communications Inc., working with accounts like Shedd, and learning interactive media" concluded Michael. "My goal is to keep doing this each day until I reach my goal: a top notch media professional."