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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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All Students Invited to Internship 101!

This student-led event will discuss internships, entry level jobs, and the transition into the working world
Emily Loughridge
Students, including Gisela Alonso, Mary-Grace McNutt, and Harry Cracknell, in the PR class were tasked with hanging posters for Internship 101 around campus.

Internship 101 is an hour-long informational event hosted by the Communication Department’s Public Relations (PR) class. Russ Florence, president, partner, and CEO at Schnake Turnbo Frank is set to have an informal discussion highlighting the importance of internships, entry level jobs, and how to transition into the workplace Wednesday, Apr. 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the ballroom.

Dr. J.C. Casey, professor of Communication, holds a strong belief that every student needs to go through an internship as it provides invaluable experiences, which is why all communication majors must take an internship. She wants her students to have applicable skills to take into the workplace instead of a vague idea of the job and what they want to do.

“I think an internship is one of the most important things that you can do for yourselves,” Dr. Casey said. “One of the ways we typically learn is by a book or from a lecture. With an internship, what you’re getting is true experiential learning.”

Florence recently celebrated 23 years at Schnake Turnbo Frank, and he estimates that he has worked alongside 50-75 interns. He said that he has given several presentations and speeches to PR and journalism classes before, but never to a general student body – which he is excited about because he said he believes internships are crucial no matter a student’s field of study.

“I think an internship, no matter what your field, is a really critical step in your professional development, in your ability to build a network, and to get a real life feel for what it’s like to be in the work world. Hopefully, I can persuade the students to seek internships and give them some tips on how to do it, and maybe give them a little bit of insight into what they’ll learn and how they can benefit from it,” Florence said.

While in college at Oklahoma State University (OSU), Florence had an internship every summer. He stated that his internships really pulled all the pieces of his education together and made him a better student.

An internship should teach the technical part of the job, according to Florence, which for his PR firm could include writing, editing, project management, pitching stories, and setting up news conferences. He said internships also provide an understanding of workplace culture and relationships, accountability, responsibility, working with others, and how to ask for help.

“I think my internships have been extremely crucial in regard to giving me direction for my career. I gained a lot of knowledge and maturity during my internships at the Marietta Monitor and the Madill Record Newspapers,” Gary Jackson, a junior communication major and PR student, said.

Contacts and relationships are typically made during internships. Florence said that many professionals enjoy mentoring young and are open for informational meetings over coffee. Connecting over LinkedIn, utilizing mutual connections, and sending emails are a few ways that Florence recommended students connect with professionals in their field.

“You’ve got to be intentional about it. You can’t just wait for these business people and employers to come up and knock on your door. That’s just not going to happen – for the most part it’s not going to happen,” Florence said.

To learn more, attend Internship 101 Wednesday, Apr. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom and watch a promotional video made by students in the PR class. (Click here for the video.)


Emily Loughridge is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributor
Emily Loughridge
Emily Loughridge, Editor-in-Chief
Emily is a fourth-year communication major from Union City. Emily is obtaining minors in psychology and liberal arts, as well. She has been on staff for The Trend since the fall of 2021 and loves working with the writers on ideas! Emily also works in the Sports Information Department on campus as the Student Assistant. When she isn't studying or working, Emily can normally be found watching Scrubs, Reba, or How I Met Your Mother and enjoying ice cream with her boyfriend.   Experience with The Trend: Editor-in-Chief: Dec. 2022 - present Managing Editor: May 2022 - Nov. 2022 Contributing Writer: Aug. 2021 - April 2022