Landing a Job: 4 Ways to Get an Internship

Landing a Job: 4 Ways to Get an Internship

January 20, 2014 by

The new year might be time for a new job or a first job in church communication. Our new series focuses on that journey—landing a job. We’ll talk about the process of finding work in a church, what to expect and more. Today we’ll talk about how to get an internship.

An internship can offer a good start in church communication. It provides hands-on experience and direction for the various areas of church communication you could pursue. I started looking for an internship because my college required one for all mass communication and marketing majors. But I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I knew to be content in any job I needed to feel like I was making a difference.

I sat in a classroom listening to a recent grad describe how much she loved her job. I wondered, “What do I love?”

Then I realized, “I love my church.”

At that point, I’d been attending my church for a few years and volunteering in the church office. So I contacted the executive pastor and asked if he was interested in hiring an intern. He was interested and I got my start as a communication intern.

Here are a few ways to land an internship in church communication:  

1. Volunteer
Get acquainted with the church through volunteering. Discover if it’s a place you’d enjoy working. By the time I applied for an internship, I had already been volunteering at my church for two years.

There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in church communication. Help create content for social media. Proof the weekly bulletin. Create a weekly email newsletter. Many of these jobs can be done remotely, which is helpful if you are still in school.

2. Build Relationships
Through volunteering, I built relationships with the staff. By the time I applied for an internship, the staff knew I was committed to the mission of the church. Dedication to the mission is huge in any church staff role.

Even if you can’t volunteer with the church first, there are many ways you can start building relationships and learn from others. Follow church leaders on Twitter. Reach out to a communication or church leader in your area and ask if you can grab a cup of coffee. Research and learn about key communication leaders.

3. Use Your Experience
Use the experience that you do have to your advantage and show how you would transfer those skills into an internship. Highlight how you would add value.

I created a few marketing and communication plans in my college career. I was familiar with social media, web management and marketing. I didn’t have direct church communication experience, but I had other useful skills I could bring to the role.

4. Take Initiative
Take initiative in pursuing internships and opportunities. There was no job posting or allocated budget for my role. I reached out to the executive pastor and the role was formed. Ultimately, I landed an internship because I asked for it and I was given a small stipend because I asked for it (and as a junior in college, I was very thankful!).

Whether or not you get paid for your internship depends on the church and your individual circumstances. But if you can’t be paid for your internship, don’t rule it out immediately.  An internship can potentially lead to a permanent full-time position. Even if it doesn’t, it will help you decide if you want to continue to pursue church communication as a career.

I never knew what I wanted to do in my career. Through my internship, I fell in love with world of church communication and realized how I could use the gifts God gave me to connect people to the local church.  It could do the same for you.


Post By:

Carrie Evans

Carrie Evans is the communications director for Southbridge Fellowship in Raleigh, N.C. You can connect with her on Twitter or her blog.
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