Practical Pointers Blog
February 15, 2019
Internships are a great opportunity to prove yourself and show your potential in the public relations field. If you are starting a new internship, it is easy to overthink and worry about how you will do. You want to gain experience and hone your skills, but also stand out and bring your best work to the table. I’ve spent plenty of days panicking about internships – will I get the experience I’m looking for? Will my coworkers like me? What could potentially come out of this? I have learned that only great things will come out of your internship if you put your best effort forward. If you want to make the most out of your PR internship, check out these five tips!
Before you even start your internship, before you even interview for it, make sure you have an idea of what to expect. Research the clients you’ll be working with and find some interesting facts about each of them. Also, research where you’ll be working! Look on your internship’s social media pages and website and get a feel for their mission and the work they do. That way, on your first day it will be easy to get settled in and ready for whatever comes.
It has taken me awhile to get over my fear of asking a “stupid question.” Over time, I’ve realized that there really is no such thing as a stupid question. As an intern, it is easy to get overwhelmed and feel under pressure. There’s nothing wrong with needing a little clarification sometimes; the task will get done well only if you fully understand it. Remember that your coworkers want to see you succeed and grow just as much as you do.
In my opinion, internships give you a glimpse into your field of interest better than classes ever could. Classes and good grades may get you the internship, but real experience will better help you in the long run. Many projects will be ongoing and may need your attention for some time each day, but step out of your comfort zone when you can! Throughout your career, it is important to to be a ‘yes’ person. Have an open mind and be eager with every new project. If there is a project you hope to get involved in, a client meeting you’d like to attend or a new aspect of PR you’d like to focus on, mention it! You will get the most out of your internship if you put the most into it.
Your coworkers can become your greatest mentors, so get to know them! I like asking about their past experience in PR and how they got to where they are today. PR professionals that have been in the field for some time also give great advice, if you know how to cultivate the relationship with them. Ask if they also interned in school and how those experiences have helped them. If you tend to think ahead like I do, you can also ask about potential job opportunities and how to turn your internship into a career.
Remember that your boss and coworkers see great potential in you and are impressed by your abilities, and that’s why they hired you. So if you see something that could be done differently, or you have a new idea or way of handling something, say something. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and sometimes the newest member of the team has the freshest perspective.