5 Tips for Wrapping Up Your Internship

Completing an internship is essential to gaining hands-on, real life experience and skills that you otherwise wouldn’t get in a classroom setting. In fact, a majority of Dittoe PR employees started their PR careers as interns here – including me!

 

Like all good things, an internship must come to an end. If you’re currently interning somewhere, are you prepared for the final chapter? These key tips will help you end your internship on a high note, and, hopefully, guarantee success in your future career-related endeavors.

 

End on a high note.

The end of your internship is just as important as the start. Don’t let the allure of a semester ending distract you from finishing strong.

 

Inevitably, workflow decreases as the semester comes to a close, but don’t let that seep into your productivity. Instead of online shopping for the next interview blazer (that you’ll only use once), show initiative and ask for more assignments. Someone is bound to need help, and the impression you’ll leave on your team is invaluable. Showing commitment to your role could even help to land you another internship or a full-time gig!

 

Leverage your relationships.

It’s not against the rules to ask about potential job openings at your company. If you are having trouble finding your next opportunity, take advantage of the professional network you’ve been building! Especially if you made a great impression, that commitment shows your initiative and dedication.

 

Prepare a list of your contributions during your internship and reasons why you would be a valuable asset to any growing team. Then, talk your mentor or internship director for next steps. Even if you don’t get to stay, they may be able to reach out to their industry peers and find a good fit for you, make an introduction or even provide a recommendation.

 

As a matter of fact, I showed my interest for staying on permanently at Dittoe PR two months into my internship and look where I am today!

 

Create an online portfolio.

In today’s digital age, an online portfolio is crucial to demonstrating your abilities as a professional and standing out against other qualified candidates. It can be as easy as updating your LinkedIn profile with verbiage about your professional roles thus far. Consider uploading completed projects that you are proud of, so recruiters can easily see your samples, and sharing measurable results (i.e. the number of media hits or social media analytics that resulted from your work).

 

Want to go the extra mile? Design your own online portfolio by utilizing easy-to-use tools such as Weebly or Wix. Include your resume, writing samples, letters of recommendation and more to show off your professional prowess.

 

Seek out feedback.

As you approach the end of your internship, it is important to ask your mentor and peers for feedback. Seeking out feedback shows that you want to improve and learn from your prior mistakes. Chances are your colleagues have been in this field for a while – they know a few things!

 

Be sure to schedule an “exit interview” with your internship mentor or director. Take the opportunity to gauge your progress throughout the internship. Pick his or her brain about your strengths, weaknesses and where to go from here.

 

Stay in touch.

No one likes to be ghosted. Especially your internship coordinators or fellow coworkers. Just because your time at the company is over does not mean it’s the time to completely distance yourself. If you maintain contact, whether it be via a professional networking site such as LinkedIn or taking the time to send out a monthly update to your internship mentor, it shows that you care. Your internship is a stepping stone into getting a full-time position, don’t let it go to waste.

 

If you’re considering taking that next step and applying for a full-time position, be sure to do all the necessary research first. What is required of you to apply? Which writing samples would be appropriate to send? Gather all of your materials first, then communicate in-person with your company’s hiring manager to discuss next steps.

 

Like they say during finals week – finish strong!

 

Interested in applying for an internship at Dittoe PR? Contact Vanessa Staublin at vanessa@dittoepr.com to learn more about our Summer 2019 internship program.

Five Life Skills Gained Through Public Relations

There’s no denying that my skillset has grown vastly since I began my career at Dittoe PR back in 2015. From starting as an intern to now leading our intern program, I have my all-star team of coworkers to thank for teaching me the ins and outs of public relations. I’ve learned how to be proactive, how to think like a journalist, how to navigate a PR crisis and several other areas of expertise that you can’t really learn in a classroom setting.

 

While there are several things that can be taught, other life skills that come naturally by trade. Over the last few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to gain (and grow) the following life skills through my time working in public relations:

 

Adaptability.

One of the first things I learned when I first started in the PR world is how to be f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e. Being able to adapt to other’s schedules or navigate a change of plans it imperative in our industry. I can recall on several occasions where I’ve sent something to a client for approval, only to be told that the core details have since changed. Being able to adapt quickly will not only help you grow in the fast-paced world of PR, but with our ever-changing lives.

 

Awareness.

I’ve learned how important it is to be aware of what’s going on in the world and around me. This stems back to my high school and college journalism classes, where we were required to take current events quizzes. While they were slightly annoying at the time (sorry Professor Bridge), I’ve realized how vital it is to know what’s going in our world. In our industry, I’m constantly following trends and reading up on current events, which can help with newsjacking efforts for clients.

 

Being up-to-date of current events is a life skill that you can carry throughout your life. It can expand your general knowledge and can help you make more informed decisions. Plus, knowing what’s going on in the world can help your general communication skills when it comes to networking events or chatting with your peers.

 

Confidence.

I had to grow pretty quickly in a small office setting. With a team of less than 20, I’ve been assigned tasks in the past that were new to me. I had to build my confidence and sometimes put on a “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” face. My first in-studio segment? I obviously had never been to one, let alone attended one by myself, but I had to muster up the courage and confidence and act like it was my twentieth time going in-studio with a client. I’ve been faced with several similar instances since and will likely continue to for the rest of my life, but being thrown into these situations has helped me gain the confidence I’d probably never have if I worked in a different office setting.

 

Persistence.

In the world of PR, you have to be persistent. Emails get buried in inboxes and often go unseen by the media. Don’t give up if you haven’t heard back, and don’t be shy following up or tweaking your pitch! Sometimes it can take several follow ups before a reporter agrees to do a story. While this is a more obvious skill for our industry, this is something that has translated into other areas of my life (planning a wedding, hearing back from a consultant, etc.). If you don’t hear from someone right away, don’t give up!

 

Time management.

Deadlines. We all love them. After joining the Dittoe PR team full time, it took me some time to figure out a good time management system. There are several tasks we must complete during the day, but it’s ultimately up to us on how we divvy that time up. Giving yourself and your team internal deadlines and setting expectations on how long a project should take will help when trying to figure out how to manage your 40-hour work week. This goes outside of the office, too – setting goals for yourself, like finishing a book once a month or working out three times a week, will help give you a better understanding of how to manage your time wisely.

 

While I can go on and on about all the life skills I’ve learned while working public relations, I feel like these skills have not only helped me grow professionally, but personally, too. If you’re a student interested in an internship at Dittoe PR (and gaining some of these skills), please send your resume with references, cover letter and three diverse writing samples to vanessa [at] dittoepr.com.

Five Tips to Help You Succeed at Your Public Relations Internship

For many college students nearing graduation, completing an internship that will provide useful experience to apply post-graduation is a necessity. After wrapping up another year as a public relations student, I went into my first day as an intern at Dittoe PR in sponge mode, prepared to soak up all of the knowledge radiating from some of the best PR pros in the business.

 

Throughout the course of my internship, I was exposed to the different sides of public relations, including media relations, social media, thought leadership and more. I learned several invaluable skills that will be applicable to the rest of my professional career. I even became proficient in other valuable life skills along the way such as how to fix a printer and, surprisingly, a muffler as well!

 

Here are a few tips to help get the most out of your internship experience and set yourself up for a successful semester:

 

Take notes.

Whether it be in in-person client meetings, on phone calls or when receiving project assignments, it is important you write down what you hear. These notes can be used as a reference while working on your project assignments and could help someone else later on.

 

Taking detailed notes will help you avoid asking your colleague, boss or client to repeat themselves. Plus, it is shows you are listening and value what they have to say.

 

Utilize different platforms.

With multiple projects to simultaneously juggle, PR pros often wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. Using different PR software such as TrendKite, Cision and Sprout will help you complete your work as efficiently as possible.

 

Familiarize yourself with the platforms being used at your firm and review them frequently for new updates. Chances are that a majority of firms use these platforms, so learning them now will pay off in the long-run.

 

Prioritize your projects.

One of the most telling qualities of a successful PR pro is the ability to manage time. As an intern, it is important to demonstrate to leadership that you possess the skills required manage time and priorities.

 

When receiving your project assignments, assess the the urgency, value and effort required from each in order to meet deadlines and get to work. If you are struggling to meet a deadline, be sure to let your team members know ahead of time. They will appreciate the heads up and they may even give advice on how to better prioritize in the future.

 

Ask questions.

Make every moment a learning opportunity. Asking questions is the best way to eliminate confusion, stimulate idea generation and show the higher-ups you’re serious about your work. Additionally, asking questions helps you develop better communication skills, which are one of the most valuable tools a PR pro can possess.

 

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Growth occurs when you step outside of your comfort zone. A way to increase your growth opportunities in your internship is by taking on projects you have never done before.

 

Challenging yourself in an internship will allow you to make mistakes with less pressure and, again, show the company’s leadership that you’re dedicated to improving yourself and your PR skills. After all, there is no better way to learn than by diving in head first!

 

Interested in applying for an internship with Dittoe PR? We’re currently accepting applications for our Spring 2019 program. Final all the details here or email your resume and cover letter to vanessa [at] dittoepr [dot] com.

 

This blog was authored by former intern Paige Thompson