Over the past few weeks, colleagues ranging from hiring managers to interns have posted some incredibly helpful insights and advice as part of our PR Intern Blog Series, (#PRIBS). But before we get too far ahead of ourselves we feel it’s important to take a step back. On the road to rockstar status, there are some essential skills that no PR intern should take for granted, even if they may seem basic.
A PR internship is a great way to gain real-world experience and put your skills to the test. When starting out in a new internship position, it’s important to consider what your goals are and what you hope to gain out of your experience. Below are four simple but important ways to ensure that you make the most of your PR internship!
It was my first day as a PR intern at Weber Shandwick Seattle and what was I thinking about? All the countless hours spent perfecting essays, practicing presentations and studying the history of public relations. Ok, maybe not…but all the lessons I learned throughout school have helped me in both getting this coveted internship and applying those skills now that I’m here.
From time to time, I’m asked how I got started at Weber Shandwick Seattle. My responses generally vary from “my previous work experience” to “networking” to “pure and total luck.” While the truth may lie somewhere in the middle, how I honestly got a foot in the door (literally) was through my internship.
I’ll admit, when asked why I wanted to work here, I answered, “Because it’s a global company.” But truthfully, I don’t think I really understood the invaluable learning opportunities one can derive from interning at a global PR agency like Weber Shandwick. That has all changed very quickly. Over the past two months, I’ve had an intense firsthand experience working on an account that has global reach.
Flashback 10+ years as I approached my last quarter in college and I was determined to secure an agency internship that could possibly lead to a long-term position. My international interest and desire to try agency life after working in the corporate and non-profit environments was the last puzzle piece to deciding the path I wanted to take to kick-start my career, and was what led me to Weber Shandwick. Admittedly, if someone asked me then where I would be in 10 years, I probably would have said “working in international PR, and hopefully for Weber Shandwick, but wherever opportunities take me.” I took advantage of the three-month internship to learn as much as I could, demonstrate my skills and capabilities and get to know people in the office or across the agency, when given a chance.
The one and only college class I ever got a “C” in was AP Style Writing. I remember how my professor would copy each of our weekly news stories onto transparency sheets, projecting the mess of red lines, question marks and “Boring!” comments for the whole class to see. He’d walk through all the flaws, each mistake dropping our grade by ten percent. It truly was painful to watch your “B” go to a “D” in a matter of a missed hyphen, uppercased title and abbreviated five-letter state, especially in front of your friends you just tailgated with the weekend prior.
Personally, I hate writing cover letters. You probably do too.
It’s obnoxious to have to dump your personality on a page and find the right balance between individuality and professionalism. Well, get over it. Hating things generally doesn’t make them go away, as evidenced by Carrot Top (and prop comics in general), the Freshman 15 and lines at the DMV.
Here’s a statement I hear a lot from many of my peers, “I sent out my resume to over 100 companies, have only heard back from a small portion of them, and have gotten even less requests to go in for interviews.” Let’s not forget the famous, “In this economy, I am never going to find a job.” And to be honest, there was a time when I used to say these things myself. I don’t know how many discussions I had with my parents about how prospective employers were failing to recognize my potential value.