How to re-enter the workplace: The Enternship

- Public relations firm Wunderlich Kaplan Communications just welcomed their new class of summer interns, and Julie Lerner, 50, is one of them.

Lerner spent her career in radio sales and then the food industry and was itching for a change. She read about the "Enternship" program at Wunderlich Kaplan Communications, an opportunity to learn skills to re-enter the workplace, regardless of age and type of experience, and she applied immediately.

"I literally was Googling, how do I get more skills as a Gen X-er and an article on the Entership came up," Lerner said.

The program aims to target women over 40, says  Dara Kaplan, President of WKC.

"We have everyone ranging from 40-63 and we even have a younger woman who is 21," Kaplan says.

If the program sounds like it's right out of the movie "The Intern," where a 70-year-old Robert DeNiro goes back as to work as an intern at a millenial-driven start-up, well, it is.

Kaplan and co-President Wunderlich say the movie inspired them to start their own program for experienced women looking for a fresh career start.

"For the last few years we've been seeing our friends and family members lose jobs, get buyouts, not really know where to go in life after 40," Wunderlich said. "Some are new moms, some have been retired a few years, they didn't know what to do."

Ronni Berke spent more than three decades in television news before taking a buyout, and now hopes the Enternship will help her get into PR.

"I think it's a great group culture, we're learning from each other," Berke said. "I can give them some editorial skills and they can teach me stuff like graphics and other things I don't know.

The Enterns will learn how to craft PR pitches, work on digital media campaigns and sharpen their own skills on the all-important social media platforms.

"It's hacking this whole internship idea," said Berke. "You don't have to be in one category just out of college-people have value and it doesn't matter how old you are or how young you are."

Wunderlick and Kaplan received hundreds of applications for the program, and plan to welcome another class in the fall. Learn more at TheEnternship.com.

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