I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe it is already fall again. Where did the summer go?! It is definitely scary how time flies.
When I was in college, I always looked forward to this time of yearl. There were lots of new beginnings: new classes, new clothes, new books, and mostly likely a new internship too. Everything always felt fresh and exciting.
I was lucky enough to go to college in NYC, where I was able to do a different PR internship each semester. I loved getting the real world experience, and couldn’t have started my own business without it. While I am a firm believer in internships, I think that if you aren’t careful, it is easy to get taken advantage of.
There will be things outside of your control, but ultimately, you play a big role in getting the most out of your experiences. Here are a few tips to make sure your upcoming or current PR internship is worthwhile.
I don’t think anyone does this intentionally, but if you aren’t careful you can end up working a lot more than you bargain for. Most companies understand that you have school and other things to do outside of your internship. At the beginning of your internship, you should set a schedule, and try your best to stick with it. This way you won’t feel stressed out.
With that being said, use your best judgment. All jobs require working late nights or weekends here and there. You don’t want to always be the one to skip out while the rest of the team is logging extra hours; however, you shouldn’t consistently be working overtime each week.
Do your homework
Part of getting the most out of your internship is taking the time to pick the right one. You should research companies that you want to work for. The goal of an internship is to see if you want to pursue something as a career. You should be serious about applying to companies you are truly interested in.
Also, ask questions during your interview. This way if you are deciding between two different opportunities, you make the most informed decision. You should ask about company culture, day-to-day tasks, projects, etc.
One of the best ways to get the most out of your internship is to get yourself noticed. As a reminder, there is definitely a fine line between being eager and being a know it all. Make sure you don’t cross that line.
However, try your best to ask questions and volunteer for projects. By doing this, you will learn the most that you can.
Don’t be too good for the grunt work
As an intern, you are at the bottom of the totem pole. That is just the way it is. As a result, your internship will sometimes include less than glamorous tasks. When I was an intern, I spent a lot of time getting coffee, organizing clothing racks and sending off packages.
If you do these menial jobs graciously, people will notice, and want to work with you. For example, if you make copies of the meeting agenda today with a smile on your face, maybe tomorrow you will get to do something more substantial.
Photo Credit: fraser_west