Everyone tells you how important internships are, but when you are working internship after internship for no pay it can start to feel like a job with a paycheck isn’t in your future. Sure all the experience is great, but eventually you need to find a way to make a living. If you feel like you keep getting seated at the intern table instead of your own assistant desk, there could be a few reasons.
You have to be something really special to turn your PR internship into a job. Be ready to be the first one there and the last one to leave. Never look like you have nothing to do and if you really do have nothing to do, ask for another task. You need to show that you want to learn at the firm and you can prove to be an asset to the team. If your boss can’t imagine a day without you, a paycheck may be in your future.
You’re acting above it all
As an intern you have to act like an intern. Getting all buddy buddy with your superiors doesn’t make you an asset, it makes you a liability. If you show respect for the office dynamics you may find yourself moving up quicker then you thought.
Show that you want to improve and that you want to be a better publicist. Ask your boss how to position yourself to move up and if that isn’t a possibility, move on, but do so gracefully. You never want to burn a bridge.
You’re not learning from your mistakes
It’s inevitable that you will make a few mistakes. After all, you’re learning the industry as well as the specific quirks and preferences of your agency. The key is to learn from the mistake, and commit to never making it again. Your boss needs to be able to trust the quality of your work in order to consider making you a permanent part of the team.
You’re still in college
Don’t fret. You’re still in school. Internships are going to be what you are offered until you graduate, even if you already have 10 of them under your belt.
You haven’t asked
If you are about to graduate and are only getting internships, have a very honest conversation about the possibility of moving part time or full time from an internship position. Let your employer know you are serious and you see yourself long term at the company and you want to put things in motion to make that happen. If that doesn’t seem like a possibility there ask if they are open to helping you find a job.
When interning you have to know how to ask for what you want, while not upsetting the office dynamics. It takes a little trial and error, but so is finding the right job.
PS: Pick up a copy of Ready to Launch for more fashion PR career tips or sign up for a career coaching session!
Photo Credit: Melanie Souza