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Bulking up the Resume – Without the Internship

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By Maddi Price, Account Associate

From the time we enter college, sometimes even before, we are expected to build a resume colored with a variety of experiences. But, sometimes things don’t go as planned and we find ourselves farther into our college career than we’d like without that internship experience.

Lucky for Penn State students, you can gain the experience you need to fill the gaps in your resume in ways other than an internship. This includes taking more communications-focused classes that actually help you take a step forward and better your career.

Here are some of my class recommendations!

Intro to Graphic Design

This class is a great way to learn basic skills in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. You will build a foundation to work with in the future and depending on your instructor, you’ll create pieces to start to build a portfolio to display your array of skills to a potential future employer.

Digital Media Trends

What you learn in this class is important to include during an interview, whether it be for an internship or a full-time job. This class allows you to get your Google Analytics certification for free and teaches the concepts behind Google Analytics, giving you a deeper understanding of one of the primary methods of tracking communications campaign success.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

This class is the follow up to Digital Media Trends and goes more in-depth on tracking online progress of a campaign, specifically in the realm of search engines like Google. The course provides in-depth experience with the largest online advertising platform—Google Adwords.

You will participate in a firm-based project that gives you the same experience of business consulting for a future advertising job.

Digital Public Relations

This class gives you multiple experiences to use on your resume. The content focuses on non-paid digital activities, most importantly social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+, and how these activities can be successfully integrated into a communications campaign.

First of all, you become Hootsuite certified, an online platform for scheduling social media posts. You also complete the Twitter Flight School, Twitter’s free online education program.

This class provides students real-world experience with a project in which you create and/or maintain a social media site of some kind and create an analysis of successes and downfalls throughout the process.

Magazine Writing

This class is very helpful if you have no experience in the world of magazines but think you may want to work for one in the future. The class teaches you how to freelance. You build a website, if you don’t already have one, and create posts to add to it. You pitch stories to real editors to try to have your work published, and if it works, you have published pieces to add to your portfolio. I would highly advise this class for students that know they won’t have an internship but need to continue working on a portfolio or a resume.

If many of the above classes seem to be of interest to you, I would advise adding the Digital Media Trends and Analytics, Minor to your Penn State degree. For more information on the classes, visit the Penn State Undergraduate Bulletin at


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