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communication industry careers experience over education


  • Branding
  • IMC
  • Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Customer
  • Service
  • Graphic Design
  • Media Buying
  • Promotion
  • Publicity
  • Sales
  • Web Design

Turn the classroom into on-the-job communication experience.

Communication Industry Careers:Experience over Education

Frank E. Parcells, Ph. D., Professor - APSU and

Executive Vice President – IABC Nashville

experience versus education
Experience Versus Education
  • Education is important for entry-level positions in the communication industry. A Bachelor’s degree in the appropriate area of communication is expected in today’s job market.
  • Experience wins! Experience is valued in the communication industry more than education as a hiring factor.
  • Leading experts recommend a minimum of 3 to 5 internship experiences for college students before graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in some area of communication.
  • Communication majors must begin professional networking by their Sophomore year in college to be prepared to find a good paying position in the communication industry upon graduation.
experience through internships make it communication make it pay
Experience Through Internships: Make It Communication & Make It Pay

Always Gaining Experience!

Internships in Major Markets

  • Local internships are valuable, but nothing replaces work experience in a major market.
  • Major markets are generally considered the top 50 metropolitan markets (ranked by Nielsen DMA) in the U. S.
  • These are major cities and immediate surrounding areas.
  • Nashville is the 29th DMA in the U. S., Memphis is 49th and Louisville is 50th.
atlanta is the new communication hub of the south
Atlanta is the New Communication Hub of the South

No Other Southern Market is More Important Than Atlanta

No Better Location for a Communication Internship

  • Atlanta is now the 8th DMA area in the United States.
  • It is of ultimate importance to the communication industry.
  • This importance includes satellite programming networks, news networks, sports networks, broadcasting, marketing and PR firms, marketing communication boutiques, and advertising agencies.
be prepared when you graduate start networking now
Be Prepared When You Graduate:Start Networking Now!
  • Keep contact with as many communication professionals as you can.
  • Generally is the best way to begin networking.
  • Meeting communication professionals by attending as many as possible Nashville IABC meetings is also helpful.
  • There’s also the Nashville PRSA, AMA, and AAF that offer important communication contacts to you.
  • Attend national conventions or conferences for professional communication organizations like the AAF, AMA, IABC, NAB & BEA, NCA, PRSA and more.
  • Index your network contacts by entering their business card information into your Address Book.
networking experience pay off as most jobs in the communication industry are filled this way

Constant interaction with your contacts.

  • Tell them about your communication experiences, send updated resumes, and samples of your work.
  • Always build and maintain an electronic portfolio of your best work. This portfolio can be gathered from news releases and commercial copy you’ve written, campaigns you’ve worked on. It doesn’t matter if it is for class. Always keep a copy!
  • Maximize your college experience in a communication sense. If you join a sorority or fraternity, become the communication coordinator. Whatever college experience you have with student organizations, get involved and apply your communication skills.
Networking & Experience Pay Off as Most Jobs in the Communication Industry Are Filled This Way
make every opportunity count to gain communication experience promote your own notoriety
Make Every Opportunity Count to Gain Communication Experience & Promote Your Own Notoriety

Join Student Affiliate Organizations

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Noticed

  • Become involved in a communication organization chapter while in college.
  • Be certain that your organization has a professional organization sponsor like AAF, AMA, IABC, PRSA and many others.
  • Become a liaison to that professional organization for your student chapter.
  • Introduce yourself to communicators at professional functions of major organizations.
  • Ask for business cards from communication professionals.
  • Have your own “business card” ready to distribution.
  • Ask to keep in contact with the communication professionals you meet at meetings.
none of your college summers should go by without gaining communication experience
None of Your College Summers Should Go By Without Gaining Communication Experience

Find Appropriate Communication Work

Make a Name For Yourself in Your Community

  • Do newsletters for some worthwhile organization.
  • Build a website and rework all of the content information for a nonprofit organization.
  • Display your skills by helping some group gain local notoriety by planning and managing a special event or fund raiser.
establish a website professional email account resume
Establish a Website, Professional Email Account, & Resume
  • Your should have a website which is used to display your work that is relevant to the communication industry. Use it for internship hunting and to promote yourself professionally. No stupid jokes or funny college drinking stories – just for job hunting.
  • Among your many other means of communication create a free email account (,, for yourself and use it only for professional communication with communication professionals.
  • Build yourself a resume, put it in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format so that you can distribute it via email to your professional contacts.
your resume should contain certain types of information
Your Resume Should Contain Certain Types of Information
  • Provide your name, street address, city, state, zip code. Make this an address where they can write to you and you will receive it.
  • List a telephone number where you wish to be contacted but be certain you answer this phone professionally. No games as it could cost you an internship or job offer.
  • List your professional email address for contact.
  • First is experience which should come before education in your resume. Include not only paid work experience, but also internships and organizational and nonprofit experience that is relevant to a communication career.
  • Then, list your education. Keep it simple. Do not include high school in your resume!
  • Finally, provide a bulleted list of communication skills you possess, relevantcommunication awards you’ve received, and any other specialized details or information that will help to enhance your communication value to a recruiter or interviewer.
  • References should always be available upon request. Do not include references in your resume!
think of your resume as a tool to get you an interview
Think of Your Resume as a Tool to Get You an Interview
  • Your resume is nothing more than a tool to help you get an internship or job interview.
  • It is your ticket to get in the door for an interview and nothing more.
  • Make it good as many times there will be no second chances.
  • This job market is tough, but people are still hiring communication professionals.
electronic communication is necessary but it alone will not get you a job
Electronic Communication is Necessary But It Alone Will Not Get you a Job!
  • Email and the telephone are great tools to help you get noticed, but they are no replacement for one-on-one, face-to-face communication with an interviewer.
  • Meeting face-to-face with potential employers and communication professionals is what will really make the difference in an internship or job.
Good News, Ladies! The Communication Industry is Female Friendly Employer, Including Major Management Positions
  • A great number of managers, including executive management, in advertising, broadcasting, IMC, marketing, marketing communication, and public relations today are women.
  • These women are paid well!
  • Executives in the Nashville communication industry include Debbie Turner (President of News Channel 5), Wendy Pearl (VP Communication for CMA), and many, many others.
get your communication experience in order now for your internships and future employment
Get Your Communication Experience In Order Now for Your Internships and Future Employment

Develop Your Electronic Portfolio

Build Your Professional Network

  • Prepare a CD or DVD that contains your best work samples.
  • Always save and archive samples of your best work from your classes.
  • If you do any special communication projects for student organizations or nonprofit agencies, save those too.
  • Begin immediately to build your network of communication professionals.
  • This will help you to know about job opportunities before others.
  • Always keep a solid record of your professional communicator acquaintances.
  • List them in your “Address Book” with full contact information.
get your communication experience in order now for your internships and future employment1
Get Your Communication Experience In Order Now for Your Internships and Future Employment

Build Your Resume Now as Your

Ticket To An Interview

Get Your Resume Out Via Your Network of Professional Contacts

  • Remember that experience in communication (including internships, student organizations, fraternities or sororities, and work) is the most important item on a resume. But it must be communication!
  • Next comes your education (Bachelor's degree, major, minor, and GPA). This is important but not as much as communication experience.
  • Email your resume (as an Adobe Acrobat - .pdf – document) to professional communicators in your network of contacts.
  • Apply for internships during your Junior and Senior years in college. This makes you more job marketable and helps you add still more professional communicators to your network of contact.