How to Make the Most Out of Your Summer Internship

School is out and summer internships are beginning. Internships are a proven way to expand knowledge, sharpen skills and gain real-life experience while establishing lasting connections in the industry. Plus, your new gig is also a way to get your feet wet and find out if a specific field is something you could see yourself doing full-time after graduation.

Summer internships can be highly competitive, but often provide more opportunities to work full-time without the stress of taking classes at the same time.

Now that you’ve landed your dream internship at a company you can see yourself working at full-time in the future, it’s time to focus on how you can make your internship experience the best it can be. Here are six ways to make the most out of your summer internship.

Make a strong first impression.
It’s all in the little things! From showing up on time and introducing yourself to your new team members to following your office’s dress code might seem like simple tasks, but these details are crucial for making a great first impression. A little bit of effort to help others can go a long way, even with tasks that fall outside of the typical intern to-do’s, such as helping to keep the kitchen clean or restock snacks.

Treat every day as your first, keeping a positive attitude and making yourself readily available for others to make a long-lasting impression.

Build your professional network.
An internship is a great time to build up your network of references, contacts and professionals who may one day help you get to where you want to go. Reach out to your new coworkers and the leadership team to grab a coffee or go out to lunch. Ask them about their career path and listen to their answers for ideas on how you can leverage their insight in the future. Building your network can include fun things, too. Consider joining the office book club or attending other social events in order to get to know your coworkers outside of the office.

Internships are one of the best ways to find out if an industry or company is the right fit for you, and the connections you make now could help you find a job in the future.

Stay organized.
One of my favorite tips is to keep a running to-do list or spreadsheet of projects and activities you’re working on. In some cases, you may be asked to share a weekly project update with your internship director, or you may need to submit a report for college course credit. Plus, keeping a log will help you recall what types of projects you’ve worked on over the course of your internship and better capture what you did on your resume.

Strong organizational skills will help to demonstrate to your new team that you’re ready for the real-world and can be trusted with important tasks and projects.

Develop your skills.
At the start of your internship, identify two or three skills you do not currently possess or that need improvement. Address your growth goals with your internship director and work on developing them further before the end of the summer.

If there are any opportunities for you to improve by attending a workshop or sitting in on a meeting, ask to take advantage of those. This will demonstrate a willingness to improve and allow you to gain more than just industry knowledge during your time with the company.

Ask for feedback frequently.
Asking for constructive feedback is one of the best ways to gauge your growth throughout your internship, as well as identify areas of improvement as you continue to grow. While feedback can sometimes be difficult to receive, understanding how to utilize constructive feedback to improve can make you even better.

When you can, ask your peers how you are doing and what you can do to grow – they are likely to give you a few pieces of advice as well!

End on a high note.

As you near the end of your summer internship, make sure to demonstrate your appreciation for the opportunity. Thank your supervisor, mentors and any other coworkers who helped you along your journey. A handwritten card is a small token of appreciation that will go a long way. It is often the small things you did or gestures of gratitude that people remember best.

You might also want to ask your coworkers if they would be willing to connect on LinkedIn, write you a recommendation or keep in touch for when you are looking for a real job.  Your summer internship placement might, in fact, be the best prospect for your first job out of college.

Interested in gaining real-life experience with an internship at Dittoe PR? We are now searching for fall interns. To apply, send a cover letter, resume with references, and three diverse writing samples to Sophie Maccagnone at sophie@dittoepr.com.

This blog post was drafted by former Dittoe PR intern Keeley Miller.

How to Successfully Work Remotely

WFH. These three letters allow employees to move from the desk-bound constraints of a 9-to-5 office and give them the freedom to work from the comfort of their own home, a coffee shop, a collaborative working space or anywhere in between.

In recent years, the option to work elsewhere has seen a surge in popularity. According to a survey by AfterCollege, 68% of millennial job seekers say an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers. Furthermore, a survey from OwlLabs found that employees who work from home at least once a month are 24% more likely to feel happy and productive at work, resulting in 25% less employee turnover than their non-remote work offering counterparts.

Here at Dittoe PR, we offer the opportunity for our team members to work from home a half-day each week. Whether that’s a morning where getting out of bed just isn’t going to happen, or an afternoon where a change of scenery is crucial, this perk encourages us to take some time and work from wherever makes us happy.

Wherever you choose to set up shop, consider these four tips for the most productive outcome:

Dress for success.
Trust me, I know how incredibly tempting it is to throw on pajamas or sweatpants when you’re working from home. However, when you wear pajama pants to bed and sweatpants to lounge on a Saturday afternoon, you’re not in the right frame of mind to physically work.

Mind follows body! Separate your work outfits from your weekend outfits, and dress for the job you have. If you’re in clothes you’d go to work in, you’ll be less inclined to lay down on the couch or zone out for an hour or two.

Set up a workspace.
Similar to dressing for success, it can be tempting to wake up in bed, open up your work laptop and stay there until night falls. There’s a reason our employers keep us upright facing a screen at the office. Get out of bed (it’s harder than it sounds), situate a new desk space and work in that location. Find a place just uncomfortable enough to keep you focused.

Establish clear boundaries between your workspace and your home life. This separation reduces unintended stress and will provide you with enough energy to not only finish your work but keep you from hating your bed or couch when your day is done. No one wants that! 

Reduce distractions.
Sure, your office has its fair share of distractions. When you’re at home or elsewhere, however, those distractions are heightened. Think about it, if you’re at home, what else is there? Dishes to be cleaned, a comfortable couch with Netflix calling your name, Instagram notifications on your phone, that leaky faucet you swore you’d get fixed…the list goes on.

In short, multitasking doesn’t work. The American Psychological Association found that switching between tasks results in a 40% loss of productivity, especially when those tasks involve combining your actual work with scrolling through your Twitter feed. Treat your home – or wherever you choose to work from – as your own office when working remotely. You wouldn’t turn on Game of Thrones in the middle of a meeting, would you? Okay, don’t answer that.

Make a to-do list.
Even if you’re not a fan of the coveted to-do list, making one for your day at home will ensure you stay on track. Utilize Dittoe PR’s favorite list-making app Todoist, or simply put pen to paper with all the tasks needed for the day. As always with to-do lists, if you aren’t able to cross everything off, that’s okay! It’ll still help to keep you on track and remember what needs to be done the following day.

Schedule a few breaks, too. You don’t want to experience burnout at home of all places. If you plan your to-do list hour-by-hour, incorporate brief 15-minute breaks to allow your mind to recharge. Go outside, take a walk, walk your cat, walk your turtle, follow your hamster in its little ball, anything to boost your energy levels in between tasks.

When you spend your time wisely and efficiently, it’ll be like you never left the office. Now you’re ready to go forth and WFH, WFCS (work from coffee shop) or WFWYLHD (work from wherever your little heart desires)!

Interested in a career that lets you work remotely each week? We’re always accepting applications for consideration. Send your resume, cover letter and three writing samples to Ashley Eggert at ashley@dittoepr.com.  

Dittoe PR Springs Into Q2 with New Clients and New Team Member

There are many reasons to celebrate spring. The temperatures are rising, the flowers are blooming, and summer is just around the corner. Here at Dittoe Public Relations, we have even more reasons to celebrate, as we kicked off Q2 with significant additions to our client roster and added a new team member.

Springbuk, WGU Indiana and Conrad Indianapolis have each selected Dittoe PR to lead their media relations and thought leadership efforts. Spanning a variety of industries, including health IT, higher ed and hospitality, these Indianapolis-based organizations all have one thing in common: they have great stories to tell. 

Read on to learn a bit more about our new clients and how Dittoe PR will lead PR efforts for each organization.

Springbuk
Springbuk launched in 2015 with employer-facing health analytics software that forecasts costs and improves population health. Their technology is built by a team of clinical experts, health economists and strategists, and data scientists.

The company initially partnered with Dittoe PR to promote its Health Intelligence Tour, debuting their Health Intelligence platform upgrades. The tour went through Dallas, Chicago and New York City to spread the word to employers, brokers and analysts all over the country about how Springbuk’s platform is preventing disease with data. Dittoe PR secured coverage in the Indianapolis Business Journal, Employee Benefit News, HR.com, Talent Culture and many more outlets to coincide with the tour. Starting this month, the Dittoe PR team is shifting gears and developing and executing a more comprehensive media relations and thought leadership campaign. Through personalized and targeted media outreach, along with expertly drafted contributed articles and award nominations, Springbuk will be showcased as an innovator and thought leader in the employee benefits space.

WGU Indiana
Founded in 2010, WGU Indiana was established as the first-ever state model within Western Governors University. The online university was created for 21st Century careers and offers 60+ degrees in the four colleges of business, teaching, I.T. and health/nursing. WGU Indiana’s mission is to open its doors for adult learners who need the flexibility and affordability of an online university to help them achieve their educational and career goals.

Dittoe PR will execute a proactive, highly strategic media relations, thought leadership and social media plan that will boost statewide brand awareness and help increase enrollment. Through consistent and meaningful media coverage, as well as thought leadership opportunities, we will work to contribute to WGU Indiana’s continued success.

Conrad Indianapolis
Located in Downtown Indianapolis, Conrad Indianapolis opened its doors in 2006 and is a part of the luxury brand Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. The hotel offers beautiful event space for everything from large corporate assemblies to intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions. The hotel also offers an art experience unlike any other hotel in Indianapolis that includes notable pieces in the lobby, several art-influenced suites and the Long Sharp Gallery, which features modern masterpieces from artists like Picasso, Miro, Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Indiana and Lichtenstein.

Dittoe PR will generate media coverage for the hotel through media relations, compelling content creation and thought leadership efforts to encourage stays, event bookings and showcase the approachable luxury that is Conrad Indianapolis.

You may be wondering how we execute successful campaigns for so many different types of clients in different industries. We get that question a lot, and it reminds me of one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes: “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

For us, the answer is simple. PR is all about the art of storytelling, and we know every company has a story to be told and a targeted audience who will listen and take action. It’s our passion, experience, skills and tools that allow us to tell our clients’ meaningful stories on a daily basis.

As we continue to grow our diverse client roster, we are also adding new team members! Sarah Cox joined the Dittoe PR team as an account executive in March 2019. Prior to joining our agency, Sarah was the director of marketing for the Behavior Analysis Center for Autism for seven years and also served as marketing chair for the Women in Behavior Analysis Conference for three years. She enjoys exploring the world, attending Yelp Indy events and spending time with friends and family. We are thrilled to have Sarah join our growing team!

Thinking it might be time for your organization to find the right PR partner? Contact me at lauryn@dittoepr.com!