Hi everyone! My name is Hailee and I am currently a PR intern at Brian Communications. In this post, I’ll be sharing a few tricks that helped me make the most of my time here. I hope you enjoy reading! 🙂 ______________________________________________________________________________
At my first internship, I walked away feeling like I could’ve done more. Although I did everything I was told, there was something inside of me that didn’t feel complete. I felt as though I could’ve made a bigger impact. I will cut myself a bit of slack considering it was my first agency experience. However, after I accepted the offer to my current internship, I promised myself I wouldn’t walk away with that feeling again. Instead, I would walk away knowing that I made the most out of the few short months I had. Luckily, I have not disappointed myself. The experience I’ve had has been more than fulfilling, and I don’t feel incomplete as my time ends at Brian Communications. How did I do it? I followed three simple guidelines that I wrote out for myself at the start of my internship.
Guideline #1 – Network Early & Network Often.
In the saturated world of communications, who you know can sometimes be as important as what you know. I would even argue that the value of your network is equivalent to the value of your diploma. Simply because your network can speak about your success, recommend you to recruiters, and throw you through the door (while as the diploma will just get your foot through it). Therefore, developing a quality network during your internship is pivotal for future success. However, keep in mind that networking goes far beyond connecting with people on LinkedIn. Networking can mean scheduling a 15-minute coffee break with your person of choice. It can also mean engaging with their content post-internship. Do you see a past mentor posting about a campaign they just launched? Send them a message saying how awesome it is, and then ask if they want to have a 5-minute call to catch up! Networking doesn’t have to be a one-way road, but it surely must be a road that you’re on if you want to make the most of your internship.
Guideline #2 – Raise Your Hand.
If you’re given an assignment and don’t have a single question about it, then there is something wrong. If you’re sitting in on a presentation and have no curiosity about why they did something, then there is something wrong. Raising your hand and asking questions plays a huge role in your success as an intern. Not only does it show that you listen intently, but it proves that you’re not afraid to speak up and that you have a willingness to learn. Similar to networking, raising your hand takes many forms too. Raising your hand can mean popping into a Microsoft Teams chat and seeing if anyone needs help. It can also mean asking questions about an assignment after it’s completed. Did your mentor say you did a fantastic job on X, Y, or Z? Ask them what they enjoyed about your approach, or if there’s anything they’d do differently! No matter what, never be afraid to raise your hand. Instead, be afraid of being clueless.
Guideline #3 – Show Up. Even When It’s Not Mandatory.
This one might sound crazy, but it’s something that will set you apart, and I’ll give you a personal example to make it easier to understand. For my internship, I am scheduled to work on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s. Recently, they planned an event on a Tuesday to showcase a restaurant launch they’ve been working on. Although I’m not scheduled to work on Tuesday’s, I made it a priority to show my face during the event and support the team. I will also add that it was a perfect networking opportunity, but that is beside the point. What’s important is the fact that everyone was surprised and elated that I showed my face, even when it wasn’t required. In fact, I was the only intern (out of four) that decided to attend, so it gave me extra points! Nevertheless, showing up can mean a variety of things. It can mean attending out-of-office events or picking up work outside of your department. Whichever one it is, showing up when it’s not required, is one thing that’s bound to make you stand out. I know it did for me.
So, do you feel completely ready to kill your next internship? No? That’s totally normal. Even with guidelines in place, it can be hard to get the most from your experience. Especially if you’re swamped with work most of the time. However, it’s important to remember that an internship is meant to give you valuable experience. Therefore, do whatever it takes to make the most out of your time there. If you’re not sure where to start, then start out with my three guidelines and go from there.