Intern: In·tern, noun. An advanced student or graduate usually in a professional field gaining supervised, practical experience.
Fresh out of college, public relations degree under your belt, headed off to your dream j… internship? Today, it’s the norm in this industry to spend your first post-graduate year as an intern, learning the ins and outs of the PR world. An internship is a way to learn more about your area of study than you ever did in college and even more about yourself.
Here are a five sure-fire ways to maximize your internship experience and impress future employers along the way:
Being shy never gets anyone anywhere. If you go into a meeting and act like you’re scared to death, the client is likely to be scared to death about your assisting on his or her account. Sure, your input is likely not needed during the business portion of the meeting, but hold your own on the front end. Walk in there with your head held high and offer a “Hi, I’m Susie. It is so nice to meet you!”
It’s no secret that Generation Y is technology obsessed. We often spend more time on our phones than we do communicating face-to-face. If you’re at work, put it away. Is your boss checking hers during a meeting? Probably. She runs a business, and the likelihood of the head honcho needing to be reached for an emergency is much higher than it is for you. You can wait.
Chances are, you will be doing a lot of writing—blogs, social media, pitches, press releases. You name it, you’re writing it, and with that comes great responsibility. Before you turn over an assignment to a superior, proofread. Then, proofread again. Put it away for a while if possible and read it a third time.
Do your homework
Thought those days were over? Think again. Doing your homework before your public relations journey starts should be top priority. Being able to spout off client information during your interview to get the position and during your first interactions with colleagues will show them how much you value the opportunity you have been given.
Initiative and guidance
At times, your duties as an intern can fall into a grey area. Have you done too much? Have you done too little? It’s very important to balance taking initiative on projects and taking guidance from your superiors. You want to impress them by incorporating some of your own ideas, but be sure to include their ideas as well, if they have given you any.
The first year of post-graduate life is all about change, and change can be scary. Take these tips with you into your first “real-world” workplace to help make the transition a smooth one!