Making your mark: How to land the internship of your dreams

For many students, internship is a word heard as early as high school. It’s often associated with making daily coffee runs or working for little to no pay all to gain additional experience outside the classroom. It might not sound great, maybe even a tad depressing, but keep in mind that employers overwhelmingly view strong internship experience as one of the most important factors in hiring for entry-level positions for post grads.

Thankfully, the horror stories of tedious busy work and Starbucks trips aren’t always the norm. Quality internships providing invaluable experience are available; it’s all about knowing where to look and how to position yourself as the best candidate for the job.

Keeping your social media accounts clean, dressing professionally for the interview, and sending thank you notes are the standard tips. We’ve all heard this advice before, and so has all of the competition. The good news is that there are more nuanced steps you can take to enhance your chances of landing a position that will provide you with the skills and experience necessary to succeed in your industry.

Networking

As a student, your professors are key to getting you prepared for the real world, but you won’t make meaningful connections by simply showing up for class. Most professors want to take the time to get to know you, ensuring you are worth their assistance. A well-respected professor in your field can be one of the best references when looking for internships or full-time positions, thus building relationships with them should be a top priority.

But professors aren’t the only ones worth connecting with. Fellow classmates can be just as valuable in connecting with high-level internships.

In the professional world, networking is something many professionals must do to get their foot in the door. Connecting with like-minded people with similar career interests allows for discussions and collaborations that can contribute to professional development and furthering your skills, knowledge and professional circle. Be yourself, be friendly and use any and all of your connections to your advantage to land that next internship!

Higher education

In our contemporary society, higher education is becoming increasingly viewed as a rite of passage rather than a luxury, and those holding bachelor’s degrees are struggling to appeal to employers, especially when up against candidates with master’s and doctorate degrees. With entry-level positions requiring experience, internships are a necessary step in the progression toward working full time.

Stand out from the crowd by continuing to pursue even higher levels of education. Graduate school is more than adding a few letters behind your name and a fancy piece of paper; it’s about continuing to develop – both personally and professionally – so that you’re ready to enter the workforce.

By graduation, you should have a vast collection of professional contacts and relationships, which will be invaluable in assisting with your entry into your dream internship and subsequent career.

Pre-interview process

When applying for internships, it’s imperative to find a way to stand out against other applicants. The committee or hiring manager most likely receives stacks of cookie-cutter resumes, making it easy for yours to get lost in the shuffle.

For starters, learn more about a company’s culture and how it operates by checking out its social media channels, blog posts and website. It is important to fully understand how they project their voice out into the world and how they position themselves in their industry as thought-leaders.

Focus on tailoring your resume and cover letter according to the company’s job description and core values. Find out what they are looking for, and make sure you effectively convey how your strengths align with the company’s goals. Did they say it would be a plus if you had video or photography skills? Be sure to highlight those or even bold them to be seen.

Don’t forget to follow-up. A little bit of persistence can go a long way. Email, tweet, send a carrier pigeon – do whatever it takes to show them that you are dedicated to your future and the future of the company.

Before the interview

Research, research, research. Did the company recently receive any awards or secure a major piece of coverage for a client? Congratulating them in the interview on their recent accomplishments shows you’re not only invested in their success, but that your interest in the company goes beyond just getting paid.

But why should they hire you?

Do some soul-searching, and be prepared to answer why you are truly the best fit for the job. Focus on turning your weaknesses into strengths and showcase your talent in a way that is unique to who you are. The more confidence you have in yourself and your abilities, the better the interview will go.

After the interview

Following the first-round interview, be sure to connect with the recruiter or intern director personally by sending an email or handwritten card thanking them for the opportunity. Use each interview as a learning experience by reflecting on the questions asked and answers given.

Obtaining an internship doesn’t have to be an overly stressful experience. Each scenario is unique, but these tips can help a student not only obtain the position they want, but also the experience that can help land their dream job down the road.

If you’re interested in an internship with Dittoe Public Relations, you can find more details on our internship program.

Interested in boosting your resume? Apply for Dittoe PR’s Fall internship program!

If you’re interested in experiencing PR agency life and gaining real-world knowledge and experience, then Dittoe Public Relations may be the place for you! We’re hiring for multiple internship positions, including PR and social media interns, for the fall semester. Hours are flexible, pay is competitive and perks are abundant.

 

Here’s what you need to know:

Dittoe PR interns are responsible for assisting with the execution of strategic public relations and social media initiatives and contributing to the success of the firm’s clients, which span multiple industries. The internship position is an opportunity for detail-oriented, self-starters to develop a well-rounded public relations skill set in an energetic and challenging environment. The ideal candidate should have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), initiative, creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. Interns will gain experience in media relations, research and analysis, reporting, writing and more.

Interns will be mentored by an intern director and work closely with the firm’s entire staff, from account coordinators to the company’s partners. While the intern director will help prioritize tasks, interns should feel comfortable juggling multiple projects and deadlines.

Responsibilities:

  • Drafting content including press releases, media advisories, media pitches, social media posts, byline articles, blog posts, monthly reports and other materials as directed
  • Carrying out special event planning tasks as outlined by the intern director
  • Attending and participating in agency meetings, training sessions, presentations and brainstorming sessions
  • Handling research and analysis projects in support of client objectives as needed
  • Delivering client-ready materials for each project assignment
  • Researching and developing comprehensive press lists for local, national and trade media
  • Assisting with client, business development and management projects as needed
  • Assisting with administrative duties as assigned by staff

Qualifications:

  • Actively enrolled in or a recent graduate of a university journalism, public relations, strategic communications, marketing, advertising or other related program
  • Previous professional and/or relevant internship experience (public relations experience is a plus)
  • An understanding of basic journalism and media relations skills
  • Solid, versatile writing skills in both creative and technical fields
  • An ability to be professional and personable in written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrates attention to detail and good judgment
  • Smart, creative, assertive and innovative individual who thrives in an extremely fast-paced environment
  • Flexible and willing to collaborate with teams
  • Proven ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines
  • Knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a

 

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with references and three varying writing samples to Kate Shambrook at kate [at] dittoepr [dot] com. Please also indicate which position you’d be most interested in. Available positions include public relations intern or social media intern.

 

No phone calls please. Applications must be submitted by 5 P.M. EST on Friday, June 23.

Dittoe PR Secures 100 Guests, 2.7 Million Impressions for Hickory House Grand Opening

Think all we do is media relations? Think again.

While we have mastered the intricate art of media relations, Dittoe PR is willing to tackle any role – such as speech writer, tour guide and even barista – to produce the results our clients want.

Most recently, our multi-faceted team was put to the ultimate test. Dittoe PR was enlisted to plan a grand opening event for Hickory House, Indiana’s newest and most comprehensive drug rehabilitation and alcohol addiction treatment center. In addition to overseeing the entire event planning process from start to finish, we were also tasked with executing a tailored media relations strategy.

The challenge? The event was less than 45 days away, and the facility wouldn’t be completed until just days before its grand opening. Fortunately, our extensive experience in planning similar events for clients prepared us to tackle this project.

Hickory House in Greenfield, Indiana

Leading up to the event, Dittoe PR handled an enumeration of responsibilities. This included assembling the entire run of show, creating and designing marketing collateral and sending out event invitations. Our team also secured more than 100 event attendees, assisted with speeches for speakers, assembled gift bags for guests, secured vendors and much more. On the day of the event, the Dittoe PR team was also responsible for leading tours of the facility for guests, emceeing the event, answering Hickory House related questions for event attendees and other relevant duties.

Hickory House Clinical Director speaking with WTHR-TV about the Grand Opening event

Simultaneously, our team implemented and executed a tailored media relations strategy focused on inviting media to receive individualized tours of the Hickory House facility before patients arrived. Dittoe PR’s efforts resulted in 20 media placements, including WTHR-TV (NBC), WISH-TV (CW), WXIN-TV (FOX) and the Greenfield Daily-Reporter. Within a couple of days, media placements totaled more than 2.7 million impressions and an ad equivalency value of nearly $44,000.

Interested in learning more about Dittoe PR’s work in events? Request a consultation to learn how we can make your next event a success.

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