Transitioning from a college student to an intern to an account assistant has made it apparent just how much there is to learn upon graduation and how imperative it is that you commit to lifelong learning in the public relations industry. The great thing about starting as an intern at Obsidian is that I’ve walked through every step of the process with a supportive team. As I reflect on my journey to account assistant, I’ve included some beneficial things I’ve learned along the way.
#1 Intern as much as you can before graduation!
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of gaining as much real-world internship experience as you can while in school. There are many lessons that can only be taught in a professional setting. You’ll arm yourself with more useful experiences every time you intern that can make you stand out from other candidates after graduation. I had multiple internships before I graduated, and each experience came with very different lessons. The scope of work in the public relations field is vast, so make sure to cover as much ground as you can before leaving college to prepare yourself for this diverse discipline.
#2 Be humble and open to learning.
To become a PR guru, you must become a lifelong learner. You don’t know everything as a young professional, and that’s OK. I’ve learned that the best way to grow is to be as transparent as possible and ask for feedback. It might also benefit you to express humility. Asking questions is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of your willingness to dive deeper. You’re new in the industry and you still have a lot to learn – most people understand that and they are happy to help. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do your own research, as well, to boost your skills and knowledge.
#3 Be patient with yourself.
I have always been overly critical of myself when I make a mistake, but throughout this transition, it has become abundantly clear that new skills don’t come overnight. You didn’t learn everything about public relations in school, so don’t be too hard on yourself while you’re learning. Take it in stride, but don’t be afraid to take initiative when you feel yourself lacking certain skills. There are plenty of resources out there to help you improve your skill set over time.
While transitioning into a public relations agency setting has been a whirlwind, it has been extremely satisfying to finally put those skills learned in school to use while learning how to enhance them. I’ve learned more and more each day throughout this transition, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!