When I came to IUP, I decided that I wanted to be a journalist, and I didn’t give public relations a second thought. By this logic, I planned to intern at a newspaper the summer before my senior year. It wasn’t until after I took a few journalism classes that I realized an essential part of shaping a career was to explore all possible options, even ones I hadn’t considered before.
If I were to really give public relations a shot, I knew I would have to work for an organization about which I was passionate. If I worked for a company I didn’t care for that much, it would have been a miserable experience akin to pulling teeth. This is exactly why I chose to inquire about the communications and government-relations internship with APSCUF. The APSCUF internship was an obvious choice for me because I feel strongly about social issues and, as a student, the kind of reform APSCUF fights for benefits my peers and myself.
Due to a hectic schedule, I couldn’t find the time for a conventional internship, but I was fortunate enough to work it out with APSCUF so I could spend the five weeks in between fall and spring semesters with APSCUF. Although my time here has been short, it’s been filled with new experiences, testing my abilities as a writer, and figuring out what sort of career path I really want to pursue.
I’ve written blog posts, witnessed Board of Governors meetings, and lent a hand in any way possible while in Harrisburg. I was even given the opportunity to spend a day with the consultant company Triad Strategies in order to gain more knowledge regarding political lobbyists and government relations. This showed me yet another way my interests and skills can be combined for a career. This internship is also a great way to grasp a better understanding of the politics and resources that go into making our universities work. Having a union to support the faculty and coaches at our schools allows them to fight for us and our education in ways we don’t get to see heavily publicized.
You may be contemplating whether or not an APSCUF internship is for you. While I can only speak for the influence this experience had on me with my background in journalism and public relations, I can also promise that this staff will offer you the help, guidance, and talent-shaping you will need for whatever career you decide to pursue. Even with being here for just a short time, APSCUF provided me with networking opportunities, a résumé boost, and, most importantly, the chance to further develop a plan for my future.
—Alexandria Mansfield, APSCUF intern