So you landed a dream internship with a reputable PR firm. Congratulations! But simply completing an internship alone won’t separate you from the many other students who will soon be applying for full-time jobs upon graduation. So how can you make the most of your experience to gain an edge over your competition? We’ve had our fair share of interns and know what it takes to make it in the PR industry, so we came up with five helpful tips to getting the most out of your internship experience.
One: Always act professional. This should go without saying, but your behavior in person and through technology makes as much of an impression on colleagues and clients as the work you produce. In order to act professionally, you should dress to impress, treat all colleagues and clients with respect and always arrive early or on time to work and meetings.
Two: Let your work speak for itself. If you deliver quality work and give each assignment great care, your boss will notice. It’s always better to go above and beyond with your work than to come up short. There’s nothing worse than getting an email from your supervisor asking you to redo something or put more effort into an assignment. If you don’t put a lot of effort into your projects, not only will you waste time redoing them, or even worse waste someone else’s time, but you will hurt your chances of securing a job with the company in the future.
Three: Never hesitate to communicate your career goals to your boss. After all, he/she has been in the industry longer than you have and would probably love to offer advice and guidance. Also, how will he/she know to contact you for, say, that media relations job opening when you graduate if you don’t tell him/her how passionate you are about that type of work?
Four: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! You aren’t expected to know everything. Part of your role as an intern is to soak up as much knowledge about the industry as you possibly can. Find the right balance between asking questions and taking your own initiative, though, because an intern who has to ask a question about every single step of a process may become more of a burden than an asset to the company. Overall, questions are encouraged.
Five: During your internship, don’t be afraid to branch out and begin building relationships with people inside and outside your industry. You never know who could be a useful contact in the future.
All in all, it’s important to look at your internship as more than a 9-5 job with a light at the end of the tunnel. Work hard, take it seriously and treat it like a permanent job, and you will leave with more than just another line on your resume.