Virginia Tech – Communications
This past summer I spent 10 weeks in central London doing a full-time internship/study abroad program with American InterContinental University. I worked for British fashion company Matthew Williamson as a public relations intern, in which I spent four days a week working and attended a seminar on the fifth day to discuss our internships and business strategies.
The reason I chose this program was because it allowed me to get real work experience through an internship, while at the same time having classroom discussions and receiving course credit hours. Each student had an advisor at the school in London that set up an interview with a potential employer who had agreed to AIU's program procedures. Although I had no background experience in fashion, I absolutely loved my placement with Matthew Williamson and learned a lot about PR in the fashion industry.
Since this was my first internship, it was my first time actually using the skills and knowledge I had gained about PR through my coursework at Virginia Tech. The assignments and responsibilities that I had pertaining to PR were a lot of fun, and it confirmed my decision that PR is the field that I want to go into post-graduation. Working in the fashion industry was a lot of fun because we were dealing with celebrities and high-street fashion magazines, and I often consider working for their PR firm in NYC sometime in the future. Another part of the fashion industry that worries me is that it is too superficial for me due to my lack of passion for clothing, and that I might want to try out a PR internship in another industry such as non-profit.
Any student who wishes to participate in an internship overseas should definitely consider this program. The advisors set students up with highly regarded companies that work well with the program schedule and procedures. I wanted to be able to get work experience and credit hours at the same time, and my communication advisor at Virginia Tech was able to work it out so that I received 6 comm. elective credit hours for the 10 weeks. Overall, I recommend this program for its great internship experience as well as invaluable cultural lessons that are inevitably gained through a study abroad program such as this.
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