At 18-years old, many new high school graduates flood into colleges with a degree goal in mind. For most, their first desired degree is not what they graduate with in the end. Deciding a career path is a huge decision that takes time to make. In college there is an array of requirements that must be met in order to receive a degree. Math, science, government, and foreign language are requirements that most college students must meet in order to receive the treasured degree they covet, but many colleges also require their students to participate in an internship in order to graduate. Internships allow students to get hands on experience in the field they wish to work in and it helps students make a concrete decision on whether or not this is the path they should take. I, like many other students, struggled with the decision of what I should pursue. I constantly doubted every decision I made about school until I finally came to the decision of communications.

My name is Emily Fielding and I am currently a communications/public relations major at the University of North Georgia. This summer I worked as an intern in the Public Information Office (PIO) at the Department of Public Safety. Since I began my internship, I have been able to conduct interviews, write press releases, edit video presentations, work on my photography skills, assist with the IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge project, and work on an array of other tasks for which PIO is responsible. When I started, I thought they would let me observe for a while since I have no previous experience in this field; however, that was not the case. They believed I could do this and allowed me to jump into the IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge project my first day. Since then, I have worked on many different projects and have gained knowledge that I know will benefit me in my future career, such as writing press releases, fact sheets, blog posts, and video editing. I have also learned more about the traffic laws of our state. This experience has not only helped me grow intellectually, but personally as well. Driving in Atlanta is no joke, the traffic is crazy, but now I know I can do it. Asking strangers questions is very uncomfortable, especially when they know you are writing everything they say down, but now I know I can do it. Learning how to use new equipment takes effort and time, especially when YouTube is the only helpful tool you have, but now I know I can do it. This job has grown my confidence and shown me that I can succeed and reach my goals.

I am thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of the PIO team, and I am thankful for the guidance they have given me during this internship.