by guest blogger Lauren Silverman
In PR, tangible experience is just as important as classroom experience (if not more). Real-world opportunities build skills and provide an integral part of any career path. It is important to know at the outset that internships are a two-way street and it’s the intern’s responsibility to maximize the experience.
This summer at Crenshaw Communications I’ve added to my internship acumen. Here are some of my best tips to make your internship more meaningful:
Do be hungry. A former supervisor told me this; be hungry for more information and experience. Ask to sit in on meetings and try new tasks. Make yourself invaluable—the company should notice your absence.
Don’t dress for the job you have. I’ve always lived by the mantra that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Dress appropriately for work and wear pieces you feel good in. If you feel confident, your work will reflect that.
Do “fail forward”. The best part of an internship is that the job provides the best opportunities to learn from your experiences; that is key! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but make sure you learn from them if you do.
Don’t suffer from device-itis. PR is one of the few fields where you’re encouraged to be social media-savvy and your job might require some tweeting or Facebook posting. However, allot a certain amount of time for browsing and don’t overdo it.
Do read up, be in the know. As a PR professional, it’s beneficial to know about pop culture and celebrity gossip. You’re expected to “keep up with the Kardashians” as well as current events and industry news. Stay attuned by picking up a trade magazine or browsing your favorite news source, it’s a good way to show you’re aware of the world around you.
Don’t re-invent the wheel. When writing a document for the first time, be sure to review older office files for examples or do a Google search before asking for help. By taking initiative, you’re proving to be self-reliant and proactive, two great intern qualities!
It goes without saying, but don’t forget to keep in touch with your mentors and team members after an internship ends! These are some general guidelines, but interning is a never-ending learning process. What are some other recommendations you might give to a current or prospective intern?