Interning can be a bittersweet experience, especially if you are treated like a run-around by your colleagues.
We have all heard the horror stories of interns being crammed in an office and being sent out to get the boss’s coffee. Nonetheless when you do secure that first PR internship it’s vital that you go into it full of positivity and ready to learn, even if you have to teach yourself. Here are some of my PR internship do’s and don’ts, full of handy tips that I wish someone had told me before I ventured into the world of interning.
Do research your company’s client list
Chances are if you are working at an agency you are going to be working with various clients. Be sure to do your research about the brands you’re going to be working with.
Do socialise with your colleagues
Invited to after work drinks and not sure if you should go or not? Any opportunity that allows you to socialise with those in the industry is one that shouldn’t be missed. So make sure you say yes and get your networking hat on! Socialising with your team mates could also help you get a solid reference for your CV!
Do take notes of everything
Chances are when interning at a PR company, Gorkana, Factiva and Pressreader will become your best friend. Make notes of all the new software/programs and tasks you have done. This will make it easier for you when updating your CV.
Don’t try and do everything all at once
Whilst interning, a lot of tasks will be sent your way – but don’t panic. Be sure to prioritise your workload and don’t try to have seven tasks on the go, because chances are you will end up making silly little mistakes which could potentially have a big impact on the company.
Don’t let negative comments get to you
Sadly not everyone interns in a friendly environment. If you overhear any negative comments being said about you don’t let it discourage you from doing your work. However if you do feel like you are being bullied or ridiculed by your colleagues then do speak up, just remember to remain professional.
Don’t over do it
It’s so easy to just say yes to every task that is thrown your way. But it’s important that you do not take on too many tasks, especially if you know you will have trouble completing them all in time.
Interning is all about learning and building up your industry knowledge and contacts, so be sure to keep that in mind when you’re interning. It might not always be easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
Words: Lateefah-Jean Baptiste
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