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:
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.
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