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.

Moving on Up: Ashley Eggert & Greta Snell Named Directors of Accounts

We’re ecstatic to announce that Ashley Eggert and Greta Snell have been named directors of accounts. Combined, the two have more than 15 years of public relations and leadership experience for a wide array of clients.

Ashley and Greta joined our team as account executives, Eggert in 2009 and Snell in 2010 and their success developing and executing strategic PR campaigns for B2B and B2C companies of varying sizes across many industries quickly catapulted them into leadership positions.

As directors of accounts, they’ll be responsible for overseeing public relations strategy for our growing roster of clients. Their strategic experience will help our agency meet and exceed client expectations and maintain our place as a leading public relations firm both locally and nationally.

“Ashley and Greta have proven themselves to be tactical leaders in media relations and communications strategy, always utilizing the power of public relations to help our clients meet their growth goals,” said Chris Dittoe, president and co-founder of Dittoe Public Relations. “We are confident their results-driven performances will allow them to quickly adapt to this new role and deliver impactful business results to our vast client base.”

In addition to a lengthy list of professional accomplishments, Ashley and Greta approach each day with an eagerness to improve and offer our clients nothing but the very best. Their strong work ethic combined with their kind and humorous personalities encourages every member of our team to be the best version of themselves.

We’re excited to have this talented and hardworking pair leading client strategy on behalf of Dittoe Public Relations while continuing to lend their skill set on some of the firm’s largest accounts. The future of our agency is bright, and we’re thankful for their dedication to our firm and clients.

Interested in learning more about Dittoe Public Relations’ services and experience? Request a consultation.

About Dittoe Public Relations
Dittoe Public Relations was founded in 1999 on the premise that clients deserve better – a higher level of service and greater results. A premier public relations agency with high-tech roots, Dittoe Public Relations has grown to include an impressive roster of clients in many industries, including consumer electronics, sports, gaming, digital imaging, education, lifestyle and consulting. Relentless in the pursuit of excellence for our clients, we pride ourselves on exceeding expectations every day.

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