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It’s all about the hands you shake

By Deon Sumer


One of my biggest fears about coming to a campus as big as LSU was just how hard it would be to build up a résumé. The idea of starting on a blank slate was horrifying. I began searching for opportunities before I even went to orientation. I searched the Manship website, newsletters, etc. To my excitement, there were many opportunities for internships. Unfortunately, next to every single one read something along the lines of “experience necessary.”


Anyone serious about a degree in communications has heard the tune “you need experience to get experience.” This brings up the frustrating question many freshmen ponder: How do I get this initial experience?



The first lesson I have learned pertaining to this question is that any experience is good experience. When establishing your initial experience, involvement in any concentration of mass communications is helpful. I learned this especially being a broadcast journalism major.


The first lesson I have learned pertaining to this question is that any experience is good experience. When establishing your initial experience, involvement in any concentration of mass communications is helpful. I learned this especially being a broadcast journalism major.


No company wants to put a student with no credential practice in front of a camera or on the front page of their newsletter. Also, prestigious internships for credit are great. Small job shadow gigs and other minor internships add up and will, eventually, set you apart. Grab ahold of anything that fits in your schedule where you feel you can put your best self forward. I filled out numerous applications my first semester at LSU — to the point where I had my answer to “tell us what makes you unique” copied to my clipboard. In the end, it paid off.

This brings me to my next and most important point: It’s all about the hands you shake. The people you meet will get you on the path of your dream internship and ultimately to your dream job. Take advantage of the opportunities you have around you to find your initial experience.


Your opportunities will be different than your classmates’. You must recognize what you have to work with and then build upon that. For me, it was the connections I had made through pageantry. For some of my friends, it was connections they had made through job shadowing in high school.


I have found that the main reasoning for freshmen not obtaining internships is that they do not take advantage or take the time to search for what opportunities are around them. Filling up your résumé with vital internships as a freshman is not an easy feat, but if you take advantage of all that you can, you will end up with the initial experience necessary to begin the path to your dream job.

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