Throughout college, I was involved with my local PRSSA chapter and able to take advantage of their agency tours each term. Weber Shandwick Seattle was one of the agencies we visited, and as soon as I walked into the office, I knew I wanted to work here. But, of course, narrowing down where you want to work is only half the battle.
Do you want to land the internship of your dreams? Here are a few tips and tricks that helped me to land my internship at Weber Shandwick.
1. Update your resume & portfolio every time
Update your resume and portfolio so they are specific to your target internship. Your application materials should showcase who you are and what skills you bring to the table — especially as it relates to the specifics of the job opening. Your portfolio and resume should be in AP style. And make sure you hone your writing skills. Chances are you’ll be tested!
2. Stay current with news
It’s important to stay on top of current news and know what is going on in the world, both locally and globally. Not only is it a great way to start a conversation, it also helps to know the media landscape when pitching to the media. One way to stay up to date is by finding an industry that you are interested in and start learning about it. Use apps such as Feedly or NewsBlur to get the news you want right to your fingertips.
3. Build relationships
Informational interviews are a great way to understand how an agency works, as well as an opportunity to meet new people and grow your professional network. After an interview, you should always follow up with a thank you note (handwritten is always a nice gesture!).
During your internship, get to know individuals who work on different accounts. Ask them over coffee what they do on a day-to-day basis.
4. Be proactive
This piece of advice goes hand-in-hand with building relationships. Use LinkedIn as a research tool before an informational meeting for an interview. Once you have the internship, it’s always a good idea to get involved within the office so you get to work with people outside of your team. Take advantage of chances to explore different practices, grow your network and find out what you’re interested in.
5. Learn, learn & learn
The most important part of your internship is to learn! By soaking in as much information as possible, an internship is a great opportunity to fine tune what type of PR you are interested in and the skills you want to improve. Set goals for yourself throughout your internship and make sure you hold yourself accountable for them. Seek feedback from your manager and others you are working with to see what you are doing well and what skills you can improve upon.
And while an internship is something you should take seriously as a great place to learn and grow, both professionally and personally — don’t forget to have fun!
Photo credit Glen Noble