10 Reasons Why Politicians Need PR Specialists

Communications directors, press secretaries, advisors, miracle-workers – no matter what you call them, politicians need PR specialists like Miley Cyrus needs therapy. Here are my top 10 reasons why this is, and will always be true.

  1. If you can’t get voters to believe in you, you won’t go very far: The public likes to be motivated and inspired by candidates. If you’re bland, unlikeable and unbelievable, they won’t want to vote for you, even if you’re the candidate for their party. Ain’t that right, Mitt? anigif_enhanced-buzz-650-1327027471-17
  2. If you can’t get the public to believe in your ideas, your policy initiatives won’t go very far, either:  This is especially true on a local level. It’s the PR team’s job to make sure the voting public has all the accurate information they need to make an informed decision. One little rumor, or false piece of information can mislead them into voting a different way.                                                         
  3. We can handle pretty much any aspect of a campaign: May that be donor relations, community relations, investor relations, event planning, media management, speech writing, etc. You name it, we do it. And, we’ll do it well.
  4. Social media:  In today’s political climate, social media is everything. Analysts say that it played a huge factor in mobilizing millenianals to Obama’s side during the 2008 and 2012 elections. This New York Times article compares side by side the social media usage of the Romney campaign vs. the President’s. It’s no coincidence that Obama’s was much more human, relatable and fun than  Romney’s.  Not to mention this tweet put out by the Obama campaign:                                                                              Ic4393317
  5. The right PR person can open new opportunities with different target groups:  In the last two presidential elections, President Obama firmly had young people and minorities in his corner, much like former President Bill Clinton did back in the day. As we’ve learned from them, relying on your base group doesn’t cut it anymore. The times are changing, and if politicians hope to come out on top, they better be prepared to broaden their reach.                                                                clinton-oobamaANDellen
  6. We can tell you who to target, why target them, AND how to do it:   For example, if any republicans want even the slightest chance at going far in the 2016 election, they are going to need to show women and minorities that they actually aren’t the racists, sexists pigs that they perceive to be. America is getting more diverse by the day, and any talk of things like stricter immigration or abortion laws will send them packing very quickly.                                                                                              
  7. There will always be some mess to clean up:   Did someone say “Watergate”? Monica Lewinsky? Yes, those are some of the more infamous ones, but there are actually countless others that have came and went throughout the years. Take a look.                                                                                 anigif_enhanced-buzz-12500-1349311690-6
  8. ALWAYS.  Since a lot of politicians don’t have common sense, like the ones that sleep with interns and prostitutes, show their “Weiners” on social media, launder campaign finances, bribe, and everything else under the sun, it’s imperative for them to have someone to do damage control. For a lot of politicians, a scandal marks the end of their career. But every once in a while, if handled correctly by the right team, the politician bounces back.                                                                                         binders_andersoncooper_ydxjq
  9. On the bright side, we can make you look good:  tumblr_miemtyWhOq1rm8bwpo1_400                   
  10. More importantly, we’re fantastic at making the other guy look bad:   After all, they don’t call it “dirty politics” for nothing.                                                                                  

tearsofboehnerTanning

 

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So for all you politicians out there, remember, we got your back :)

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And if you think you can get away with not having a true PR pro at your side…..

obamagurlplease

 

 

A California Girl’s Big Apple Journey

I Came, I Saw, I Ate Pizza

It’s been a month since I graduated, packed up my belongings, said goodbye to my friends and family and moved my entire life clear across the country in order to follow my dreams. I gotta say, I thought I would be freaking out by now, counting the days until I could get back to the safety of what I know. But I have never felt so independent, so strong, so fulfilled. The Big Apple has done wonders for me in so many ways, and it’s only just the beginning.

 

THE JOB

You know how everyone has that “dream job?” In theory, I thought BerlinRosen would be mine, but now that I’m actually here, I can tell you FOR SURE that it is.  Aside from the fact that I’m working on the exact kind of clientele that I’m passionate about, I genuinely love working here. My colleagues are all young, yet they’re super talented, and really know their stuff. I like it because they guide me without holding my hand. They’re not afraid to give me responsiberlinrosenbilities or feedback, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of that.  I can feel myself growing my skill set every single day, just by working with these people, and doing the things that I get to do on a daily basis. I get to write press releases and advisories, but I also pitch media, help during press conferences (one of my favorite parts), attend client brainstorm meetings, and so much more. Of course, there are long days when I feel drained, or when the job isn’t as glamorous as I’d like, but even then, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My internship at BerlinRosen has opened so many doors for me already, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

 

THE APARTMENT

OK. Not to sound like a broken record, but I LOVE my neighborhood. For the apartment itself, I live in an adorable brownstone (like Carrie from Sex in the City, so I’m told), in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. When you clinton-hill-brooklyn-townhouse-in-fallthink of NY housing, you think of tiny, roach infested, super expensive, flee-bag apartments, but this is so far from the case. For the same price as my apartment in San Diego, I’m getting a room twice the size, completely clean, and a neighborhood that has amazing restaurants on every corner. The apartment is so roomy and open and gets a lot of natural lighting. Partner that with Evan, my great new roommate (who made me cake for my birthday, just btw), and I may never want to leave. On the weekends that I’m not on Long Island with Ben, I have so much fun walking around my new area.  Can you believe I found this place on craigslist, then moved in sight unseen? I’m still counting my blessings on that one.

 

THE DISTANCE

Despite how happy I am with this move, it’s still really hard for me to be so far away from everyone in California, especially my mom. When you’re raised an only child by a single parent, you learn to rely on each other for a lot of things. On any given day, my mom has been my mother, father, friend, coach, cheerleader, dictator etc. Though I like the independence, sometimes you just need your Mommy, ya know? The thing that makes me feel better is that she is completely supportive of my career goals, even if it takes me far from her. She knows what I need to do to reach my dreams because somewhere down the line, they became her dreams too.

And for my friends, thank god for Facebook. To be honest, I don’t think I would have had the courage to do this without a lot of them. In the past two years, I’ve met the most supportive, funny, random genuine people, and for that, I’m so fortunate. The distance doesn’t worry me too much because nothing can separate real friends. And who knows, I might even have some of them join me here. *Hint*Hint*

 

ALL IN ALL

Here are a few bullet points just to summarize some of the new things I’ve learned about NY and myself…

nycsubway

  • The Subway smells really bad. In fact, most of NYC smells. You get used to it.
  • There are very few chain restaurants and stores, and people like it that way.
  • The liquor stores here serve only two things: Alcohol and lotto tickets. #Priorities.
  • Also Seamless.com is probably the most used website in all of NYC. Learn it. Love it. Worship it.
  • Prepare to never drive ever again. There’s no need, and it’s stressful if you do do it.
  • Even though there’s a ton of good food places, everyone is skinny because of all the walking and stairs they have to face everyday.
  • Things like central A/C, washer and dryers in unit, dishwashers, and even CLOSETS are a luxury.
  • Yes, everything is fast paced. If you walk too slow, prepare to be ran over.
  • Yes, most things are 24 hours. Because everyone needs Indian food at 3AM.
  • Yes, taxis are everywhere, and it’s really fun to hail a cab.

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  • Yes, it’ humid as hell.
  • NO, the statue of liberty, the empire state building, and all the other tourist traps are not a part of my daily life (but they’re still really cool to see).
  • And finally, YES, this is a crazy, unpredictable city, and I couldn’t be happier to be here. 

6 Reasons Why You Need “Scandal” In Your Life

Like the millions of other people around the world who are obsessed with ABC’s “Scandal’, I too have made the hit show a prominent part of my weekly entertainment routine. If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve actually made it an important part of my life. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it became so important to me, or why, for that matter. But I do know that after the season finale tomorrow, I’ll be a little lost for a while.

In honor of the season finale, I’ve listed six reasons why everyone should love “Scandal.”

It Breaks Boundaries

Photo Curtsey of ABC

Photo Curtsey of ABC

This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why the show is important to me. Can anyone think of the last time a black woman was featured in a lead role for a major network television series? Or how about the last time an interracial relationship was featured so prominently? Neither can I. Both are such huge milestones in nighttime television, and both are only the tip of the iceberg. 10 years ago, this show would never have happened because our society wasn’t ready to see it. And now, with the whole world embracing it, you can’t help but to feel that we are moving in an entirely new direction, and it feels great.

It makes people interested in things that wouldn’t normally interest them

Before Scandal, a lot of my friends would rather have chewed off their own ear, than to talk about politics. Now, I can’t even count how many times I find myself in deep discussion about government affairs with those very same friends. Americans, especially this generation, have a hard time caring about politics.  Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a political junkie, so the apathy among millennials is very upsetting to me. A lot of stuff on the show is made up, but there are sometimes direct parallels between what’s going in the TV world, and what’s happening in the real world.  I give “Scandal” major props for making people care.

The characters are so unique

Huck has the ability to be terrifying and lovable at the same time.

We can love Mellie, then hate her, then feel bad for her, then love her, all in one episode.

Cyrus inspires much of the same feelings, but its more like we shake our heads at his power-hungry antics.

Photo Curtesy of ABC

Photo Curtesy of ABC

David Rosen has some of the greatest one-liners in television history.

And, of course Olivia Pope. Since I did an entire article on her, I’ll try not to be repetitive. I will say that someone once told me that Frank Underwood, the main character of “House of Cards” is better than Olivia Pope. After I refrained myself from screaming, I simply replied “Frank Underwood is motivated by power and greed. Olivia Pope, though often unethical, is first and foremost, motivated by love.” The love of her team, the love of Fitz or Jake, it doesn’t matter. And that makes her relatable to everyone.

And don’t forget how she has the ability to wear a white suit, and never spill a drop of red wine. Bravo, Ms. Pope. Bravo

It’s Realistic…More Or Less

Ok. I’m never going to sleep with a married president, I’m never going to join B6-13 and I won’t ever fix an election. Those things are purely for the entertainment factor of tv. But the way Olivia regards her team at Olivia Pope and Associates  is the same way we feel about our blood family, or our sorority sisters, or the fellow members of the school organizations we’re a part of; we would do anything for them, anything to protect them. That’s something we all can relate to. And even though most of us haven’t had a hot, spicy love affair with the president, all of us have done something that we shouldn’t have, then had to face the consequences of those actions. There’s no doubt the “Scandal” is…well…scandalous, but if you pay close attention, you might see some parts of your own life reflected back at you.

You can’t guess what will happen next

One of my pet peeves is when I can guess what will happen in a plot line. I don’t know about you, no episode of “Scandal” has failed to shock me. With so many other shows, the plot line gets boring, or repetitive, or confusing, but not in this case. I give major props to the writers. When I sit down to watch a new episode of “Scandal,” I always know to expect to unexpected. And the best part? We ain’t seen nothing yet.  #ScandalFinale

It’s got a little something for everyone

Since I plan of going into the political communications field, I love to watch the public relations, politics, crisis and media management aspects in an episode (I’ve officially adopted the phrase WWOPD: What Would Olivia Pope Do). I’ve got some friends that love the funny moments between David and Abby. Some like the dynamic between Huck and Quinn. And some (you know who you are), like the sexy love triangle between Olivia, Jake and Fitz.

Its for politics, action, romance, mystery, drama, comedy and so much more, all rolled up into one hour-long episode.  What’s not to love? Black,white, female, male, young or old; “Scandal” is so uniquely wonderful in that every demographic can find something to like about it.

 

Clearly, I could have listed a lot more than six reasons to watch “Scandal”, but these are the ones that most people would find appealing. Personally, I’m obsessed. I know that. But can you blame me? If you’ve never watched an episode of “Scandal,” I dare you to do so, and NOT fall in love. Go ahead. I double doggy dare ya. :)

Have fun watching tomorrow’s season finale, Gladiators!

What the DUCK?

So I finally finished school for the semester. It’s been a long, crazy ride, and I’m happy to get some much needed R&R. I finally get to watch TV! It would be just my luck that as soon as I get time to catch up on things, the Duck Dynasty scandal with Phil Robertson happens. In the days after the, I can honestly say I’d rather watch informercials rather than hear another word about Phil Robertson.

Let me back up. Here are the “controversial” comments he made about gay people in his interview with GQ magazine.

“It seems like, to me, a vagina– as a man– would be more desirable than a man’s anus, that’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,” he later added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

He also made comments about black people during the era of Jim Crow.

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person, not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Curtesy of A&E

Curtesy of A&E

Ignorance. That’s what I see when I read the above comments. I see an ignorant person who 1-uses the bible only to reinforce his own bigotry, and 2-a person who was completely obvious to the atrocities the Jim Crow era of America, and while those are pretty upsetting revelations, it’s not illegal say.

I guess I’m somewhat cynical, because I know that even though or world is changing everyday, even though people are opening up their minds and hearts to the unknown, there are still a lot of people who have these ideals. That isn’t the problem. Well, it is, but it’s not a problem that could be solved in a day. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my studies in public relations, it’s that it’s extremely difficult to change people’s pre-set ideas, especially when it’s something that they were taught from a young age. No, the reason why it was such a huge deal was because A&E, the channel the Duck Dynasty is on, suspended Robertson following the his reevaluations.

Naturally, right-wing politicians freaked out like a pig in a slaughterhouse, and jumped to his defense as a result. They demanded his First Amendment rights, freedom of speech, blah, blah, blah. Ever notice how they seem to throw around terms when they have no idea what they mean? As soon as A&E announced their intentions, I recognized it for exactly what it was; image.

A&E didn’t suspend Robertson because of what he said. They suspended him because he is one of the faces of that network, and as such, he was expected to act a certain way. That’s like if I were the spokesperson of some politician, and I gave an interview about myself and said something like “I don’t like Latino people, and I don’t think we should let them into our country,” my employer, the politician, would get rid of me in a heartbeat, for the fear of my comments alienating the latino-american population.

While his comments are probably more widely agreed with than we realize, the top-dogs at A&E were probably more worried that the public thought Robertson’s comments reflected the views of A&E. In that case, you can guarantee that they would see a dramatic decrease in viewers who are gay and African American, not to mention all the people of other demographics who disagree or were offended by Robertson . In TV, it’s all about the ratings and viewers. A network losing that many viewers would be devastating.

In an about-face, the network decided to reinstate Robertson a couple of days ago. In PR, you NEVER go back on something like that, even if the backslash of your initial decision is pretty fierce, like it was in this case. Them bringing him on after everything makes A&E seem like they are unsure of themselves and the decisions that they make. They also did it way too soon. So soon that there were no real repercussions of his actions. Robertson didn’t lose any money, they didn’t stop airing Duck Dynasty at that time (in fact, they aired a marathon around Christmas), and he will still be appearing on the show next season

. If anything, I’d like to see more criticism for A&E, and the way they handled this “scandal.”

Government Shutdowns Don’t Move the Country Forward

Well, there you have it folks. Immature politicians at their finest. The government has shutdown for almost a week, and until house republicans find a way to get their heads out of their asses, the government will stay shutdown, maybe for good.  It’s hard to comprehend that the reason for the huge disturbance in America right now is because the idiots on the right side of the House aisle don’t want so see President Obama succeed in providing something that the nation desperately needs. I can honestly say that I’ve never been more embarrassed with our political system, specifically the GOP.

Republicans in the House of Representatives HATE  Obamacare (and Obama) with a fiery passion that burns their souls. Obamacare, might I remind you, has already passed through Congress.  Last Tuesday was the launch date of the new healthcare.gov. That being said, the goal of the House republicans was to delay the individual mandate of the ACA for a year, as a condition for keeping the government running past September 30. I guess someone up on the hill didn’t do their homework, because if they did, they would have known that the ACA is ALREADY in place.  Since it’s a permanent entitlement that isn’t subject to annual funding by Congress, It can’t be defunded or delayed. Despite republicans voting against it 40 times, it’s now a law.  So what we have here is the first government shut down since 1996, for no logical reason.

Photo Curtesy of ABCnews

Photo Curtesy of ABCnews

I bet you’re thinking, “that sucks, but it doesn’t effect me, so, whatever.” It most definitely does.  In fact, most people in the United States will feel the consequences in one way or another, especially if this goes on for a while (the longest lasted three weeks in 1995-1996). http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/29/questions-and-answers-about-the-shutdown/2888419/

Take college students, for example.  You know how on the Thursday before each new semester, we get our financial aid deposited in our bank accounts? Depending upon the student, a lot of that aid comes from the Federal Pell Grant (money from the Government that you don’t pay back). Cutbacks at the Department of Education could slow Pell grant and federal direct student loans payments. This means that instead of getting your money in a timely way that allows you to pay for books, tuition and other essentials before school starts, you will have to wait for an undetermined amount of time.  This is unacceptable.

San Diego’s large military population definitely won’t be exempt from the effects of the shutdown. One possible ramification is that members of the armed forces would have their paychecks put on hold while they are still required to work. Thankfully, just two hours before the shutdown, Obama signed a bill that will appropriate money for active-duty and reserve paychecks in the case of any government shutdown (http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20130927/NEWS05/309270021/DoD-comptroller-outlines-shutdown-plans-work-pay-travel). It’s a bill that was actually signed on Monday by the Senate, and Sunday by the House (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/30/pay-military-shutdown_n_4019810.html) Looks like Congress does have a little conscience after all.  However, the families of fallen soldiers will take a hit. The death benefits that are usually allotted to them by the government will be delayed (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/09/who-gets-screwed-shutdown-poor-people-old-people-basically-everyone).  Again, there is no telling how long the funds would be delayed. Also, The Department of Veterans Affairs said if the shutdown continues well into October, it would run out of money for compensation and pension checks to more than almost 4 million veterans who depend on that money as a primary source of income (http://www.va.gov). Lets hope that doesn’t happen.

republicans-destroy-america

And while we’re at it, lets hope there’s no epic flu (or zombie) outbreak during the shutdown. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will lack funding to support its annual flu vaccination program. (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/09/who-gets-screwed-shutdown-poor-people-old-people-basically-everyone).

It’s been interesting to watch this unfold in the past week. Republicans want to pass measures and make exceptions to some groups that have been furloughed. It’s interesting that they shutdown the government knowing full well what that would entail.

As for the very members of congress who put us in this position, they are continuing to be paid. According to the 27th amendment to the constitution, they are considered “essential” workers, and must be paid regardless. Although personally, shutting down a government doesn’t seem “essential” to me.

Midterm elections are next year, and I’m hoping the sunshine after this storm will be a major change of power from republican, to a democratic power in the House.  People have to realize that the republican agenda has nothing to do with their constituents needs, but rather, to see Obama fail at all costs. That was made very clear this week.  It’s tragic, since the whole point of having a government is to manage the country based on the needs of Americans. This, on top of everything else they’ve done (or haven’t done), should be more than enough proof that crazy, irrational, immoral bigots have no place in our government.

Health Insurance-More Affordable Than You’d Think

As college students, our lack of substantial finances has allowed us to become the masters on top ramen, Kraft Mac n Cheese, and pop tarts. We realize we don’t always have the ability to pay for the things that we need, like healthcare. Last year, it was reported that only 27 percent of people ages 19 to 25 were uninsured (http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb13-165.html ), and that is not ok. A 19-year old working at subway for $8 an hour isn’t likely to pay hundreds of dollars a month on top of other expenses. Let’s face it. Our healthcare system is designed to work against us. But that’s ‘Merica for you.

Photo Curtesy of CNN.com

Photo Curtesy of CNN.com

What if I told you that you’ll be able to finally have health care coverage for as little as the monthly price of your cell phone bill? Starting on Oct. 1, that’s exactly what will happen. The Affordable Care Act, created by President Obama, will completely reshape the ability, price and quality of health care plans in relation to young adults. We will see changes on every level, from the costs of the plans, to changes in the benefits of each plan. To get an idea of exactly how significant these changes are, here are some comparasions between the old polices and the new ones schedualed to take place next month.

THEN: If you were in college, you could stay on your parent’s insurance until you were 22.

NOW: You can be covered under your parent’s plan until you’re 26, even if you’re married, financially independent, not living at home. Also, plans now cover pre-existing conditions. It’s about damn time.

THEN: People would have to do tedious, extensive research when trying to find an insurance plan suitable for them.

NOW:  On Oct.1, a new marketplace will open at www.healthcare.gov that will specifically cater to health insurance plans. The goal is to make it easy for people to apply for the plans that they need. Think of it as the healthcare version of Wal-Mart. It’s the one-stop shopping destination for all of your insurance needs. A cool feature to this is the ability to narrow your search down based on prices, your personal needs and the subsidies available

THEN: Health insurance could cost individuals hundreds of dollars per month.

NOW:  Each state is different, but in California, most health insurance plans will cost around $100 a month. Lets be honest. If we pay this much for our cell phone bills, buying health insurance at the same price should be a priority as well.

So now you see how much we have to benefit and nothing to lose from this new health care initiative.  This means no more avoiding the hospital because you think you can’t afford the treatment you so desperately need. No more being denied treatment because you have a pre-existing condition. No more worrying about finding a job with an acceptable health insurance plan. We can all finally stop risking our lives by being uninsured.

Sounds good, right? Sounds like a reasonable policy everyone can agree to. Wrong. Members of the GOP are soooo pissed off about this. It’s actually really funny how much they are freaking out. In fact, they are doing everything the can to defund the Affordable Care Act, even if it means shutting down the entire Government. Oh, those Republicans. Always so extreme. Their “official” reasoning for this ranges from “it’s a job destroyer”, to “It raises taxes”, both of which are completely false. Does the GOP EVER get tired of lying to Americans?

The only way I see young adults like us not taking advantage of this amazing opportunity is because of the lack of awareness about the changes in health care. For some reason, the Obama administration isn’t pushing the initiative nearly enough to make an impact. Why not? I have no idea. If anything, providing young adults with health insurance is something that would bump up his approval rating by a few point, which is something he desperately needs right now. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that it’s up to us to spread the word.

**A version of this piece will soon be found on thedailyaztec.com.

The Truth About Unpaid Internships

157603220_790fe66da0There comes a time in each student’s college career when they must go beyond what they’ve learned in the classroom, and get a glance at what awaits them in the real world. I am, of course, talking about internships. Almost every major requires or encourages them for graduation, which makes them unavoidable.

Some departments at San Diego State, such as the School of Journalism and Media Studies, are set up so students can take a course that allows you to have a “for credit” internship during the last semester of senior year. Until then, a student’s only other options are non-profit or paid internships.

The problem with paid internships is the process of actually getting one. Since they are pretty much paid part-time jobs related to the professional field you plan to go into, that makes them much more desirable and competitive. Would you rather work at a job you don’t really care about while interning for credit or at a non-profit, or would you rather make money while gaining experience with one internship? I bet a lot of students would pick the latter.

What if you find an internship that fits into your schedule, is related to where you want your career to go and where you know you will learn a lot, but it’s at a for-profit company, and you can’t take it for credit yet. Do you let go of that amazing opportunity?

Realistically, it depends. When it’s an “internship” where interns are getting people coffee, answering phones and running errands, it isn’t a real internship, and you should be getting paid. The whole point of internships is to get hands-on experience, but if the employers take advantage of the intern by making them do menial tasks, they aren’t actually learning anything. However, if a public relations intern is being taught how to write press releases, build media lists and learn how to pitch to reporters, that internship exists for the benefit of the intern, not the company. In fact, the Fair Labor Standard Act, created by the Department of Labor, outlines how an internship has to be “for the benefit of the intern” and “similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.” Furthermore, the Department of Labor clarifies how “(an employer providing) the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.” As long as these standards are met, interning at a for-profit company is legal and should be pursued.

In a perfect world, all internships would be paid. Such a change would definitely make life easier for broke college students, but that’s not going to happen. Many students will come across opportunities that will help further their careers. As long as they give us real and valuable experience, unpaid internships have the potential to help us make the step from bright-eyed college students to ambitious professionals ready to take on the world.

*This article can also be seen at thedailyaztec.com