Internship season is right around the corner. As students prepare their résumés, portfolios and complete their applications, they must also begin to think what will make them standout and get the best experience possible in their new roles. Internships provide employers a snippet of what a potential employee may look like, as well as provide students with an up close look at the real world. Follow these steps, and you will be shining at your next internship.
No employer wants someone working for them that cannot remember simple instructions. Be attentive to work detail, but also be looking for new and inventive ways that you can get involved. Learn about your new surroundings, and the people in it. This way next time your boss needs you to run an errand, you will know exactly where to go, who to talk to and what to do.
Internships are about learning, and as students, you are learning and using the skills you’ve developed in classes. If your employer is looking for someone to write a feature story or take photos of an event, volunteer. Your eagerness will show that you are there to improve your skillset, and can often prove your grit and determination. This small task will also help develop you professionally.
Again, internships are supposed to be a learning experience for students. Employers and co-workers will not be upset if you are asking questions. If you are interested in how your organization or industry works, just ask. These small conversations may lead to mentors, connections or employment opportunities.
You’ve learned the skills needed for this position from your classes, PRSSA Chapters and student-run firms. Your résumé, digital portfolio and interview earned you the internship, so there is no reason to doubt yourself. Your employer knows what you’ve learned and your skillset beforehand, so do not let yourself be intimidated.
Be a sponge.
As a public relations student, you have probably heard this numerous times; however, during internships, this is vital. An internship provides students with real world experience, and allows them to test themselves professionally. A good intern will learn from every aspect of their experience; workplace behavior, edits, meeting structures, etc. By soaking up everything they see, an intern will best prepare themselves for a job.
Natalie Gloady is a senior at Waynesburg University, where she is majoring in public relations and sports information. She serves as the public relations director for Waynesburg PRSSA, as well as an account executive for Red Brick Communications. Natalie hopes to pursue a job in the sports industry as a social media coordinator or publications director post graduation. Follow her on Twitter or connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.