The Benefits of Site Visits

Students visit with J&PR alumna Kari Miskit, Director of Public Relations at Visit Sacramento

Understanding a field before starting to work in it is crucial to leading a successful career. What does an average day on the job look like? How is the company culture? Am I asking the right type of questions?

Fortunately for students, Chico State’s Department of Journalism and Public relations provides numerous opportunities to network and get to know the field. One of these opportunities is through site visits.

Students visit with J&PR alumna Kari Miskit, Director of Public Relations at Visit Sacramento
Students visit with J&PR alumna Kari Miskit, Director of Public Relations at Visit Sacramento

On site visits, professors and advisers within the department take groups of around 10-20 public relations students to visit two to three companies in one day. The visits are usually a combination of PR agencies and corporate in-house sites, and they are often at the workplaces of Chico State alumni. Students get the opportunity to tour the office, get to know the company and meet staff who give them guidance for life after graduation.

This can be an incredibly rewarding experience for students planning to enter the public relations field. They learn best practices for landing a job, expand their knowledge on different industries and even meet with human resources to discuss job and internship opportunities

Students visit with J&PR alumna Kelsey Eidbo, Senior Account Executive at Infinite Global
Students visit with J&PR alumna Kelsey Eidbo, Senior Account Executive at Infinite Global

Most of the department-organized site visits have been in San Francisco and Sacramento given Chico’s location, but there were two trips to New York in spring 2011 and 2016. This semester there have already been site visits to both San Francisco and Sacramento.

On the San Francisco site visit, students visited Getaround, Foursquare, and Infinite Global. In Sacramento, they were able to tour Fleishman Hillard, 3Fold Communications, and Visit Sacramento. This is a great mix of agency and in-house PR setting. Each company offered a unique insight to students on public relations and opportunities within the field.

The Chico State Department of Journalism and Public Relations prides itself on being an informative segway from college life to career life. As a student within the department, I can say that the program has prepared me well for my job search after graduation. In order to grow and build your skill set, it is important to take any opportunity to learn that is thrown your way.

Written by Cassie Porter, Editor







Tips on Landing an Internship After College

The rule is we all go to college to land our dream job. The truth is, that rarely happens. We have to gain experience through internships before moving up to our dream job.

It also involves a lot of waiting and interviews with countless companies.

I have been on four site visits to numerous companies including Zynga, Brocade and Airfoil. I have also been able to speak with company representatives from FleishmanHillard and GeekWire.

All the people I have spoken to recommend applying three months before graduation. They also recommend internships during college to gain experience and taking courses that will put you ahead of other applicants.

I have found a few tips that are helping me apply for internships.

Shaking hands in internship process
Photo credit: Chantal Richards

1. LinkedIn

Having a profile on LinkedIn helps connect you to different companies around the world. A LinkedIn profile should have everything up to date and be consistent in the job descriptions. Be as detailed as possible. Also, ask for recommendations and endorsements from your connections because this will promote your skills to potential employers.

2. Get a lot of experience

Experience is what sets you apart from other applicants. The more work you can show off in your portfolio, the better. This can also include work from classes that pertains to the internship you are hoping to land.

3. Walk the walk and talk the talk

Selling yourself starts with the way you present yourself. First impressions are everything when trying to land an internship. This includes dressing appropriately, minimizing cursing and being early to scheduled interviews. It also includes how you present yourself publicly on your social media.

4. Research companies

Researching the company you see yourself working in is key. You have to look at the culture of the company and the mission statement, as well as organize a site visit to see how the atmosphere in the office is. If you don’t see yourself fitting into the company, move on to a company you do see yourself being a part of.

5. Spread your net as far and wide as possible

Being able to land the internship you want includes applying for as many as possible. It might not be the ideal one you want, but as my motto goes: Spread your net wide because a fish is bound to bite.

Applying for internships is tough, but it does pay off because we all have to start somewhere.